Ships have histories that are interwoven with the human fabric of the maritime world. In the long nineteenth century these histories revolved around the re-invention of these once familiar objects in a period in which Britain became a major maritime power. This multi-disciplinary volume deploys different historical, geographical, cultural and literary perspectives to examine this transformation and to offer a series of interconnected considerations of maritime technology and culture in a period of significant and lasting change. Its ten authors reveal the processes involved through the eyes and hands of a range of actors, including naval architects, dockyard workers, commercial shipowners and Navy officers. By locating the ship's re-invention within the contexts of builders, owners and users, they illustrate the ways in which material elements, as well as scientific, artisan and seafaring ideas and practices, were bound together in the construction of ships' complex identities.

chapter |8 pages


Re-inventing the Ship in the Long Nineteenth Century
ByDon Leggett, Richard Dunn

chapter 1|16 pages

Symbolic Ships, Sail and Steam

ByChristopher Harvie

chapter 2|28 pages

‘This great national undertaking’

John Scott Russell, the Master Shipwrights and the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company
ByCrosbie Smith

chapter 3|18 pages

‘The Robinson Line of Boats’

Networks of Trust in a Nineteenth-century Shipping Company
ByOliver Carpenter

chapter 4|22 pages

Neptune’s New Clothes

Actors, Iron and the Identity of the Mid-Victorian Warship
ByDon Leggett

chapter 5|20 pages

The Health of Workers in the Royal Dockyard, Portsmouth

ByRichard Biddle

chapter 7|26 pages

‘Their brains over-taxed’

Ships, Instruments and Users
ByRichard Dunn

chapter 8|16 pages

Naval Culture and the Fleet Submarine, 1910–1917

ByDuncan Redford

chapter 9|36 pages

Nineteenth-Century American Warships

The Pursuit of Exceptionalist Design
ByWilliam M. McBride

chapter 10|10 pages


‘A Force to be Reckoned With’
ByAndrew Lambert