There is always a good story in a shipwreck. The tales from survivors, or frequently from those who tried to rescue them, are often astonishing in the accounts of bravery and self-sacrifice they reveal. Britain's long maritime past can be traced through the shipwrecks off our coasts. The South Devon coast has a rich maritime past, which archaeologists have been able to link to the Bronze Age. Some of the oldest shipwrecks in Northern Europe lie off this coast and there is evidence of a seaborne prehistoric trade in metals and a later trade with Byzantium. Ships in the area helped transport troops to Brittany at the beginning of the Hundred Years War, four ships were sent to fight the Spanish Armada of 1588, and during the Second World War the area served as a staging post for the Normandy Landings. This guide, with original illustrations, is essential reading for coastal walkers and kayakers with an interest in good stories to accompany them. Rather than a blank canvas as they look out to sea, readers will be able to relive these gripping stories, seeing the shipwrecks in their mind's eye.
Jessica Berry has an MA in Maritime Archaeology from Flinders University, Australia. She now works for Bournemouth University excavating the Swash Channel Wreck. In February 2011 she set up the Maritime Archaeology Sea Trust (MAST) to research marine archaeology in the UK. Jessica Berry wrote newspaper and magazine articles in UK newspapers, mainly Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, Mail on Sunday, The Times, the Evening Standard and the Guardian. The illustrator, Jovan Djordjevic, is an accomplished artist, who has won contracts including Art on the Underground and has worked for many national papers.