Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Top 5 - by Claire Mueller

This weeks Top 5 is courtesy of Claire at Harbour Master. Claire is a very talented stylist and shares my love for all things vintage and nautical - I hope you enjoy reading about her Top 5 Oceanographic Reading Material (from her library!)

1. The Tempest - William Shakespeare
My favourite Shakespeare, the play opens with the eponymous tempest running a ship aground on an island, which makes for pretty impressive stage productions. Plus, there's magic, drunkards and a cynical monster.

2. The History of Piracy - Philip Gosse
"Heark'ee me, Sirrah - you lousy, pittiful, ill look'd Dog!" If language like that wasn't enough this hefty tome offers the following (rather persuasive, I think) description of pirates: "The master pirate had to be able to handle his ship (in the beginning often an unseaworthy one until he could steal a better) in tempests and in fights, make his way disabled to sheltering harbours, control his unruly ruffians through disease and discontent, employ the arts of the diplomat to provide himself with a safe market on shore for his stolen wares. Men like these are rare, and few of the respectable professions can show more masterful personalities than those to be met at the top of the pirate tree".

3. Knots Useful & Ornamental - George Russell Shaw
Knots ARE useful, but I'd be a terrible sailor as can barely tie a bowline without instructions. Hence, this book is rarely far away.

4. Oceans - Edited by G.E.R. Deacon
A comprehensive survey of the oceans of the world, recounts of exploration and most excellent illustrations, including this one of a giant squid attacking a vessel. "Because giant squids can attain a length of fifty feet or more they have earned their reputation as 'sea monsters' ". Damn straight.

5. Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor - Meryvn Peake
This is a new copy, but the original book my father read as a child is one of my most prized treasures. Mervyn Peake's characters are swashbuckling and weird, depicted with the odd charm he does so well. A must read if looking at the fluff children read these days makes you weep for the future. Yo-ho!

Gaby & Claire xoxo


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