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BREVERTON’S NAUTICAL CURIOSITIES – A BOOK OF THE SEA

Quercus/Hachette, Rowman & Littlefield USA

384pp

HB Illus

2010

vale_glamorgan.jpg

BREVERTON’S NAUTICAL CURIOSITIES - A BOOK OF THE SEA April 2010 384pp – hardback illustrated Quercus UK, and as BREVERTON’S NAUTICAL COMPENDIUM Globe Pequot USA 2010

GOOD BOOK GUIDE October 2010

Anyone who loves the sea or has marvelled at its peculiarities will find a treasure of delights in Terry Breverton’s book. Encyclopaedic in its scope, it embraces everything you could want to know about the oceans, from Anchors to Zanzibar. Among the oddities you will find here is the origin of the expression ‘son of a gun.’ This related to children who were born aboard ship when the only maternity facilities were the spaces between the guns. So any boy child born at sea became known as a ‘son of a gun.’ Sea slang has a section all to itself, with explanations for ‘shipshape and Bristol fashion’, ‘sling your hook’ and ‘swing the lead.’ Other sections include the minutiae of life at sea, villains of the seas, and the ocean environment. Breverton has included many information panels that are nuggets in themselves. The book is easy to read, and as full of nautical information as you would wish to find.

This hardback book is truly fascinating. You don’t need to have fins or webbed feet to enjoy it to its full potential either. The explanations of sea slang are a real joy as I’m sure you’ve heard of the sayings ‘bite the bullet’, ‘hit the deck’, ‘hunky dory’, ‘loose cannon’, ‘over a barrel’, ‘piping hot’ and ‘sling your hook’? These examples just scratch the surface of phrases we use all the time, originating at sea. For the nautical minded, there is a section describing the parts of a ship, so that you too will know the difference between port and starboard, hull, beam, bridge and stateroom. Add to this the section on who did want and who does what at sea, and you can then add the characters to your knowledge map learning about the roles of admiral, master, mate or first sea lord. Finally, we have sections upon food and drink, famous battles dating back to 405BCE and sea fishing and wildlife. No book on the sea would be complete without mentioning explorers, pirates, heroes and tragic deaths. If you’re into pub quizzes, this book will supply you with gallons of knowledge. If you’re into nature, you will love discovering the answers to tricky questions such as why is the sea salty? Or alternatively, it’s just a well thought out read. Clearly laid out and using small sketches and type in blue (blue for sea?) ink, this is a gripping book and at 384 pages will keep you entertained.’ ‘A quirky compendium of weird and wonderful creations immortalised by legend, a vast cornucopia of curiosities, entreatingThis hardback book is truly fascinating. Clearly laid out and using small sketches and type in blue (blue for sea?) ink, this is a gripping book and at 384 pages will keep you entertained.’

BURTON MAIL (USA) 9 October 2010

[– full page feature, includes the following]: ‘This hardback book is truly fascinating. You don’t need to have fins or webbed feet to enjoy it to its full potential either. The explanations of sea slang are a real joy as I’m sure you’ve heard of the sayings ‘bite the bullet’, ‘hit the deck’, ‘hunky dory’, ‘loose cannon’, ‘over a barrel’, ‘piping hot’ and ‘sling your hook’? These examples just scratch the surface of phrases we use all the time, originating at sea. For the nautical minded, there is a section describing the parts of a ship, so that you too will know the difference between port and starboard, hull, beam, bridge and stateroom. Add to this the section on who did want and who does what at sea, and you can then add the characters to your knowledge map learning about the roles of admiral, master, mate or first sea lord. Finally, we have sections upon food and drink, famous battles dating back to 405BCE and sea fishing and wildlife. No book on the sea would be complete without mentioning explorers, pirates, heroes and tragic deaths. If you’re into pub quizzes, this book will supply you with gallons of knowledge. If you’re into nature, you will love discovering the answers to tricky questions such as why is the sea salty? Or alternatively, it’s just a well thought out read. Clearly laid out and using small sketches and typed in blue (blue for sea?) ink, this is a gripping book and at 384 pages will keep you entertained.’

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