If you are a member, log in to receive member pricing
Practical Navigation in the Age of Discovery
  • ISBN/SKU: 9781591143765
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Era: Age of Discovery
  • Number of Pages: 256
  • Subject: History
  • Date Available: October 2011
If you are a member, log in to receive member pricing
$29.95 List Price
Clear The Decks Price*
$5.99 Member Price
Full Description:

Voyage to Jamestown explores how sea navigation was accomplished during the era of discovery. Navigational methods and tools are presented within the setting of their use during a sea voyage of the period. While this voyage features a fictional crew and ship, it is carefully reconstructed from actual events, circumstances, narratives, and historical figures, which demonstrates the challenges of marine navigation within the cultural experience of people who actually traveled the oceans centuries ago. The fictional voyage follows the merchant galleon Guyft from Bristol, England, to Virginia in 1611, captained by Tristram Hame. With this narrative technique, the reader can absorb seafaring and navigation as practiced in the seventeenth century as if they were on board the ship. Navigational theory, methods, and instrumentation of the era are all engagingly presented within economic, political, scientific, and religious contexts to portray how the early navigator experienced his world.

Robert D. Hicks is currently Director, Mütter Museum/Historical Medical Library in Philadelphia, PA.

~ Praise for Voyage to Jamestown ~

“…This is a book well worth reading, especially for newcomers to the subject, though learned scholars can benefit from it also, for it is difficult to master all the subjects covered by the book…”

International Journal of Maritime History

"An interesting approach that works very well. The author describes much more of the voyage than just the principles and practices of navigation that it involved. An excellent way to learn how the once arcane practice of navigation developed."

AUSMarine, August 2012

"Hick's approach to the narrative of Captain Hame and the voyage of the Guyft is both readable and unconventional. Casual readers will find the fictional narrative easy to digest when suddenly immersed within the social, political, and economic setting of the seventeenth-century voyage. Stylistically, too, the storytelling remains unbroken and the single character of Hame is easy to follow and comprehend. In addition to learning the uses of navigational tools by Hame's side, the reader becomes familiarized with the character's perceptions of the world and his place in that world. Voyage to Jamestown will undoubtedly serve as a necessary introduction to early navigation for the nostalgic, the student, or the enthusiast."

Nautical Research Journal, Autumn 2012

Voyage to Jamestown is a book that will fascinate a variety of audiences: those interested in history, readers with and interest in astronomy, or just those interested in vicariously sailing the seventeenth century Atlantic.”

Naval History Book Reviews from the Navy Historical Foundation, 10 April 2012

“Mathematics and geometry are not my strengths, but I thoroughly enjoyed this voyage into the realm of seventeenth-century navigation and sailing. Hicks provides readers with a fascinating glimpse into the maritime world, as well as the society in which these seafarers lived when not at sea. Anyone who wants to learn more about sailing in the past will enjoy this journey.”

Pirates and Privateers

“All in all, here is a salty volume for armchair sailors who love widgets.”

— The Washington Times

Voyage to Jamestown is a book that will fascinate a variety of audiences: Those interested in history, readers with and interest in astronomy, or just those interested in vicariously sailing the 17th century Atlantic.”

The Galveston Daily News, January 29, 2012

“This book’s imaginative approach offers the reader a fascinating window onto the mind of a seventeenth century ship master. With a thorough grounding in historical scholarship, Robert Hicks has taken an intriguingly holistic approach that describes navigation and its associated practices in a persuasively all-encompassing way.”

—RICHARD DUNN, Curator of the History of Navigation, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

“In Voyage to Jamestown, Robert Hicks draws from actual ships’ logs, seamen’s manuals, charter parties, cosmographical tracts, and other sources to deftly weave together the stories of a fictional Captain Tristram Hame and the crew and passengers on a merchant galleon, Guyft, sailing from Bristol to Jamestown in 1611. Hicks brings to life the rhythm of shipboard activities, the use of navigational instruments, the social networks at sea and on shore, the economic imperatives of piracy, and the capriciousness of weather. I know of no other book that immerses readers so effectively in the world of mariners and navigational techniques in the early seventeenth century. This book will be essential reading in courses touching on navigation, colonization, and exploration of the period.”

—SARA J. SCHECHNER, David P. Wheatland Curator of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Harvard University

Voyage to Jamestown explains early seventeenth-century navigation in clear and understandable language without doing a concession to academic credibility. I recommend it to readers interested in the history of navigation who would normally skip that subject for fear of the mathematics involved; they will not be disappointed.”

—W. F. J. MÖRZER BRUYNS, author of The Cross-Staff: History and Development of a Navigational Instrument

“For many writers on maritime and colonial history, the sea is often just a ‘flyover zone.’ But Robert Hicks drags you from the quayside and really puts you on deck with the ship’s master. During the whole voyage you stand next to him and learn the tools and practical skills necessary to navigate a ship across the Atlantic to Virginia. You also get to know his professional and religious background and understand the dangers of the voyage, the anxieties of those on board, and the often difficult decisions the master has to make. The book is not just a well-written narrative, but also based on very solid scholarship.”

—DIEDERICK WILDEMAN, Curator of Navigation and Library Collections, Het Scheepvaartmuseum (National Maritime Museum of the Netherlands, Amsterdam)

Customer Reviews
Average Customer Reviews


Conferences and Events

Maritime Security Dialogue

Tue, 2016-08-09

  You are cordially invited to Maritime Security Dialogue A discussion with General Robert B. Neller, USMC Commandant, U.S....

2016 Naval History Conference

WEST 2017

San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA

View All

From the Press

Meet the Authors & Book Signing

Fri, 2016-08-05

Guest Speaker

Mon, 2016-08-08

CDR Youssef H. Aboul-Enein, USN

Why Become a Member of the U.S. Naval Institute?

As an independent forum for over 135 years, the Naval Institute has been nurturing creative thinkers who responsibly raise their voices on matters relating to national defense.

Become a Member Renew Membership