Home' Work Boat World : Work Boat World Feb 2017 Contents CAPITALISM AND CARTOGRAPHY IN
THE DUTCH GOLDEN AGE
By Elizabeth A. Sutton
The Dutch "Golden Age" is generally regarded as
having been the first half of the seventeenth
century. Others may argue that the "noughties"
have been even more golden for the Dutch, particularly for their
Whatever, as Ms Sutton so elegantly and comprehensively
explains in her little book, the Dutch Golden Age saw a flowering of
capitalism, of merchant adventure and of art, politics and religion. It
was certainly a time of almost unbelievable progress and, for many,
Building upon the earlier explorations and merchant adventures
of the Portuguese and Spanish in the Americas and Asia, the Dutch,
particularly through the Dutch West India Company, proved beyond
doubt the worth of combining state and private capitalism. They
were generally much better businessmen than the Iberians.
The author, who trained as an art historian, has drawn together
the growth of the Dutch commercial empire and the parallel and
symbiotic development of increasingly accurate maps and sea charts.
It makes for a fascinating and very exciting version of history.
Available from The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.
MISTRESS OF SCIENCE
The Story of the Remarkable Janet Taylor,
Pioneer of Sea Navigation
By JOHN S. CROUCHER & ROSALIND F.
A remarkable biography of a remarkable woman.
Janet Taylor (nee Jane-Ann Ionn) was a mathematical prodigy
who benefited from an unusually first rate education in the early
nineteenth century. That education led to an obsessive
fascination with mathematics and navigation. That, in turn,
provided the foundations of a successful business as a nautical
instrument maker and chart and pilot merchant.
The authors have personalised a fascinating and, fortunately, well
documented life to remind readers of a long forgotten but very
important contributor to the development of precise navigation
techniques and equipment.
Like most pioneers, particularly female ones in the nineteenth
century, Janet Taylor was possessed of an overwhelming
determination that enabled her almost freakish knowledge and
inventiveness to be very effectively commercialised. It was a time
when women were very much considered to have been born purely
for the purpose of being wives and mothers. The idea of a female
having a career and, even more, of developing a business, was
completely foreign in contemporary British society.
Taylor was a great achiever who contributed significantly to the
development of the British, and later global, maritime industry. It is
important that her life has been celebrated and remembered so well.
Available from Amberley Publishing, Stroud, UK.
UNDER A BLOOD RED SUN
The Remarkable Story of PT Boats in the
Philipines and the Rescue of General
By JOHN J. DOMAGALSKI
This book actually delivers much more than its
sub-title promises. It is a really good history of
the Japanese conquest of the Philippines at the end of 1941
and in early 1942 as well as the escape of Douglas MacArthur
and a chosen few others.
Based on the acclaimed and very popular They Were
Expendable by William White which was written in 1942 in
conjunction with the PT Boat Squadron Commander John
Bulkeley, who had become something of a celebrity, this book
gives a much broader description of the whole action.
It also provides much food for thought given the current
geopolitical situation in the South China Sea. The United States
was badly unprepared for war in 1941 and seems to now be
forgetting the lessons that were so hard learnt then. The book
should be widely read by American, Australian, Filipino and
Japanese politicians and defence planners.
An excellent book published very presciently.
Available from Casemate Publishers, Oxford, UK.
COAST -- TASMANIA
Seascapes from the Roaring Forties
By ANDREW WILSON
Having spent (misspent?) three years of his
long distant youth in Australia's island state
of Tasmania, your reviewer is very familiar with the content of
this big and beautiful book.
Sailing, fishing, hiking, flying and driving around and over the
island, your reviewer is also fortunate enough to have been to
practically all the places pictured. He has also met a number of the
"rum 'uns" or characters mentioned.
Tasmania is different, very different. The author makes that
abundantly clea r. It is a very special and very bea utiful place
peopled by very different and very special people.
The author is an excellent photographer who has an instinctive
feel for the special places and people that Tasmania comprises. For
anyone who has visited or lived in Tasmania, this book makes a
brilliant souvenir or keepsake. For those unfortunate enough to
have never been there, it provides a delicious taste of what they
A very reasonably priced work of art.
Available from Everything Everything and Fullers Bookshop Publishing,
Hobart, Australia. Web: www.everythingeverything.com.au
PUT NOT YOUR TRUST IN PRINCES
-from Bannockburn to the Burdekin by sea
By DENIS GALLAGHER
The title of this book is used by the author with
considerable and well-justified feeling. As a
young and middle-aged man he experienced the
sad and rapid decline of the British maritime
industry. He saw very clearly the major causes of that decline
and he describes them well here.
He was also fortunate to experience the equally rapid and very
exciting rise of maritime Asia. I suspect that more than made up
for his sorrow at Britain's decline. He most certainly has lived in
interesting times. Fortunately for his readers, he is, like many
master mariners, an excellent observer and is particularly literate.
This record of his life's -- mainly maritime -- experiences is a
really valuable history as well as being a "how to" or "how not to"
book of excellent, practical business advice. Indeed, it is one of the
better business books ever read by this reviewer.
It covers a lot of sub-subjects but it covers them very well. If
you want to learn about the post war shipping industry in Britain,
Asia, the South Pacific and Australia, warts and all, this is the book
Available from Avid Publications, Flintshire, UK and Ocean Shipping,
Web: www.AvidPublications.co.uk or www.oceanshipping.com.au
36 February 2017 WORK BOAT WORLD
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