Eight Bells and Top Masts

Eight Bells and Top Masts : Diaries from a Tramp Steamer

3.8 (15 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$10.69

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


The time is the late 1950s. It is the end of an era. The end of the trade in which an old converted coal-burning ship with a Chinese crew and a handful of British officers would tramp from port to port, picking up cargo where it could, never knowing where it, and they, would be heading next. Christopher Lee, respected historian and author of the highly acclaimed BBC radio series, 'This Sceptred Isle', worked on these ships as a boy, growing up quickly as he tramped around the world. He worked with rough, strange and fascinating men and faithfully recorded all he saw and heard in diaries that form the basis for this riveting record.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 128 x 192 x 22mm | 181.44g
  • Headline Publishing Group
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0747264201
  • 9780747264200
  • 1,534,865

Review quote

'I loved it... it's beautifully written. It must be autobiographical because he knows sailing and the sea inside out and like you say it's a sort of lament for a lost era' 'He includes diary entries from the time, but they are wnderful. This sixteen-year-old biy has gone off with a song in his heart and the badge on his cap polished and he's terrifically naive...' '... magically evokes what life was like aboard a tramp steamer... has the delightful freshness and naivete of his boyish discovery of the world and its seamen and the discovery of vanishing British way of life' Key Reviews 'The book does come out as being a truthful one and I love books about ships and the sea, I'm a great fan of Patrick O'Brien and I used to read Conrad as a child. I loved it [Eight Bells and Top Masts] all. I loved all the descriptions' 'Viewing the times with wisdom and hindsight... particularly good on the rigid hierarchy of the seas' 'A funny, vivid, unsentimental, effortlessly informative book, highly recommended to seafarers both actual and imaginary' 'Lee's depiction of life on board ship is fascinating and often amusing, to be appreciated by armchair sailors everywhere' -- Mail on Sunday 20020421show more

About Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee read history at Cambridge University and subsequently joined the BBC where he became defence correspondent. He is the author of the highly acclaimed BBC Radio series 'This Sceptred Isle'.show more

Rating details

15 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 20% (3)
4 47% (7)
3 27% (4)
2 7% (1)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X