I. C. B. Dear (general editor of the second edition) served in the Royal Marines from 1953 to 1957 and saw active service in Cyprus. He subsequently worked in the film industry and in book publishing before becoming a full-time writer in 1979. His books on maritime and military subjects include Ten Commando, 1942-1945 (1987), Sabotage and Subversion (1996), Escape and Evasion (1997), and The Oxford Companion to the Second World War, of which he is general editor. He is also the compiler of Oxford English: A Guide to the Language (1986). The late Peter Kemp (general editor of the first edition) was educated at the Royal Naval Colleges of Osborne and Dartmouth. Invalided from the Navy after service in sub-marines, he joined The Times as sporting and yachting editor, and was for many years on the editorial staff of that newspaper. During the Second World War he worked in the Naval Intelligence Division, and subsequently became Head of Naval Historical Branch, Ministry of Defence. He published widely on naval, military, and yachting subjects, and wrote several children's novels.
`Neatly illustrated and meticulously researched, The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea is a reference work of uniformly high academic quality...As a thief of a sailor's time, it probably has few modern equals. Risk consulting it...and, before you realize what has happened, the fascinating text will have led you into areas of maritime lore you never even know existed; several hours will have passed, the fire will have gone out and one's spouse will long since have gone to bed' Times Literary Supplement `beguiling enough to make dipping in for a moment a risky exercise - you might end up reading the whole thing' Classic Boat `excellent...the reader will not be disappointed...this is the sort of book that can but broaden one's knowledge' Lloyd's List `Marvellous...comprehends between two covers the secrets of the sea and the treasures of the men who sail on it' The Times `a beguiling book. Open to check a point and you can be lost for hours.' Daily Telegraph `a totally absorbing work covering almost every possible subject to do with maritime matters' Financial Times