The Down Easters: a Classic Maritime History Book

The Down Easters: a Classic Maritime History Book

The Down Easters, written by Basil Lubbock, is a classic maritime history book that explores the fascinating world of the American clipper ships in the mid-19th century. Published in 1929, the book provides an in-depth look into the construction, design, and operation of these fast and sleek sailing vessels, which revolutionized the shipping industry and played a significant role in the development of global trade.

Lubbock, who was a noted British author and historian, spent several years researching and compiling the information for this book, and it shows in the detailed and comprehensive coverage of the subject matter. The book is divided into several chapters, each of which covers a specific aspect of the clipper ship's design and operation, including the construction of the ships, the rigging and sails, the crew and their daily life on board, and the famous races that were held between rival ships.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is Lubbock's account of the competition between American and British shipbuilders during the mid-19th century. The American clipper ships were known for their speed and maneuverability, and they quickly gained a reputation as the fastest ships on the seas. The British, who had long dominated the shipping industry, were caught off guard by the American's success and quickly began to invest heavily in their own clipper ship industry.

Lubbock's writing is engaging and informative, and he manages to bring to life the excitement and drama of life on board a clipper ship. He describes the dangerous conditions that the crew faced, including the risk of capsizing in rough seas or being caught in a sudden storm. He also provides vivid descriptions of the different types of cargo that the ships carried, including tea, opium, and spices, and the importance of these goods to the global economy.

Overall, The Down Easters is a must-read for anyone interested in maritime history or the history of American commerce. Lubbock's writing is engaging and informative, and his passion for the subject matter is evident on every page. Whether you are a seasoned sailor or just an armchair adventurer, this book will take you on a journey through time to a world of adventure, competition, and discovery.

A 1953 edition is available at Duckwells, please sign up for our newsletter to be updated when new inventory arrives.