Pacific: An Ocean of Wonders


A new look at this fascinating ocean, considering the diversity of culture beyond the familiar viewpoint of colonial history. Fully illustrated with maps, paintings, artefacts and photographs, with some items from the Library collection reproduced for the very first time.

Product details

If you centre a globe on Kiritimati (Christmas Island), all you see around it is a vast expanse of ocean. Islands of various sizes float in view while glimpses of continents encroach on the fringes, but this is a view dominated by water. The immense stretch of the Pacific Ocean is inhabited by a diverse array of peoples and cultures bound by a common thread: their relationship with the sea.The rich history of the Pacific is explored through specific objects, each one beautifully illustrated, from the earliest human engagement with the Pacific through to the modern day. With entries covering mapping, trade, whaling, flora and fauna, and the myriad vessels used to traverse the ocean, Pacific builds on recent interest in the voyages of James Cook to tell a broader history.This visually stunning publication highlights the importance of an ocean that covers very nearly a third of the surface of the globe, and which has dramatically shaped the world and peoplearound it.About the Author: Philip J Hatfield is Head of the Eccles Centre for American Studies and has held a range of curatorial posts at the British Library. His illustrated history of Arctic exploration, Lines in the Ice, was published by the British Library in 2016.

Philip Hatfield
British Library Publishing
Publication date
September 2019
224 pages, 100+ illustrations including maps, paintings, artefacts and photographs
220 x 280 mm

Sign up for our e-newsletter

Keep up to date with news and events at the British Library

Sign up to our newsletter