Books by Helen Doe

 

The First Atlantic Liner: Brunel's Great Western Steamship

The First Atlantic Liner: Brunel's Great Western Steamship

Amberley Publishing, July 2017

The Great Western is the least known of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s three ships, being overshadowed by the later careers of the Great Britain and the Great Eastern. However, the Great Western was the first great success, confounding the critics in becoming the fastest ship to steam continuously across the Atlantic, and began the era of luxury transatlantic liners. It was a bold venture by Brunel and his colleagues, who were testing the limits of known technology.

This book examines the businessmen, the shipbuilding committee and Brunel and looks at life on board for the crew and the passengers using diaries from the United States and England. The ship’s first voyage made headline news in New York and London and involved a race with the small steamship Sirius. The Great Western’s maiden voyage was a triumph, and this wooden paddle steamer became the wonder of her age. She linked antebellum New York with the London of Charles Dickens and the youthful Queen Victoria. The ship continued to carry the rich and the famous across the Atlantic for eighteen years.

Reviews of The First Atlantic Liner: Brunel's Great Western Steamship

"A lively account of life on board, based on reports from the contemporary press and from the diaries of British and American passengers" - The Book Bag

Fighter Pilot: The Life of Battle of Britain Ace Bob Doe

Fighter Pilot: The Life of Battle of Britain Ace Bob Doe

Buy online

Amberley Books, May 2015

In June 1940, at the age of twenty, Bob Doe believed himself to be the worst pilot in his squadron. Just three months later he was a highly decorated hero of the Battle of Britain. This is the story of the pilot who, in his own estimation, was not promising material for a fighter pilot. He left school at fourteen and had none of the qualifications or background of his fellow officers. But he found his place in the Battle of Britain, shooting down fourteen enemy aircraft and sharing in two others (he was the third highest scoring pilot of the Battle). He was unusual in achieving these victories in both Spitfires and Hurricanes. This biography  tells the story of Bob’s remarkable career, including his time in Burma leading an Indian Air Force squadron against the Japanese. He was a modest man who spoke for many veterans when he asked that they should not be considered as heroes but remembered for what they did. This book celebrates Bob’s achievements and also those of the men who fought alongside him. 

Reviews of Fighter Pilot: The Life of Battle of Britain Ace Bob Doe

"Probably the best biographical account I have read of anybody in any walk of life and I recommend it without reservation." - RAFHS Review 2017

Maritime History of Cornwall

Maritime History of Cornwall

University of Exeter Press, October 2014

Co editor and contributor with Professor P. Payton and Dr. A. Kennerley

A long awaited history of  this very maritime of places. Each period has a detailed introduction by the  three editors and is then followed by commissioned articles on specialist subjects such as the maritime dimensions of the Civil War in Cornwall, the early Duchy of Cornwall, the development of the ports, shipbuilding, steam, fishing, the tin trade and smuggling.

See Exeter Press website for more details

Winner of Holyer An Gof Award for best book on Industrial Heritage 2015

The History of Fowey Harbour: A Fair and Commodious Haven

The History of Fowey Harbour: A Fair and Commodious Haven

Truran, 2010

In the mediaeval period, Fowey was the most important port in Cornwall. Today it is still an important port for the export of china clay and a place for yachting, walking and holidays of various kinds. This book shows how the harbour developed over the centuries, telling the tale of the men and women who shaped the history and the ships that sailed from Fowey across the oceans.

An Introduction to the Maritime History of Cornwall

An Introduction to the Maritime History of Cornwall

Tor Mark Press, 2010

This is a brief introduction to a very large subject. To the casual observer Cornwall’s maritime history might be seen as consisting only of fishing, smuggling and wrecking, but for hundreds of years Cornwall was a very active maritime community trading across the world. This industry has defined the location and shape of many Cornish coastal towns. It is a world that has almost totally disappeared, except for the occasional sail loft, shipbuilding yard or master mariner’s house.

Buy this book from Bookends of Fowey.

Enterprising Women and Shipping in the Nineteenth Century

Enterprising Women and Shipping in the Nineteenth Century

Boydell & Brewer, 2009

Far from the genteel notion of nineteenth century businesswomen as milliners and dressmakers, this study shows that women could and did manage male businesses and manage men. Women invested in the expanding shipping industry throughout the late eighteenth and the nineteenth century and ran non-feminine businesses such as shipbuilding. This book shows that women in the period as capable business managers.

From Coastal Sail to Global Shipping: A History of the Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association

From Coastal Sail to Global Shipping: A History of the Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association

SIMSL, October 2009

Established in 1909, Steamship Mutual is one of the world’s top insurance clubs for P & I cover (Protection and Indemnity). P & I clubs are owned by the members who come together to mutually insure each others ships. They are non-profit-making and the day-to-day management is handled by a management company, in this case, Steamship Insurance Management Ltd. Steamship Mutual’s story is a fascinating one, taking it from a small group of coastal sailing ships in 1909 to today’s world of supertankers, cruise ships and ever larger container ships. The members represent all parts of the globe and shipowners of all nationalities work together to pool their risks.

See publisher's website for more details

Jane Slade of Polruan

Jane Slade of Polruan

Truran Books, 2002

Jane Slade of Polruan is an account of a family of shipbuilders in a small Cornish village over a hundred years. At the heart of the enterprise was Jane Slade, who took control of the family business on her husband’s death. She was the only woman shipbuilder in Cornwall and her legacy lived on through successive generations of shipbuilders, repairers and mariners, and in the ship named after her. Jane’s story inspired Daphne du Maurier’s first novel The Loving Spirit.

In this book the facts behind the fiction are related. The book is of considerable interest to both Daphne du Maurier fans, maritime historians and local historians. There is an index of the ships that the Slades built and the many local people who had shares in them. There is a detailed comparison of the fictional characters and their real counterparts. A previously unpublished letter by Daphne du Maurier is reproduced in full and gives a fascinating insight into the way she wove fact into fiction. The book is illustrated with contemporary prints and photographs; in addition there are new photographs taken by Christian du Maurier Browning, Daphne’s son, which capture the magical spirit of the Fowey estuary.

Buy this book from Truran Books.