The Plimsoll Sensation

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In the second half of the nineteenth century, an astonishing campaign stirred a nation to save the lives of the hundreds of British sailors who were drowning unnecessarily every year. Overladen and ill-repaired ships set sail, their doomed crews sacrificed while mercenary shipowners profited from the insurance. Samuel Plimsoll blew the whistle on these scandalous practices, devoting his life to a campaign for maritime reform.

Plimsoll caught the public imagination: under his banner working men and women stood side by side with enlightened aristocrats and industrialists, their clamour almost toppling a prime minister.

The story of a Victorian philanthropist who reformed shipping laws, saved thousands of sailors' lives and became a national hero.


432 pages

Publisher: Abacus

ISBN: 978-0349117201