Ships have been among the most powerful artefacts produced by the hand of man. They have transcended mere practical use and become instruments of great influence, furthering causes for good or evil, acting as manifestations of political power, of military puissance, or of commercial exploitation. The purpose of this new volume is to present the informed reader who has an interest in ships, with a full account of the development of this most fascinating, important and influential invention. The book in general follows the arguments propounded in Conway's highly-praised twelve-volume History of the Ship series: these are underpinned with the author's many years of sea-going experience and numerous writings on maritime topics. Whilst dealing with a hugely complex subject the author presents his truly international thesis in a highly readable manner. The book is complete with over 250 colour and black and white illustrations ranging from ship plans, engravings and diagrams to marine oil paintings and photographs of both ships and ship models.
Richard Woodman qualified as a navigating officer with Blue Funnel serving in cargo-liners trading principally to the Far East, before joining Trinity House in 1967 working on Corporation's lighthouse tenders. After 31 years at sea he now works in operations management. His first historical novel was published by John Murray in 1981. Since then his popular Nathaniel Drinkwater series has grown to twelve volumes. Along with six other novels Richard has also produced a number of highly successful non-fiction titles including View from the Sea (1985) and the widely acclaimed Arctic Convoys (John Murray, 1994). In 2001 he was awarded the Desmond Wettern Maritime Media Award for his contributions to maritime history.