Literature and Links
Many times I have been asked about literature on model ship building and
specific plans for some ships. There are two outstanding books I would
recommend for beginners (and for advanced builders as reference work):
Wolfram zu Mondfeld, Historic Ship Models, Sterling Publishing
1989, ISBN 0806957336,
Orazio Curti, Enzyklopaedie des Schiffsmodellbaus, Delius
Klasing Verlag, 1992, ISBN 3-7688-0770-3
(in German, unfortunately I could not find an English
translation, although this book seems to be translated from the original
Italian Modelli Navali into many languages: Modeles Reduits,
Encyclopedie Du Modelisme Naval; Il Grande libro dei Modelli Navali; Het
Scheepsmodel: Tuigage en Uitrusting).
detailed list of books on specific topics is further down this page.
Many of the ship models in this website are based on kits, whose
plans and materials were modified more or less by the model ship
builders. A beginner should always start with a kit of a smaller model.
Model ship kits, fittings, pieces, and materials by several kit makers
(Calder Craft, Corel, Mantua-Sergal, Panart, Mamoli, Amati, Artesania
Latina, Aeronaut, Billing Boats etc.) you can buy from many local
retailers or internet shops. In addition, it is worthwhile to get the
original catalogues of the kit makers.
Plans of ships and ship models you can buy from
Christian Schmidt Fachbuchhandlung, Sauerbruchstr. 10, D-81377
Muenchen, Germany and from many museums, such as the Musée de la Marine
in Paris or the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
There are two mail order firms that are second hand bookshops with large
stocks of maritime literature:
Walter F. E. Andraeas,
Andraeas, Marine- u. Militaerwissenschaftliches Antiquariat,
Klosterwisch 9, D-22359 Hamburg, Germany, Tel. +49 40 6031922,
Jutta Breede, Die See, das Schiff, die Fahrt - antiquarischer
Buchversand, Gießener Str. 13, D-28215 Bremen, Germany, Tel. +49 421
Other links on model ship making and maritime topics
Arbeitskreis Historischer Schiffbau - the homepage of the German
model ship builder clubs.
I like to have a look at several webpages and journals from time to
World Forum Web Site
Seaways' Ships in
Traditional Boats &
Tall Ships Magazine
There is lots of detailed information available on the
Very beautiful ship models, somewhat larger than usual (1.5 - 2 m) and
somewhat more expensive, you can find (in French and English) at
: Arsenal Modelism.
Very fine ship models in 1 : 400 scale by
Imthurn Productions, CH - 2943 Vendlincourt, Switzerland
Here are some other fine
models by Russian modellers (http://www.shipmodels.com.ua/).
find many scale model related web sites
If you could't find what you are looking for, try
The mother of all maritime link lists, a claim that might be true.
Operated by John Kohnen in Eugene, Oregon, USA.
Helpful literature on specific topics I appreciated:
Peter Neill, Great Maritime Museums of the World, Balsam Press Inc., New
York 1991, ISBN 0-917439-12-0, many photos of models and original ships,
paintings, other exhibits. Description of the museums, also useful in
The VASA Museum, Stockholm. Museum brochure with wonderful pictures of
the salvation of the VASA, her hull in the museum and her carved
ornaments. Contemporary drawings and sketches of her construction. In
the museum you can buy a treatise by Curt Borgenstam, Anders Sandstroem,
Why VASA Capsized, AB Grafisk Press, Stockholm 1995, ISBN
Staff of the Musée National de la Marine in Paris, Treasures of the
Musée National de la Marine, Éditiones de la Réunion des musées
nationaux, Paris 2006, ISBN 2-7118-5096-X. Selection of the museum's
exhibits, with excellent photos and good explanations. Ship models,
Contemporary paintings, drawings, and sketches of historic ships
Alan Russett, "Dominic Serres R.A. 1719 - 1793, War Artist to the Navy",
The Antique Collectors' Club, Suffolk 2001, ISBN 1 85149 360 3.
First-class reproductions of the paintings. In connection with the very
detailed index one can conduct an easy search for paintings on ships and
Jeron Giltaij, Jan Kelch, Herren der Meere - Meister der Kunst, Das
hollaendische Seebild im 17. Jahrhundert, Catalogue (in German) to the
exhibition of 17th century Dutch maritime painters in the Museum
Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam, 21 December 1996 till 23 February
1997, and Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemaeldegalerie im Bodemuseum, 21
March till 25 May 1997. First-class large-size reproductions of the
paintings and detailed comments.
