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Cutty Sark The Last of the Tea Clippers by Eric Kentley, The Cutty Sark Trust

Cutty Sark The Last of the Tea Clippers


Sue Baker's view...

Launched in 1869 and working on into the 1920’s, the Cutty Sark (meaning a short shift or petticoat (Scots from Robert Burns)) is a remarkable and beautiful survivor from the age of sail. Eric Kentley tells her full story, the Tea races home from China, a move into the Australian wool trade as steam ships took over the tea trade to her eventual rescue and preservation. This is a very well-illustrated book documenting the Cutty Sark at sea and in her dry dock home at Greenwich.

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Who is Sue Baker

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. The Cutty Sark is evocative of a moment in history when trading conditions, technology and competition conspired to produce unique vessels. This complete account of her adventures and misadventures contains specially commissioned photography and images from the ship’s entire life. Much more than a list of dates, places, events and facts, Kentley’s intimate understanding of the ship and his enthusiasm gives the book an engaging depth. His description of the officers and crew gives a context and background, his inclusion of ‘Views from the inside’ during the conservation project that ended in 2012 make fascinating reading, and give varied and alternative professional perspectives on a unique and demanding project. Producing a definitive work on a national treasure is a considerable challenge; one Dr Kentley has met in style with admirable skill and balance.
~ John Murphie


Cutty Sark The Last of the Tea Clippers by Eric Kentley, The Cutty Sark Trust

The first history of this square-rigged survivor for over a generation presenting numerous new findings and insights following the catastrophic fire that drew global headlines in 2007 * Includes rare and previously unpublished historical images from the ship's collections and those of the National Maritime Museum A brand new volume describing the eventful history of one of the world's most famous and celebrated ships from her construction at Dumbarton in 1869, her famous tea voyages as well as those with other cargoes, through to a career under a Portuguese flag and subsequent return to the Thames, Greenwich, the dramatic fire, painstaking restoration and glorious reopening in April 2012. The book has been developed from the outset with the Cutty Sark Trust and takes the form of a chronological career narrative but also presents detailed features on crew accounts, log entries, pieces on seamanship, ports and cargoes and broader tall ship culture as well as an opportunity to focus on artifacts and the fittings of the ship. This unique opportunity allows the first publication of specially commissioned photography created as part of, and subsequent to, the clipper's restoration as well as the findings of resulting research.

About the Author

Dr Eric Kentley was formerly a curator at the National Maritime Museum, in a variety of roles from ethnographer to Head of Ship Technology and Corporate Planner. After 16 years he moved to London's Design Museum as Assistant Director, responsible for the museum's curatorial and education programming. Since going freelance at the end of 2001, he has specialised in interpretation projects. His involvement with Cutty Sark began in 2003 when he assisted with the development of the plans for the conservation of the ship and he went on to play a major role in the interpretation of the ship, including authoring the exhibition content. Eric is the author of several books, including Eyewitness Boat, Cornwall's Bridge and Viaduct Heritage and Discover the Titanic. He lives in south London.

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Book Info

Publication date

9th October 2014


Eric Kentley, The Cutty Sark Trust

More books by Eric Kentley, The Cutty Sark Trust
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Conway an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


192 pages


Maritime history

Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900
Shipping industries



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