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To sail the oceans needed skill as well as courage and experience, and the sea chart with, where appropriate, the coastal view, was the tool by which ships of trade, transport or conquest navigated their course. The Sea Chart looks at the history and development of the chart and the related nautical map, in both scientific and aesthetic terms, as a means of safe and accurate seaborne navigation. The Sea Chart is arranged along chronological and then geographical lines. Each of the ten chapters is split into two distinct halves examining the history of the charting of a particular region and the context under which such charting took place following which specific navigational charts and views together with other relevant illustrations are presented.
John Blake spent nearly seventeen years in the Royal Navy, including the role of navigator. In recent years has developed his intellectual licensing company Classics Licensing which was contracted in 1995 to represent the archives of the UK Hydrographic Office, the largest collection of maritime cartography in the world. He is also a keen maritime historian and writes and lectures internationally on the subject.