On Friday 31st May, one of our featured publishers, the Mary Rose Trust, opens its new 27 million pound museum which has been purpose built around the hull of the ship. Before joining Oxbow, our Managing Editor, Julie Gardiner, was in charge of the publication programme for the Mary Rose with the resulting five volumes – all 1 million words and 3000 illustrations – distributed by Oxbow.
Last week Julie was invited to a special preview of the new museum and reports:
‘The new museum is awesome. To one side, currently viewed through windows, is the magnificent hull of the ship. After years of chemical spraying she is now being air-dried and can be seen much more clearly than in the old museum, and from different levels. Eventually the wall will be removed and the ship will be right there next to the visitors. On the other side, the main museum displays are arranged on four levels to reflect the decks of the ship, and the artefacts, rigging and structural elements laid out as they would have been. This gives a fantastic impression of what life on board was like for the 500 or so men of the crew in the cramped spaces of the low decks packed with guns, weapons, food stuffs and chests full of personal possessions. In the ship’s galley (kitchen) in the bottom (hold), the great cooking oven has been reconstructed and the hundreds of cooking pots, wooden eating bowls and the captain’s pewter dinner service are all on display. There are many other areas of display too, accompanied by videos, touch-screens, interactive games and opportunities to use a longbow and handle objects. After 10 years of working on the publication it is a delight to see so many of my favourite objects, which were previously stored away from public view because of lack of space, available for all to see and enjoy and to know that I was involved in a small part of the process. It is a magnificent achievement’.
Before the Mast, the volume which describes all the non-ordnance objects recovered from the
wreck, has been out of print for some time. We are delighted to report that Oxbow is currently undertaking a reprint on behalf of the Mary Rose Trust and that copies will be available later this summer.
Pre-order Before the Mast at a special pre-publication price of £48 (RRP: £60) here
Customers in the USA can pre-order here