The Regiment for the Sea and Other Writings on Navigation

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Author: Bourne, William (c1535-1582) edited by E G R Taylor

Year: 1963

Publisher: Hakluyt Society, by Cambridge University Press

Place: Cambridge


xxxv+464 pages 12 plates, including frontispiece, 5 maps, one of which folds out, appendixes, bibliography and index. Octavo (8 3/4" x 6") bound in original publisher's blue cloth with gilt lettering to spine and pictorial representation of the ship Victoria embossed on front cover with cover edges blind stamped in original jacket. Edited by E G R Taylor. Works issued by the Hakluyt Society, second series, volume 121. First edition.

William Bourne, of Gravesend, by trade a gunner, was a successful writer of a new type of textbook. Neither a scholar not of gentle birth, both of which were regarded as the prerequisites of authorship in the sixteenth century, when scientific books were expected to appear only in universities and to be read only by those fluent in Latin, Bourne nevertheless produced a whole series of technical manuals, written in English for the artisans and craftsmen of his own class. A Regiment for the Sea, which forms the core of the volume, is perhaps the earliest technical manual written by an Englishman. It is not simply his rules for navigation, for Bourne wrote much as he spoke, so that out of this instruction book for sailors a clear picture of the man himself emerges: serious, reliable, patriotic and with this inborn impulse to pass on his knowledge to others. The first edition of 1574 is printed here in full, with the additional material which was added to the 1580 edition. Taylor has also included two Almanackes. She has written an introductory section to each text, and in her General Introduction she fills in the details of Bourne's life and discusses his various writings.


Pages uncut, corners bumped. Jacket spine soiled and sunned, edges sunned. A better than very good copy in like jacket.

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