The story of Cambridge is one of curious conflict: an unrelenting struggle for independence by a squalid fenland settlement, which entirely changed its purpose as, down the centuries, a great University grew in its midst. Yet it was this unwelcome intruder, seen today as an island of ancient glory in a surge of modern expansion, that makes the City of Cambridge known to the world.
The author says this book is a profound study of our incomparable Navy, and indeed it is, but the guileless solemnity with which he presents and explains a wealth of untoward incident combines Norfield's innocently literal interpretations to make it just as diverting as it is profound. Beyond doubt there is no other like it. Both author and artist are out for fun. They take an impish delight in looking at things in every way but the normal and what they see loses nothing but their sense of period which is certainly as timeless as the sea itself.
In this unusual book, Benstead tells how the men of the British Isles have matched their skill and courage against the menace of the surrounding sea. The fishermen, life-boatmen, the smugglers and hovellers, the men of the Royal Navy and the Merchant Service, and the pilots of Trinity House - these are the actors in a drama of almost casual heroism. It is through their eyes that we see their triumphs and disasters, and the diversity of adventures.