Australian journalist Alan Villiers sailed on the last of the giant merchant windjammers during the 1920s and 1930s. Drawn from his private diaries, the book explores the talented man who crewed on magnificent Herzogin Cecilie, part-owned the Grain Race winner Parma, sailed the tiny ship Joseph Conrad around the world, voyaged with Arabian traders, commanded Allied landing craft in World War II, captained the Mayflower replica across the Atlantic, and inspired modern sail training and ship-preservation schemes.
Villiers' major works include Falmouth For Orders, By Way of Cape Horn, Voyage of the Parma, Cruise of the Conrad, Sons of Sindbad, The Set of the Sails, Quest of the Schooner Argus, Give Me a Ship to Sail, Posted Missing, Captain Cook: the Seaman's Seaman and The War with Cape Horn.
The biography Alan Villiers: Voyager of the Winds, first published in
2009 by the National
Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK, and the UNSW
Press, won the
Mountbatten Maritime Award.
The Awards Committee stated:
“For her truly illuminating biography of Alan Villiers, a complex and sometime difficult man who had an immense influence on the popular understanding of voyaging under sail. Voyager of the Winds is outstandingly researched and beautifully written as it unfurls the true character of this extraordinary seafarer.”
|"A delightful warts-and-all biography of one of the world's most notable chroniclers of seafaring life. A prickly perfectionist, Villiers made plenty of enemies but he also enjoyed the support and backing of many others. His memorial is still to be found in libraries all over the world ... This fine biography does him proud."|
|"Emphasising the vast differences between his published and private words, [Lance] writes more about his private life than he did in his autobiography, and speculates on the inner qualities of her subject. She is clear-eyed about his flaws and virtues ... The result is a book that draws in even a landlubber."|
|"This book should be read by anyone who ever read a Villiers book or who loves sailing ships and real life adventure. I congratulate author Kate Lance on this achievement and worthy addition to my maritime library."|
"I bought both Redbill and the Alan Villiers biography as soon as I discovered
them. I was not disappointed. Kate Lance is a meticulous researcher, so these
books are not just the retelling of stories and material already in the hands
of serious students of the age of sail. The author uses her considerable
insight into human nature to interpret both stories in a most readable style."
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