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

The Wreckers: A Story of Killing Seas, False Lights and Plundered Ships (Trade Paperback / Paperback, New title)

By Bathurst, Bella

From the bestselling author of The Lightouse Stevensons, a gripping history of the drama and danger of wrecking since the eighteenth century -- and the often grisly ingenuity of British wreckers, scavengers of the sea. A fine wreck has always represented sport, pleasure, treasure..., and in many cases, the difference between living well and just getting by. The Cornish were supposed to be so ferocious that notice of shipwrecks were given out during morning service by the minister, whilst the congregation spent their time concocting elaborate theological justifications for drowning the survivors. Treeless islanders relied on the harvest of storms to furnish themselves with rafters, boat hulls, fence-posts and floors. In other places, false lights were set up with grisly ingenuity along the coast to lure boats into destruction. With romance, insight and dry wit, Bella Bathurst traces the history of wrecking, looting and salvaging since the eighteenth century and leading up to the present day. 'For a fully laden general cargo to run to ground in an accessible position is more or less like having Selfridges crash-land in your back garden,' she writes, 'a Selfridges with the prices removed'. Far from being a black-and-white crime, wrecking is often seen as opaque by its practitioners -- the divisions between theft and recovery are small. No successful legal prosecution has ever been brought; the RNLI was founded by wreckers -- even today lifeboat crews maintain the right to claim salvage; and since the sinking of the Cita in 1997, the inhabitants of the Scilly Isles have a startling propensity to sport Ben Sherman shirts. In these murky tales of grisly ingenuity and quick-witted opportunism, The Wreckers opens a beguiling vista of life at the rough edges of our land and legality.
Read more

ISBN 9780007207404
Released NZ 6 Jun 2005
Publisher HarperCollins Publishers
Format Trade Paperback/Paperback, New title
Alternate Format(s) View All (3 other possible title(s) available)
Out of print

Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780007207404
Stock Out of stock
Status Out of print
Publisher HarperCollins Publishers
Imprint HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Released 6 Jun 2005
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Trade Paperback/Paperback, New title
Edition New title
Author(s) By Bathurst, Bella
Category Maritime History
Number of Pages 352
Dimensions Width: 135mm
Height: 216mm
Dewey Code 910.452
Weight Not specified - defaults to 600g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
NBS Text History: Specific Subjects
ONIX Text General/trade