E.H.H. Archibald, The Dictionary of Sea Painters of Europe and America,
The Antique Collectors' Club, Suffolk, England 2000, ISBN 1 85149 269 0, also
well done reprints and good explanations.
David Joel, "Charles Brooking 1723 - 1759 an the 18th Century British
Marine Painters", The Antique Collectors' Club, Suffolk,
England 2000, ISBN 1
85149 277 1, beautiful paintings, that are reprinted finely enough (as
in the other books on paintings cited here) to show model ship builders
in many details how the ships looked those days.
F. B. Cockett, Early Sea Painters 1660 - 1730, The Antique
Collectors' Club, Suffolk, England 1995, ISBN 1851492305, nice paintings that are reprinted finely enough (as in the other
books on paintings cited here) to show model ship builders in many
details how the ships looked those days.
F. B. Cockett, Peter Monamy 1681 - 1749 and His Circle, The Antique
Collectors' Club, Suffolk, England 2000, ISBN 1851493395, nice paintings
that are reprinted finely enough (as in the other books on paintings
cited here) to show model ship builders in many details how the ships
looked those days.
Michael E.Leek, The Art of Nautical Illustration. A Visual Tribute to
the Achievements of the Classic Marine Illustrators, Greenwich Editions
1998, ISBN 0-86288-123-4.
John Harland, Ships & Seamanship, The Maritime Prints of J J Baugean,
Chatham Publishing, London 2000, ISBN 1 86176 143 0. Many sketches from
the beginning of the 19th century, with short explanations of the
Musée des Beaux-Arts Rouen, Autour de Claude-Joseph Vernet - La Marine à
voile de 1650 à 1850, Éditions Anthèse, Arcueil, France, ISBN
291225709-3 (in French). Many paintings of the French maritime world,
with explanations. Many works of Claude Vernet (1714 - 1789).
Photos of modern and historic sailing ships or their replicas
Otmar Schäuffelen, Die letzten grossen Segelschiffe, Delius Klasing
Verlag, Bielefeld 1997, ISBN 3-7688-0483-6, (in German) many photos,
also from replicas of historic ships, and comments on ship history and
today's situation (mostly use as museum ship etc).
Franco Gioretti, Sailing Ships, White Star S.r.l., Vercelli, Italy 2001,
ISBN 1-58663-231-0, many paintings, drawings, sketches, and photos of
historic and today's sail.
Neil Hollander, Harald Mertes, The Last Sailors: The Final Days of
Working Sail, Smithmark Pub 1987, ISBN 0312471394. Many impressive
photos of the last working sailors in India, Brasilia, Egypt, Sri Lanka
Beken of Cowes, A Hundred Years of Sail, HarperCollins Publishers 1997,
ISBN 1860462537. Legendary photos of the great yachts at Cowes since
Morris and Stanley Rosenfeld, Segel im Wind, Edition Maritim 1999, ISBN
3-89225-398-6 (in German). Wonderful photos of yachts, working sails,
regattas and the America's Cup ships from the 1880s till the 1960s.
Legendary photos, impressive, excellent reprints.
There seems to be no English translation of this book, but an Italian
original publication: Vele e Velieri. There are other books with
photographs by the Rosenfelds in English - I assume that they have
Morris and Stanley Rosenfeld, A Century under Sail, copyright by Stanley
Rosenfeld, printed in China 2001, ISBN 0-939510-71-5, wonderful photos
of the yachts at America's coast, from 1884. Many close-up views, with
Photos of ship models, building ship models
Jean Boudriot, Modeles Historiques, Musée de la Marine, ISBN 2 903
179-24, A.N.C.R.E. Paris 1997 (in French), excellent photos of exhibits
in the French maritime museums, with detailed explanations.
There is an English translation: Historic Ship's Models in the Musée de
la Marine, translated by David Roberts. See
Editions ANCRE .
So far only in French available, but very interesting with beautiful
photos, too: Volume 2 on more ship models: Tome II, A.N.C.R.E.
Nice 2006, ISBN 2 903179-43-3.
Bernard Frölich, The Art of Shipmodelling, The Navy of Sailing Ships
1680 - 1820, A.N.C.R.E. Nice 2002, ISBN 2 903 179-24-7, excellent photos
and comprehensive guide. See
Editions ANCRE .
