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The Long Voyage Home

By Tim Madge

Tim Madge delves deep into the early part of this century to discover why the sea has always been such a lure, and why such romance has grown up around it when conditions on board were truly appalling for the men, and little better for the officers.

First-hand accounts vividly describe the hardships of the life of a seafarer, both in peacetime and at war, contrasting the experiences and treatment of men from 1900 to the present. Madge charts the dramatic decline in the fortunes of the British fleet, both merchant and naval, and examines the psychological and economic implications for Britain, accustomed as she once was to ‘ruling the waves’.

Long Voyage Home captures the voices of a breed of men who are now all but extinct, as technological change rips though a way of life, and sailorless ships become a reality.

Tim Madge is a social historian, lecturer and journalist. He is the author of a number of books, including Maiden (with Tracy Edwards) and White Mischief, subsequently turned into a BBC Radio Four documentary series which he wrote and presented. Dr Madge is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

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