Messages from the Sea

Letters and Notes from a Lost Era Found in Bottles and on Beaches Around the World
Compiled by Paul Brown
Hardback ISBN 9780995541207
Paperback ISBN 9780995541214
Also available as an eBook

www.messagesfromthesea.com

Messages from the Sea is a collection of found correspondence from a lost era of seafaring. These letters and notes were found washed ashore on beaches and bobbing in water, in corked glass bottles and wax-sealed boxes, inside the mouths of codfish and in the bellies of sharks, carved on pieces of wrecked ships and attached to the necks of seabirds. They tell tales of foundering ships, missing ocean liners and shipwrecked sailors, and contain moving farewells, romantic declarations and intriguing confessions. Some solve the mysteries of lost vessels and crews, while others create new mysteries yet to be solved.

The messages date from the late-19th and early-20th centuries, an era before ship-to-shore radio, when a vessel lost contact with the world once it disappeared over the horizon. For many seafarers, the message in a bottle was a vital and valuable form of communication. Found messages were published in national and local newspapers around the world (often in columns titled Messages from the Sea), from which the content of this book is drawn. Together, they demonstrate the brave, lonely and fragile nature of life on the ocean waves.

Included among these 100 messages are: a clue to the fate of the missing White Star liner Naronic; a murder confession found in a bottle off the White Cliffs of Dover; an update from John Franklin’s lost Arctic expedition; a poem about a newborn baby found inside an 11ft shark; an unlikely apology from fleeing fraudster Violet Charlesworth; evidence for the unnecessary loss of the steamship London with 220 souls; the truth behind the mysterious grave robbery of the Earl of Crawford; and a message from the deck of the sinking Titanic.

Each message is placed in context, where possible, with details of the vessel, sender and other circumstances, with attempts to solve the mysteries they present. Also included is an introductory essay on the history and importance of the message in a bottle.

Based on the website www.messagesfromthesea.com.

From the cover: “Messages from the Sea is a collection of letters and notes found washed ashore on beaches and bobbing in water, in corked bottles and wax-sealed boxes, carved onto wreckage and in the bellies of sharks. They tell of foundering ships, missing ocean liners and shipwrecked sailors, and contain moving farewells, romantic declarations and intriguing confessions. Some solve the mysteries of lost vessels and crews, while others create new mysteries yet to be solved. Dating from a lost era of seafaring, they demonstrate the brave, lonely and fragile nature of life on the ocean waves.”

Product details

Hardback ISBN 9780995541207, £15
Paperback ISBN 9780995541214, £10
Also available as an eBook
Published by Superelastic, September 2016

www.messagesfromthesea.com