Karl-Heinz Marquardt, Eighteenth-century Rigs and Rigging, Conway
Maritime Press, London 1992, ISBN 0851775861. Very detailed information
on masting and rigging, compiled from a range of contemporary and modern
works. The best I ever found.
Philip Reed, Modelling Sailing Men-of-War, an Illustrated Step-by-Step
Manual, Chatham Publishing, London 2000, ISBN 1-55750-444-X. Very
detailed stepwise documentation of the making of a 74-gun-ship. 400
Jean Boudriot, Hubert Berti, Chebec Le Requin 1750 du constructeur
majorquin Joseph Caubet, A.N.C.R.E. Paris 1987, ISBN 2-903 179-07-7.
Description of the chebec, many contemporary sketches, 22 plans in 1 :
48 scale. Included is an English translation by David H. Roberts "XEBEC
LE REQUIN 1750" of the text in a separate brochure.
Timothy Wilson, Flags at Sea, National Maritime Press, Annapolis,
Maryland 1986, ISBN 1-55750-296-X.
Alfred Znamierowski, The World Encyclopedia of Flags, Lorenz Books 2005,
ISBN 0754814432. Together with the book of Wilson a very good
introduction. Detailed descriptions.
Contemporary books on historic ship building (available
Frederik Henrik af Chapman, Architectura Navalis Mercatoria, Stockholm
1768. Reprint and translation into German: VEB Hinsdorff Verlag
Rostock, 1968, with 62 original plans and comments on ship building.
Theoretical considerations of that time. Excellent books with plans to
check model ship plans. The classic work. - I am sure that you can find
reprints of English translations, some of them being antiques
All of Chapman's drawings (plates) in his Architectura Navalis
Mercatoria are available for download at the websiite of the Stockholm
Maritime Museum (Sjöhistoriska Museet):
Album de Colbert, 1670. Reprint by Editions Omega, Nice,
1988. The fifty plates of the "ALBUM DE COLBERT" are the only
illustrated document bearing witness to the ambition of Louis XIV in the
1660s to create a navy which would be for some years the most powerful
in the world. The 50 plates show every stage of the building of an
80-gun-ship. Comments on the plans in French, English translations in
Marmaduke Stalkartt, Naval Architecture or The Rudiments and Rules of
Ship Building. Exemplified in a Series of Draughts and Plans with
Observations. J. Boydell Cheapside, London, 1787.
Facsimile reprint by Jean Boudriot Publications, 1991.
Description and plans of a 74-gun-ship, a 44-gun-ship and five smaller
ships. Remarkable are print type and wording of the text: "IT is
needless to offer any apology for the Publication of this Treatise. The
Importance of Ship-building is at this day sufficiently understood to
justify the present attempt. Men of all professions feel themselves
Trade card of 18th century ship modeller Allen Hunt, Southwark.
Copyright: Science Museum, London
Amiral Paris, Souvenirs de la marine. Collections de plans ou dessins de
navires et de bateaux anciens ou modernes, 1871 (in French).
Reprint by: Editions des 4 Seigneurs, Grenoble 1975. Very detailed large
scale plans, metric scale, of sail in 18th and 19th century. Very good
work to check plans of ship models.
The Anthony Roll of Henry VIII's Navy, edited by C.S. Knighton and D.M.
Loades. Pepys Library 2991 and British Library Additional MS 22047 with
related documents. Published by Ashgate for the Navy Records Society,
Hants, England, 2000, ISBN 0 7546 0094 7. In the last year of the
reign of Henry VIII an officer of the ordnance, Anthony Anthony,
compiled a complete visual record of the royal ships. 58 ships are
represented in illustrations. Accompanying texts on tonnage, crew,
weapons and munitions are printed in their original spelling.
Also in the book are articles on the history of the Anthony Roll, the
ordnance in the beginning of the 16th century, and naval technology of
that time. In this publication the complete set of 58 illustrations is
printed for the first time. Unfortunately one cannot expect that the
illustrations were portraits of individual ships. There are many obvious
distortions and discrepancies between illustrations and texts. The
reason for this is not known. Maybe it was the wish of Henry VIII to
impress royal visitors with this compilation of the royal navy ships.
All in all an interesting book.
