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The Wreckers: A Story of Killing Seas, False Lights, and Plundered Ships
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The Wreckers: A Story of Killing Seas, False Lights, and Plundered Ships

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  67 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Hardcover
Published January 1st 2005 by Not Avail
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Andrew
Excellent book journey round Britain's coastline and investigates the reasons for wrecking cultural and geographical very enjoyable read and makes you look at the shoreline in a different way..
If you enjoy this read the earlier Lighthouse Stephenson's ...
Makes history interesting without any dumming down..
Chris
I must admit I was hoping for a bit more from this book, it does attempt to cover the topic of Wrecking in Britain in some detail but I fear it is suffering (like so many of its kind) from a lack of material.

The book contains alot of padding and some off topic issues such as Whales at the Natural History Museum which really have nothing to do with wrecking and were mentioned (I suspect) purely as a way of filling out another 30-40 pages.

Unfortunately I think the book's problem is that Wrecking
...more
Robert Beveridge
Bella Bathurst, The Wreckers: A Story of Killing Seas and Plundered Shipwrecks from the 18th Century to the Present Day (Houghton Mifflin, 2005)

While I was coming up with my Best Reads of 2009 list, I found that I'd somehow forgotten to write a review of Bella Bathurst's The Wreckers, the book which clocked in at #16 on that list. It's almost two months later, and I still haven't written that review. I finished the book back in October 2009, and I'm writing this on February 15, 2010. (Note: ther
...more
Tim C
This is an engaging and well-written book in which the author's own personality shines through. It ranges around the coast of Britain in a journalistic historical enquiry into shipwrecks and wrecking, pondering the definitions of each - legally, illegally, in terms of folklore and reality. In places it can be repetitious or ham up the history a little too journalistically (and one wonders what some of the author's interviewees must have made of her descriptions of them!), but overall it is a lyr ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

It's hard to write a nonfiction book with limited sources and no way to properly authenticate what you write. But award-winning Bathurst (The Lighthouse Stevensons) seems up to the task, impressing critics with the thoroughness of her research (she interviewed 200 people and read travelers' journals and newspaper reports) and the spirited way she integrates surprising facts, entertaining anecdotes, and fictional accounts. They also credited her with striking the right tone between whimsy and sen

...more
Duzzlebrarian
I really like this book.

The author strikes the exact balance between poetic description and factual recitation. She writes more about the history of "salvaging" than actual "wrecking" as such (stealing stuff from existing wrecks, as opposed to D-I-Y disasters). Each chapter focuses on a particular hazard, such as the Goodwin Sands and the Pentland Firth. The book has plentiful interviews with people actually involved in shipwrecks, which draws the past and the present into closer conjunction th
...more
Mark
Well, the subtitle explains a lot. Wreckers "salvage" the cargo and more valuable fittings of wrecked ships, sometimes doing so within the law but more often not, especially when they don't turn the goods over to the owners and ship insurers. Darker are the legends of causing the shipwrecks in the first place, for instance by placing false lights to misguide ships in stormy weather. Bathurst has done a great job of compiling a vast amount of research and telling the stories but she is unsuccessf ...more
Jane
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
The cover of this book claims it reaches from the 1700's into today and the subtitle on it certainly sounds like it's actually about people luring ships to their dooms. However, the majority of the book is dominated by wrecks that occurred within the last century, and they weren't run aground through foul play, no, they were 'salvaged' by the locals. The title is misleading. There were interesting pieces through the book, but overall, it wasn't really what I wanted and left me irritated and stil ...more
David R.
A bit anticlimactic. While terribly interesting from a geophysical standpoint, the book never lives up to its breathless promise. Bathurst documents some awful shipwrecks but most often just offhand accounts of "wreckers" nicking cigarettes and whiskey from doomed vessels. Even the legendary Cornish come off looking more like pub eccentrics than fearsome ship killers. A worthwhile read for afficianados of things maritime, but probably a snoozer for anyone else.
Jeani
This sounded fun and interesting on the jacket...unfortunately, that's where the neatness ended. It was very dry and more of an editorial on wreckage law and such than acn actual compliation of accounts.
Kathleen McRae
I enjoyed parts of this book and it had some new and rather interesting information. the writing was not always interesting and seem to jump erratically or was it meandering
Pam
Interesting historically but there was not enough information to make an interesting and readable book.
Mwil298
Covers only the British Islands but is interesting. Actually, this is the second time that I have read it.
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