• Sons of the Waves

  • The Common Seaman in the Heroic Age of Sail
  • By: Stephen Taylor
  • Narrated by: Matthew Waterson
  • Length: 13 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (43 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $20.99

Buy for $20.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

A brilliant telling of the history of the common seaman in the age of sail and his role in Britain's trade, exploration, and warfare

British maritime history in the age of sail is full of the deeds of officers like Nelson but has given little voice to plain, "illiterate" seamen. Now, Stephen Taylor draws on published and unpublished memoirs, letters, and naval records, including court-martials and petitions, to present these men in their own words. 

In this exhilarating account, ordinary seamen are far from the hapless sufferers of the press gangs. Proud and spirited, learned in their own fashion, with robust opinions and the courage to challenge overweening authority, they stand out from their less adventurous compatriots.

Taylor demonstrates how the sailor was the engine of British prosperity and expansion up to the Industrial Revolution. From exploring the South Seas with Cook to establishing the East India Company as a global corporation, from the sea battles that made Britain a superpower to the crisis of the 1797 mutinies, these "sons of the waves" held the nation's destiny in their calloused hands.

©2020 Stephen Taylor (P)2020 Tantor

More from the same

What listeners say about Sons of the Waves

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    31
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    33
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Navy Guy Recommends this Title

This subject is of particular interest to me. A Factual glimpse into the life and times the of the working sailor during the British Golden Age of Sail. Narrator has an excellent cadence in "BBC-English". No voice acting in this book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A Good Listen But Could be Shorter

This was a pretty good read. I find the life and customs of 18 and 19 century Royal British Sailors fascinating. This books gives an excellent treatment of the the subject matter. I did think that the author could have been lighter on some topics and heavier on others.

The narrator for most of the book mispronounced forecastle throughout the book which was slightly irksome.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Andrew Davies
  • Andrew Davies
  • 06-30-20

Disappointing

The book was spoiled by poor narration. The tempo was universally flat and frequent, repeated, mispronunciation of even everyday words was initially irritating and eventually became jarring and detracted from the overall enjoyment of what could otherwise have been an absorbing subject.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for martinhp5
  • martinhp5
  • 06-29-20

A fascinating history let down by narration

A well researched and enjoyable history drawing on first hand accounts by ordinary seaman. However this audiobook is let down by the narrator who takes up an almost robotic and fast-paced style. I note that the narrator has the "highway code" in his list of audiobooks. I would have preferred a little less highway code style and a little more measured personality which would of helped to bring the book alive. I would reccommend reading rather than listening to this excellent book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for josh mcintyre
  • josh mcintyre
  • 02-26-21

Wonderful sea adventures from the age of sail

Thoroughly Enjoyed this collection of epic adventures. Anyone who loves old shops will love this book.
Many thanks to the author.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Robert Giles
  • Robert Giles
  • 06-01-20

Brilliantly presented

A fascinating story of a moment in history rapidly being forgotten. Heartbreaking stories of the press gang and slavery blended with inspirational stories of valour and comradeship, with quite a dose of rogue like endeavour.