Shire Publications, Paperback, 9780747811701, 64pp.
Publication Date: April 17, 2012
List Price: $12.95*
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All the romance of travel at sea is captured in the long history of P&O. From humble beginnings in the 1830s, The Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company grew to dominate British mercantile shipping for much of the 19th, and a good deal of the 20th, centuries. Initially the company's paddle steamers carried Her Majesty's Mail, as the name implies, to the Iberian Peninsular, but over time P&O extended its routes across the Mediterranean, and onwards to the Middle East, Far East and Australasia. Besides the mail P&O liners carried specie, as well as such commodities as silk, tea, and even opium And then there were the passengers - colonial officers, the military, planters, traders, big game hunters, pilgrims, missionaries, emigrants, Monarchs and Maharajah, along with their wives, children and nannies; not forgetting the 'fishing fleet' - young ladies venturing east to catch a husband. P&O came to represent the British Empire at sea, and as the Empire waned, and Britain took to the air, so a golden age of travelling by sea came to an end. This new book delves into the P&O archives to take a nostalgic glance astern at all those who travelled P&O.