Messages from the Sea
Letters and Notes from a Lost Era Found in Bottles and on Beaches Around the World
Compiled by Paul Brown, Published by Superelastic

“The lost and found language of Messages from the Sea in book form. Superb!” – Ian McMillan

Messages from the Sea is a collection of letters and notes found washed ashore on beaches and bobbing in water, in corked bottles and wax-sealed boxes, carved onto wreckage and in the bellies of sharks. They tell of foundering ships, missing ocean liners and shipwrecked sailors, and contain moving farewells, romantic declarations and intriguing confessions. Some solve the mysteries of lost vessels and crews, while others create new mysteries yet to be solved. Dating from a lost era of seafaring, they demonstrate the brave, lonely and fragile nature of life on the ocean waves.

Included among the 100 messages in the book are: a clue to the fate of the missing White Star liner Naronic; a murder confession found in a bottle off the White Cliffs of Dover; an update from John Franklin’s lost Arctic expedition; a poem about a newborn baby found inside an 11ft shark; an unlikely apology from fleeing fraudster Violet Charlesworth; evidence for the unnecessary loss of the steamship London with 220 souls; the truth behind the mysterious grave robbery of the Earl of Crawford; and a message from the deck of the sinking Titanic.

The messages date from the late-19th and early-20th centuries, an era before ship-to-shore radio, when a vessel lost contact with the world once it disappeared over the horizon. For many seafarers, the message in a bottle was a vital and valuable form of communication. Found messages were published in national and local newspapers around the world, often in columns titled Messages from the Sea.


messages back

Messages from the Sea
Letters and Notes from a Lost Era Found in Bottles and on Beaches Around the World
Compiled by Paul Brown
Published by Superelastic, 19 September 2016
Hardback, ISBN 9780995541207
Paperback, ISBN 9780995541214
Also available as an eBook

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Selected media coverage:

Unbelievable true stories of messages in bottles brought to life in book – Sunday Express
A message in a bottle – inside an 11ft shark! – Sunday Post
Real-life ‘messages in a bottle’ from a very different age – Newcastle Chronicle
Book reveals man’s last message to his wife and children before he was lost at sea – Sunderland Echo
Messages washed up on Scottish islands feature in new book – Island News & Advertiser
Messages from the Sea: The incredible true stories behind notes that returned from the blue yonder – Aberdeen Press & Journal