Darcy Lever, The Young Sea Officers Sheet Anchor - or a Key to the
Leading of Rigging and to Practical Seamanship, 2nd edition published by
John Richardson, London 1819. Unabridged reprint by Dover Publications,
Mineola, New York 1998, with a forward by John D. Harland. ISBN
0486402207. Systematic detailed description of building and operating
rigging and sails, and ship handling in various circumstances. Many
Today's books on historic ship building
László Veres, Richard Woodman, The Story of Sail: Illustrated with over
1000 Scale Drawings. Naval Institute Press 1999, ISBN 1557508968.
Drawings in metric and feet scale. Plans of hulls and rigging. Very good
overview on ship and boat types.
Björn Landström, The Ship. An Illustrated History. Doubleday & Company,
Inc., New York 1961. Beautiful drawings and many comments on the
development of ship building. An ongoing classic work.
James Dodds, James Moore, Building the Wooden Fighting Ship, Hutchinson
& Co., London 1984, ISBN 00915112506. Excellently researched and
detailed illustrated description of the building of H.M.S. Thunderer, a
two-decker ship of the line, 74 guns, launched in 1760. Every stage of
building is described and represented by many drawings, thus giving a
picture of work and life in a 18th century shipyard.
Four books on masting and rigging:
a) James Lees, The Masting and Rigging of English Ships of War 1625 -
1860, Conway Maritime Press, London, Revised Edition 1984, ISBN 0 85177
290 0. Very detailed and comprehensive description of the change of rig
over time. Many drawings and close up photographs of contemporary
models. The book was written after Lees' 15 years of work as the senior
conservation officer at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
Excellent treatise, the best I found on this subject.
b) Lennarth Petersson, Rigging Period Ship Models, Chatham Publishing,
London 2000, ISBN 1 55750 970 0. Very detailed drawings of the rigging
and belaying plans of a contemporary frigate model in the Bristol
Industrial Museum: the Melamptus, a 36 gun, 18 pounder frigate of 1785.
Excellent. As the works concentrates on only one ship, it can be even
more detailed the Lees' work (above).
c) Lennarth Petersson, Rigging Period Fore-and-Aft Craft, Chatham
Publishing, London 2007, ISBN 978 1 59114 721 3. Very detailed drawings
of the rigging and belaying plans of three contemporary models: a naval
cutter of the second half of the eighteenth century (London Science
Museum), a French lugger of 1800 (National Maritime Museum, Greenwich),
a typical American Schooner of the early 1800s (based on a model in the
Naval Museum in Karlskrona, Sweden, the model bearing a close
resemblance to the schooner Experiment that was built 1808 in New York
and sold to the Swedish Navy). As excellent as Petersson's other work
d) John Harland, Seamanship in the Age of Sail. An account of the
shiphandling of the sailing man-of-war 1600 - 1860, based on
contemporary sources. Conway Maritime Press, London 1984, ISBN
0-87021-955-3. Excellently researched book with many drawings and
reprints of paintings on the topic. Detailed description how maneuvers
were actually carried out and how sails were operated. Very useful for
anybody who wants his model's sails set according to a specific wind
Howard Irving Chapelle, The History of the American Sailing Navy,
Crown Publishers, Inc., New York 1949, ISBN 0517004879. Complete history
of the sailing men-of-war of the US Navy, starting with the colonial
period of the 1600s till the last years of sail around 1855. Sound
description of naval architecture, hundreds of plans, with specifics of
developments explained in detail. The classic work on the sailing Navy.
Joseph Wheatley, Historic Sail, The Glory of the Sailing Ship from the
13th to the 19th Century, Greenhill Books, London 2000, ISBN
1-85367-399-4, Very fine and detailed beautiful drawings.
Frank Howard, Sailing Ships of War, 1400 to 1860, Rutledge Pr 1980, ISBN
0831776560, detailed description of the development over the centuries.
Many drawings and paintings.
Bernard Crochet, Geschichte der Schiffahrt, Verlag Delius Klasing,
Bielefeld 1995, ISBN 3-7688-0912-9 (in German). History of ship building
from ancient Egyptians till today. Many illustrations. There seems to be
no English translation. The title of the French original is: Bateaux de
toujours: Des témoins de l'histoire, ISBN: 2035062195.
David R MacGregor, The Schooner, Its Design and Development from 1600 to
the Present, Chatham Publishing London 1997, ISBN 1 86176 020 5.
