Under Canadian Pacific’s red-and-white-checkered flag, the company’s founders, George Stephen and William C. Van Horne, created a rail-sea service from Liverpool to Hong Kong. Boasting sternwheelers, Great Lakes bulk carriers, ferries, and luxurious ocean-going liner leviathans, the Canadian Pacific shipping line sailed around the globe. In both world wars the entire fleet served gallantly as Allied troop carriers. After the Second World War, the company staved off the realities of the jet age for as long as it could, replacing liners with container ships, until what was left of the legendary maritime operation was sold off in 2005.
With a witty and informative style, author Peter Pigott evokes not only the nostalgic heyday of ocean travel but reveals a slice of almost-forgotten Canadiana. From the stifling steerage quarters of immigrant ships to the elegant drawing rooms of nautical titans such as the ill-fated Empress of Ireland and the Empress of Asia, from U-boat-haunted convoys to container ships, shore dwellers and old salts alike will be delighted with Sailing Seven Seas.
About the author
As the son of an airline employee, Peter Pigott grew up at the edge of airports around the world, including Santa Cruz, Bombay, London and Montreal. He attended the University of Montreal Teacher's College (B.Ed.) and Loyola College in Montreal (B.A.). and then went on to receive a M.A. from the University of Vermont in Burlington USA and a diploma in history at Oxford University in England.
Pigott joined the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs in 1978 and has served at embassies in New York, Hong Kong, Vienna and The Hague. He returned to Ottawa in 1993 and began his writing career, specializing in books about aviation.
Also by Peter Pigott: The Official History of Aviation in Hong Kong, Flying Canucks! Famous Canadian Aviators, Hong Kong Rising: The History of a Remarkable Place, Gateways: Airports of Canada, Flying Colours: Commercial Aviation in Canada, Flying Canucks II: Famous Canadian Aviators
The author is a superb writer, and the story is an engaging one.
Commencing effectively in 1893 and finally withering away in 2001, the CPL operated for most of a century. It was an exciting and fascinating voyage. The author describes it well. The book is also a useful case study of a business dominated by an inability to adapt to technological and generational change. There’s a lot to be learned from this history.
Work Boat World
Other titles by Peter Pigott
Aviation Pioneers of Canada 7-Book Bundle
Brace for Impact / Air Canada / and 5 more
Brace for Impact
Air Crashes and Aviation Safety
From Far and Wide
A History of Canada's Arctic Sovereignty
Canada in Sudan
War Without Borders
Canada in Afghanistan
The War So Far
An Inside Look at The History of British Royal Travel
On Canadian Wings
A Century of Flight
The Rise and Fall of Canada's Other Airline
Taming the Skies
A Celebration of Canadian Flight