The Photographic Work of Alan Villiers is arguably the most
important photo-historical record of early-twentieth-century
maritime history in the world. In capturing on film life aboard the
last of the great merchant sail ships, he has provided us with a
singular record of the end of an era.
Passionate about the sea from an early age, Villiers worked on
several commercial sailing vessels before taking on a job as a
journalist on a whaling expedition to Antarctica in 1923, which
ultimately resulted in the writing of his first book. Other
acclaimed books would follow (as well as one film). These powerful
images, published for the first time in this volume, date from the
late 1920s through the 1930s and were taken aboard the three ships
Villiers worked on during this period: the Herzogm Cecilie, the
Grace Harwar, and the Panama.