Wednesday, June 24, 2020

A Century of Sea Travel by Christopher Deakes & Tom Stanley

First Line: This book is a voyage through the life of the passenger steamship.

A Century of Sea Travel is a beautifully illustrated narrative that evocatively describes an age of travel (1840 to 1950) that is now lost to time. Since I've been stuck at home, I'm finding myself wanting to read about far-flung lands, and this book was exactly what I needed.

From one exotic port of call to the next, I learned all about this type of travel: details of the ships, the crews, the passengers, food, entertainment-- even shipboard romances, accidents, disasters, and terrible seasickness during storms at sea. (Beware of some of those seasickness cures!)

The authors have searched through memoirs, letters, diaries, even the backs of postcards for all the information contained in this book. We hear from authors like Rudyard Kipling, Elspeth Huxley, Evelyn Waugh, and Robert Louis Stevenson, as well as many travelers we've never heard of (my favorite being a woman named Delight Sweetser).

A Century of Sea Travel brought this period to life. It's entertaining, informative, and contains many wonderful illustrations. If you feel the need for some vicarious travel, this is a book I strongly recommend.

A Century of Sea Travel: Personal Accounts from the Steamship Era
by Christopher Deakes & Tom Stanley
eISBN: 9781783468799
Pen & Sword Books Limited © 2013
eBook, 192 pages

Rating: A
Source: Purchased from Amazon.


  1. The cover alone is wonderful, but I love letters and memoirs and diaries!
    Thanks for this recommendation!

  2. My preference for maritime history is primarily for the Age of Sail, but this is intriguing enough to go on my list. And Delight Sweetster is a simply fantastic name!

    1. I tend to prefer the Age of Sail myself, but this book was just what I needed at this time. One of the things I loved most about Delight Sweetser (besides her name) was the fact that she was an open-minded traveler who didn't expect everything to be just like it was back home.


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