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Sentinels of the Sea

A Miscellany of Lighthouses Past

R. G. Grant

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An evocative and engaging volume that chronicles and celebrates the golden age of the lighthouse

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Lighthouses have always unsettled and attracted in equal measure, highlighting the triumphs and failures in humanity’s battle with the forces of nature. Taking as its heroes the lighthouses themselves, Sentinels of the Sea describes the engineering genius that allowed their construction on even the smallest of rock outcrops and the innovations that made the lights so powerful and reliable.

Intricate, elegant architectural plans and elevations, and evocative period drawings and photographs showcase the innovative designs and technologies behind 100 historic lighthouses built around the world from the 18th to the 20th century. R.G. Grant’s engaging and authoritative text chronicles the incredible feats of engineering and endurance that brought these iconic, isolated towers into being, the advances in lens technology that made the lights so effective, and the everyday routines of the lighthouse keepers and the heroic rescues that many performed. Packed with extraordinary stories of human endeavour, desperate shipwrecks, builders defying the elements and heroic sea rescues, the book also reveals the isolation and vulnerability of the dedicated lighthouse keepers.

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'These solitary towers staring out to sea are more than their function; they stand as landmarks of human endurance, endeavour and ingenuity'
Jeanette Winterson, Daily Telegraph

'R.G. Grant brings the history of lighthouses to life with effortless storytelling verve … this comprehensive volume is a fitting tribute to their romantic appeal'
Boat International

'Lavishly illustrated on high quality paper … an excellent addition to the library or anyone interested in marine history'
Insurance Marine News

'Absorbing ... A beautiful object. The book’s 408 illustrations, many in colour, fit beautifully with its words … This miscellany is indeed a book to dip into and return to'
Times Literary Supplement

'A happy celebration of marine engineering'
Irish Times

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Quarterbound/PLC (with jacket)

Size: 29.7 x 19.0 cm

Extent: 160 pp

Illustrations: 408

Publication date: 19 April 2018

ISBN: 9780500519769

Contents List

Prologue: The Saga of the Eddystone Light • 1. Wonders of the World: A Brief History of the Lighthouse • 2. Defying the Elements: The Perilous Business of Lighthouse Business • 3. A Light in the Darkness: The Evolution of Lights and Lenses • 4. Keepers of the Light: Splendours and Miseries of the Lighthouse Crews • Epilogue: The End of an Era

About the Author

R.G. Grant is a historian and writer whose numerous publications include Battle at Sea: 3,000 Years of Naval Warfare. He was also a significant contributor to the ITV Visual History of the Twentieth Century and Journey: An Illustrated History of Travel, and a consultant on Dorling Kindersley’s The History Book.

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