The Transportation Library has acquired Ships & Shipping in Medieval Manuscripts , by Joe Flatman. Here is a description of the book from the publisher's Web site:
It was a period of unprecedented technological progress: within just a few centuries, the Viking rowboat evolved into the multidecked, full-rigged carrack. Despite such rapid advance, many marine miniatures reflect the technological realities with surprising accuracy.
To unravel the realities - and equally illuminating myths - of the maritime world, Flatman first explores its multi-layered symbolism, essentially Christian, but rooted in pagan culture. Analysing positive and negative symbols, he highlights a recurrent dichotomy between life-giving freshwater and death-dealing saltwater, reflected in sharply contrasting scenes.
Turning to the realities, Flatman examines the extraordinary advances in shipping and naval warfare, alongside an expanding maritime culture with distinct 'marine zones', graphically illustrated by many fascinating glimpses of seafaring society at work and play.
Vividly brought to life with 150 diverse images Ships and Shipping in Medieval Manuscripts paints a vibrant picture of maritime life during an era of unprecedented expansion.