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Palgrave Macmillan

Britain and the Sea

Since 1600

ISBN 9780230218284
Publication Date July 2010
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

In this first full-scale treatment of Britain's relationship with the surrounding oceans, Glen O'Hara examines the history of British people's maritime lives and, in turn, the formation of British cultural identities. A lens through which to view British life, Britain and the Sea spans more than 400 years, beginning in 1600 and taking us through to the present day. Tying together every aspect in the development of Great Britain, from state formation, industrialization and modernization, through to histories of transport, migration, slavery, warfare and crime, this book illustrates how the rich tapestry of Britain's narrative was decided not among the fields of the 'green and pleasant land', but out at sea.

GLEN O'HARA is Senior Lecturer in Modern History at Oxford Brookes University, UK. He is the author of From Dreams to Disillusionment: Economic and Social Planning in 1960s Britain (Palgrave 2006) and co-author of The Modernisation of Britain? Harold Wilson and the British Labour Governments of 1964-1970

Conclusion: A Star to Steer By?


Chosen as Professor Andrew Lambert's top History book of 2010 in BBC History Magazine's Christmas edition: http://publicpolicypast.blogspot.com/2010/12/good-reviews-cheer-me-up.html
'Glen O'Hara has brought his rigorous historical intellect to bear on one of the biggest and most important actors in British economic, social and cultural history: the sea that surrounds these islands. Even the most incorrigible landlubber will be educated and fascinated by this rich and original book.' - Niall Ferguson, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History, Harvard University, and author of Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World '...valiant and successful...' - The Scotsman
'Ours is an island story, it's always said – but our chroniclers haven't generally attempted to think through what that might have meant for British history as a whole. The implications have, of course, been far too complex to be captured in a single study, but Glen O'Hara makes a valiant – and surprisingly successful – try. Here, we find everything from fishing to the Falklands War; from Raleigh's explorations to the rise of the seaside resort. Not just North Sea Oil but the South Sea Bubble; not just the Battle of Trafalgar but the slave trade. If Britannia's ruled the waves, he finds, the converse has also been true: the sea has made Britain – and her people – what they are.' - The Scotsman 'This book may not cure the deep , endemic historical malaise of maritime myopia , but it does offer a powerful , economical remedy for anyone willing to risk the treatment.' - BBC History Magazine
'[O'Hara's] creative synthesis brings together much of what is best in recent scholarship with wider academic concerns to provide a holistic approach to an oceanic nation...this text demands that all historians of Britain, whatever their specialisation, must reconsider the place of the sea. The impressive scholarly apparatus demonstrates a substantial engagement with the literature, and provides a fine guide to anyone essaying a new avenue of research.' - English Historical Review
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