Pope, Frank 1973- (Francis Pope)

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Pope, Frank 1973- (Francis Pope)


Born May 13, 1973, in Oxford, England; son of Maurice Pope (a classicist and decipherer of ancient texts); married Saba Douglas-Hamilton, 2006. Education: University of Edinburgh, B.S.


Home—London, England; and Nairobi, Kenya.


Maritime archaeologist under the auspices of Oxford University Maritime Archaeological Research and Excavation (MARE), Oxford, England, 1992—.


Dragon Sea: A True Tale of Treasure, Archeology, and Greed off the Coast of Vietnam, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2007.


Frank Pope credits his father, Maurice, a classicist and a scholar and translator of ancient texts, for his own interest in academic shipwreck exploration. Maurice Pope had participated in the first such project in 1953 off the Greek island of Chios, and although Pope studied zoology at the University of Edinburgh and went to Belize as part of a conservation effort, he was soon drawn into the line of work his father helped to inaugurate. Pope has participated in a number of projects as a maritime archaeologist, including investigating the wreck of the HMS Agamemnon, Lord Nelson's flagship that went down off the coast of Uruguay. In Dragon Sea: A True Tale of Treasure, Archeology, and Greed off the Coast of Vietnam, Pope chronicles his experiences excavating the wreck of the Hoi An, which sank off Vietnam in the mid-1400s carrying a cargo of valuable ceramics. Oxford don Mensun Bound, who hosts a television program on lost ships, and Malaysian businessman Ong Soo Hin, who had a financial interest in the recovery of the cargo, joined forces to explore the wreck and retrieve its contents. Pope, who has often worked with Bound, recounts the differences in opinion that arose between the scholar and the financial backer as the project progressed, while chronicling the historic excavation, the deepest attempted to that point. A Publishers Weekly critic felt that "Pope's strength in detailing the Hoi An story comes from his fascinating in-depth portraits of the main players," while Melissa Aho, writing for Library Journal, commented that the book "defines the environments, personalities, and dangers that now accompany underwater archaeology."



Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2006, review of Dragon Sea: A True Tale of Treasure, Archeology, and Greed off the Coast of Vietnam, p. 1003.

Library Journal, November 15, 2006, Melissa Aho, review of Dragon Sea.

Publishers Weekly, October 23, 2006, review of Dragon Sea, p. 44.

Science News, February 17, 2007, review of Dragon Sea, p. 111.


Dragon Sea Web site,http://www.dragon-sea.com (May 7, 2007).

New York Times Book Review Online,http://www.nytimes.com/ (January 28, 2007) Holly Morris, "What Lies Beneath," review of Dragon Sea; (February 25, 2007), Richard B. Woodward, "Armchair Traveler," review of Dragon Sea.