Karl Heinz Marquardt, The Global Schooner, Origins, Development, Design
and Construction 1695 - 1845, Conway Maritime Press, London 2003, ISBN 0
85177 930 1.
David R MacGregor, Fast Sailing Ships: Their Design and Construction,
1775-1875, Nautical Pub. Co (1973) , ISBN: 0245519645. Very detailed and
thorough explanations, many illustrations.
Gabriele Hoffmann, Uwe Schnall, Die Kogge - Sternstunde der deutschen
Schiffsarchaeologie. Convent Verlag, Hamburg 2003, ISBN 3-934613-50-0
(in German). Description of the 1962 discovery, salvation, restoration
and reconstruction of the cog in Bremen. Role of the cogs in the Hansa.
Evaluation of ship technology. Many photos of the replicas built under
There seems to be no English translation.
Jean Boudriot, Hubert Berti, The History of the French Frigate, Jean
Boudriot Publications, Rotherfield, East Sussex, England 1993, ISBN
0948864-15-X. Translated by David H. Roberts. Lots of detailed
information on marine technology development and on individual ships.
David Childs, The Warship Mary Rose, The Life and Times of King Henry
VIII's Flagship, Chatham Publishing, London 2007, ISBN 978 1 86176 267
2. In 1982 the remaining parts of the hull of the Mary Rose were
salvaged in Portsmouth harbour. The Mary Rose sank there in 1545 when
she was part of Henry VIII's fleet in his battle with the French. The
book tells the story of her construction and her role in the navy and
the Tudor politics. Very much detailed information and contemporary
paintings. Worthwhile, too, is a visit of the excellent Mary Rose Museum
(with many artefacts salvaged with the hull) and the remains of the hull
Ole Crumlin-Pedersen, Olaf Olson, The Skuldelev Ships I, Topography,
Archaeology, History, Conservation and Display, The Viking Ship Museum
Roskilde 2002, ISBN 8785180467. Description of discovery, salvage,
conservation and museum display of the five Viking ships that were found
1962 in the Roskilde Fjord near Skuldelev. Very fine detailed work, with
plans of the boats printed in 1 : 80 scale that are suitable to build
models of the ships.
Keith Durham, Viking Longship, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, UK 2002, ISBN
978 1 84176 349 1. Detailed photos and drawings of Viking ships.
Max Vinner, Viking Ship Museum Boats, Kannike Graphic A/S,
Roskilde, Denmark 2002, ISBN 87 85 180 48 3 . Photos and drawings of the
replica ships of the Viking museum in Roskilde, Denmark.
Peter Kirsch, The Galleon: The Great Ship of the Armada Era, Conway
Maritime Press / Naval Institute Press, 1990, ISBN: 978-0851775463. A
book about the naval development of the 16th century. The unwieldy
carracks with their high forecastles and aftcastles gave way to the
galleons with an elongated hull and lowered forecastle. They were
faster, more maneuverable vessels.
Kirsch's book is lively, describing not only the technological changes
and advances, but also their advantages documented by numerous
quotations from contemporary travelers and sailors. Many engravings of
ships from the period are printed.
In the appendix of the book is a reprint of an English treatise of 1620
on shipbuilding, the best preserved description of presentation and
construction of a ship's hull of that time. That appendix is based on a
publication by W. Salisbury, Society for Nautical Research, Occasional
Publications No. 6, London 1958.
Included in the book are the plans of the reconstructed Stockholm
galleon and photos of a model built by Kirsch in scale 1 : 35.
Lincoln P. Paine, Ships of the World, An Historical Encyclopaedia,
Houghton Mifflin Company, New York 1997, ISBN 0-395-71556-3.
Tony Gibbons et al., The Encyclopedia of Ships, Amber Books Ltd, ISBN
1-85605-591-4. London 2001. Comprehensive coverage of 1500 ships and
ship types, from the earliest times to present day. Many illustrations.
A. Dudszus et al., Dictionary of ship types: Ships, boats, and rafts
under oar and sail, Conway Maritime Press, 1986, ISBN: 0851773605, a
Basil W. Bathe, The Visual Encyclopaedia of Nautical Terms under Sail,
Crown Publishers Inc., New York 1978, ISBN 0-517-53317-0 77-28560. A
very helpful book!
