Sailing School
Meet the Navigators Who Traversed
the Early Modern Oceans, and the
Men Who Trained Them…

Sailing School: Navigating Science and Skill, 1550-1800
Margaret E. Schotte’s “original, perceptive, and scholarly” comparative study focuses on early modern navigators and their contributions to modern science. Sailing School investigates how early modern sailors developed mathematical and technical expertise in the age of exploration and the print revolution. Schotte’s monograph draws upon hundreds of dog-eared textbooks and salt-stained student manuscripts to recreate the experience of learning to sail, a complex apprenticeship that took place not only on board ship but in small classrooms in Europe’s port communities.  Sailing School brings together the eccentric teachers, inventive entrepreneurs, ambitious politicos and a host of anonymous sailors to give us a new picture of what it meant to be an expert navigator at a time when knowledge of the natural world was undergoing dramatic shifts–and how these experts in turn contributed to the development of scientific practice in their local communities and beyond.

“essential reading for historians of education and of science, [and] of maritime culture”
– Simon Schaffer (University of Cambridge)
“an outstanding, highly original piece of scholarship”
– Pamela O. Long (MacArthur Fellow)
“enjoyable and enlightening”
– Richard Dunn (Royal Museums Greenwich)
“the first truly transnational history of nautical training”
– Karel Davids (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
Coming in
July 2019
Available for Preorder: Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Support local bookstores by ordering via Indie Bound. Order directly from Johns Hopkins University Press and save 20% with code HTWN [Order by July 15 and save 40% with code HHOL]

Canadian friends, we are working on getting it in stock north of the border. York’s bookstore will have it by early August. In the meantime, ask your favourite bookstore to order a few copies!

UK/European publication date: Oct. 2019
Contact Me
Dept. of History, York University

2138 Vari Hall, 4700 Keele Street

Toronto, ON  M3J 1P3  Canada

Learn more about Margaret Schotte’s research and teaching.