Hood, Jean 1953–
Hood, Jean 1953–
Born 1953. Education: Graduate of University of Durham.
Writer, nautical historian, and information officer. Lloyd's Register of Shipping, information officer.
Marked for Misfortune: An Epic Tale of Shipwreck, Human Endeavour, and Survival in the Age of Sail, Conway Maritime (London, England), 2003.
Trafalgar Square: A Visual History of London's Landmark through Time, B.T. Batsford (London, England), 2005.
Come Hell and High Water: Extraordinary Stories of Wreck, Terror, and Triumph on the Sea, Burford Books (Springfield, NJ), 2007.
Writer, nautical expert, and sea historian Jean Hood is a former information officer for Lloyd's Register of Shipping, a ship classification service that offers information on the status and condition of ships likely to be insured by marine insurance underwriters around the world.
Hood is also the author of books on maritime history and disaster. In Come Hell and High Water: Extraordinary Stories of Wreck, Terror, and Triumph on the Sea, she presents seventeen narratives chronicling a variety of seagoing catastrophes from the middle of the eighteenth century to the present. "A positively brilliant addition to popular maritime history is this omnibus of historic shipwrecks," commented Booklist critic Roland Green. Hood's reportage pinpoints causes ranging from bad weather to incompetent leadership to unsafe ships to simple bad luck. She also looks at the effect the sinkings had on their contemporaries; though many of the incidents she covers have since faded into obscurity, in their day each disaster commanded the shock and attention of the general public. Among her subjects are three eighteenth-century ships; sunken Russian submarines; and perhaps the most famous maritime disaster of all, the doomed Titanic. "Skillfully mining the archives, Hood produces a gripping narrative illuminating ship operation, nautical terms, and historical context," explaining what happened to each ship and why the disaster occurred, noted a Publishers Weekly reviewer.
In addition to the tragic and often dramatic stories of the vessels, their occupants, and their fates, Hood also includes detailed scholarly references for those who wish to pursue their own primary-source research. She presents a glossary of terms for those unfamiliar with nautical language, and carefully places each ship within the context of its time and the prevailing maritime law, shipbuilding standards, and available technology. Green concluded that the book is a "superior reminder" of what can happen to those who choose to go sailing on the high seas.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 1, 2007, Roland Green, review of Come Hell and High Water: Extraordinary Stories of Wreck, Terror, and Triumph on the Sea, p. 55.
California Bookwatch, May, 2007, review of Come Hell and High Water.
Publishers Weekly, January 29, 2007, review of Come Hell and High Water, p. 51.
Reference & Research Book News, May, 2007, review of Come Hell and High Water.
Anova Books Web site,http://www.anovabooks.com/ (October 3, 2007), biography of Jean Hood.
Burford Books Web site,http://www.burfordbooks.com/ (October 3, 2007), biography of Jean Hood.