Capt. H. Paasch, From Keel to Truck - De la quille a la pomme de mât -
Vom Kiel zum Flaggenknopf, Illustrated Marine Encyclopedia (English,
French, German), third edition 1901. Reprint by Verlag Eckhardt &
Messtorff, Hamburg 1978, ISBN 3770240006. The classic work, very useful
even today. In my opinion much better than the (smaller) first edition
of 1885, of which many reprints exist.
Dava Sobel, Longitude - The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the
Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time, Fourth Estate Ltd., London,
1996, ISBN 1 85702 571 7. History and achievements of John Harrison who
built the first exact timekeepers usable for determining longitude in
the 1750s and 1760s. Exciting, thrilling narrative, especially by
including the impacts of political intrigues, personal feuds and the
wars with France. Clear understandable description of the scientific
Andrew Lambert, War at Sea in the Age of Sail 1650 - 1850, Cassell,
London 2000, ISBN 0 304 35246 2. Overview on the nature of sea power,
navy organization, ship design, gun technology and battle tactics.
Historical chronology of all major sea powers and the use of navies in
national politics. Analysis of the English superiority at sea by their
better training of crews and gunners and the accumulated experience of
their officers. The English Navy was regarded as the vital force to
defend the country, whereas the rulers of France often favoured the army
when funds were scarce. Many contemporary paintings. Excellently
narrated and fascinating book, though written with a slight English
Robert Gardiner, The Campaign of Trafalgar 1803 - 1805, Chatham
Publishing, London 1997, ISBN 1 86176 028 0. Very detailed description
of those two years of navy war, ending with Nelson's funeral in London.
Many contemporary sketches and paintings.
Roy Adkins, Trafalgar - the Biography of a Battle, Little, Brown, London
2004, ISBN 0 316 72511 0. Extensive narrative of the final days of the
battle. Interspersed are many explanations on the political background
and technical standards. The book is made very interesting by the
numerous contemporary quotations of letters, newspaper articles and
other citations. Outline of Nelson's battle plan to create a general
melee in which he knew the English would handle their ships better.
Several paintings showing the stages of the battle by the hour, with
maps giving the positions of the individual ships.
Mark Adkin, The Trafalgar Compagnion, A Guide to History's Most
Famous Sea Battle and the Life of Admiral Lord Nelson, Aurum Press,
London 2005, ISBN 9781845130183. Depiction of Nelson's life with the
battles of St. Vincent, Cadiz and St. Cruz 1979, Battle of the Nile
1798, Copenhagen 1801 and Trafalgar 1805. Many details of the life
onboard, naval technology, communication, uniforms and the fate of the
individual ships and their commanders in the battles, of the English as
well as the French and Spanish. Exciting and interesting reading, and
useful as general reference work.
John D Harbron, Trafalgar and the Spanish Navy, Conway Maritime Press,
London 1988, ISBN 0851774776. The book explores the renewal of the
Spanish sea power during the 1700s, and the importance of the large
Spanish shipyard in Havana, Cuba. Analysis of Spain's defeat at
Trafalgar 1805: too few experienced seamen, too little training of crews
and gunners in comparison to the English. Description of the fifteen
warship captains and the four admirals who fought at that battle.
Jaap Bruijn, Ronald Prud'homme van Reine, Rolof van Hövell tot
Westerflier, De Ruyter - Dutch Admiral. Karwansaray Publishers,
Rotterdam 2011, ISBN 9789490258030. Description of the 17th century
maritime world of the Dutch republic, its politics and the life of de
Ruyter and some of his contemporaries. Very detailed, exciting and
thoroughly explaining how the effectiveness of the Dutch republican
system was the basis to prevail over much larger adversaries like England and
Barry Strauss, The Battle of Salamis - The Naval Encounter that Saved
Greece and Western Civilization, Simon and Schuster, New York, 2005,
ISBN 0-7432-4451-6. Fascinating narrative account of an history
professor about the 480 B.C. invasion of Persians into Greece, led by
Xerxes. Description of Greek resistance by Leonidas at Thermopylae and
Themistocles' management of the Greek victory at Salamis.
William Fitzhugh, Elisabeth Ward, Vikings - the North Atlantic Saga.
Smithsonian Institution 2000, ISBN 1-56098-970-x. Description of the
Viking expansion 750 - 1050 to Iceland, Greenland and North America.
Photos of many arts and household objects, maps, historical background.
Andrew Bridgeford, 1066 - The Hidden History in the Bayeux Tapestry,
Walker & Company, New York 2005, ISBN 0-8027-1450-1. History of
the Norman conquest of England in 1066, by comparing the scenes of the
Bayeux tapestry to other contemporary written sources. Impressive,
knowledgeable, and exciting. However, there is one serious drawback in
the book: the colour prints of the tapestry scenes are too small. The
fine details, decisive in understanding the meaning of a scene, mostly
cannot be recognized. The best internet source I could find for the
tapestry scenes and the pictures of the Norman ships was:
All the tapestry scenes are finely printed in:
Lucien Musset, The Bayeux Tapestry, translated by Richard Rex, Boydell
and Brewer Limited, Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK, 2005, ISBN 1 84383 163 5.
Excellent high resolution photographs of all tapestry scenes, with
detailed commentary on each, more than in Andrew Bridgeford's work (see
above; however, Andrew Bridgeford gives a more comprehensive description
of the historic background). A special chapter is on the ships alone,
comparing the tapestry pictures with the (few) other contemporary
sources before 1100, like the eighth-century engraved stone from Lärbro,
Bunge Museum, Gotland.
Ian W. Toll, Six Frigates - the Epic History of the Foundation of the
U.S. Navy, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York 2006, ISBN 0393058476.
History of the six frigates that were authorized by President Washington
in 1794. Detailed chronology of the wars with England and the Barbary
States of North Africa, and the main characters involved on all sides.
Peter Padfield, Armada, Victor Gollancz Ltd., London 1988, ISBN
0870210068. Description of the political conflict of Spain and England
in 1570 - 1600, with emphasis on preparation, campaign and defeat of the
Aramada in 1588. The course of the fleet and individual ships is shown
in many details. Interesting and exciting.
Donald S. Johnson, Juha Nurminen, The History of Seafaring - Navigating
the World's Oceans, Conway Maritime Press, London 2007, ISBN
9781844860401. Voyage through 3000 years of maritime history, history of
ships and navigation knowledge. Large format book with many
illustrations of old maps, navigational tools, contemporary technical
drawings. For me most impressive: the comparison of the European
navigational skills of James Cook and the accuracy of the traditional
skills of the Tahitian navigators.
Joan Blaeu, Atlas Maior of 1665. Reprint by Taschen Deutschland GmbH
2005, ISBN 3-8228-3125-5. "The greatest and finest atlas ever
published." Introduction and explanations by Peter van der Krogt. All
texts in English, German, French.
Description taken from the Taschen webpage: "The finest and most
comprehensive baroque atlas was Joan Blaeu's exceptional Atlas Maior,
completed in 1665. The original 11-volume Latin edition, containing 594
maps, put Blaeu ahead of his staunch competitor, mapmaker Johannes
Janssonius, whose rivalry inspired Blaeu to produce a grandiose edition
of the largest and most complete atlas to date. Covering Arctica,
Europe, Africa, Asia, and America, Blaeu's Atlas Maior was a remarkable
achievement and remains to this day one of history's finest examples of
This reprint is made from the National Library of Vienna's complete,
colored, gold-heightened copy, thus assuring the best possible detail
and quality. The book's introduction, by the University of Utrecht's
Peter van der Krogt, discusses the historical and cultural context and
significance of the atlas; Krogt also provides detailed descriptions of
the maps, allowing modern readers to fully appreciate Blaeu's
For me it is a pleasure to have a look at the old maps and paintings.
The introductions to the details of mapmaking those days are very
interesting. If one compares the inaccurate maps with today's, one can
visualise the difficulties of navigation in the 1600s.
I found this atlas when strolling near the town hall of Hamburg, in a
small shop called "maps&ducks", where they have some more books on
Boye Meyer-Friese, Schiffsplakate, Seereisen im Spiegel
zeitgenössischer Werbung, Edition Maritim, Hamburg 2002, ISBN
3-89225-458-3 (in German). Excellent reprints of advertisement posters
by shipping companies from 19th and 20th century, with commentary.
Giancarlo Costa, Die hölzernen Engel - Galionsfiguren aus fünf
Jahrhunderten, Delius Klasing Verlag, Bielefeld 1980, ISBN 3-7688-0330-9
(in German). The title of an English edition might be: "Figureheads:
Carving on ships from ancient times to twentieth century". Development
and history of ships figure heads, with many fine photos.