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To the New World and Beyond

by Gordon Miller

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expeditions & discoveries, landscapes, pictorial
list price: $24.99
category: History
published: 2011
publisher: Douglas & McIntyre
  • Winner, John Lyman Award - Maritime and Naval Reference Works
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A visually spectacular maritime history of sailing ships and the extraordinary navigators who sailed them to the farthest corners of the globe.


From the mid-15th to mid-19th centuries, the driving force behind world exploration was Europe's growing passion for the luxuries of life and for discovering the uncharted territories that provided these luxuries. Sailing ships, driven by wind and human muscle, were navigated into every last bay and estuary on earth, searching for spices from the Orient, gold and ivory from Africa, beaver pelts, coffee and gold from the Americas and, finally, the luxurious pelts of sea otters from the Northwest Coast of North America.


Exquisitely illustrated with almost 100 of the author's paintings and many detailed maps and drawings of sailing ships, Voyages recounts the extraordinary feats of more than 20 daring maritime explorers, including Christopher Columbus, Bartolomeu Dias, Vasco da Gama, John Cabot, Giovanni da Verrazzano, Jacques Cartier, Martin Frobisher, Ferdinand Magellan, Francis Drake and James Cook. In narrating these explorers' tales, Gordon Miller touches on the great themes of maritime history, including the development of new maritime technologies, the extreme dangers of ships sailing into unknown waters, the rise and fall of the maritime empires, the courage (and often brutality) of life at sea, and the discovery of new continents, cultures and products.

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Editorial Reviews

"Some scholars paint pictures with words; Gordon Miller draws upon words and research to bring the maritime past to life with his paintings. As this book shows, he is also an artist who has a way with words. Voyages: To the New World and Beyond reflects the dedication, commitment and scholarship that make Gordon Miller one of the world's best maritime artist/historians."

— James P. Delgado, author of "Across the Top of the World"

"With concern for accuracy matched with artistic beauty and discerning proportion, Gordon Miller's paintings are a delight to view. This book is a tribute to a life of hard and dedicated work."

— BC Studies

"Miller's watercolors capture a high level of detail in the historic ships as well as showcasing the stunning beauty of unspoiled coastlines, sea, and skies."

— Reference and Research Book News

"Gordon Miller is an accomplished artist with an interest in painting sailing ships from ancient times to the present. His illustrations of vessels involved in important incidents in the history of European exploration are complemented by an explanatory text on the opposite page, making it easy to read about the pictures while examining them."

— Chronicle Herald

"This well-illustrated book traces the evolution of tiny ships that managed to take their crews safely across rolling seas to unknown lands and were sturdy enough to bring at least some of them home again after remarkable adventures."

— Globe & Mail

"This visually spectacular maritime history depicts the adventures of explorers such as Cabot, Columbus and Cook, with more than 90 highly detailed paintings, maps and accurate architectural drawings of sailing ships. Voyages celebrates life on the high seas by touching on the great themes of sailing history, the discovery of new land and culture, and the courage of life on the ocean."

— Vancouver Sun

"Gordon Miller's art is informed and enriched by scholarly respect for historical detail. Many years of commissions from major Canadian museums place his historical paintings in a special category of interest to native people, to students of anthropology, ethnology, natural history and to those of us who love art for its own sake."

— Bill Ellis

"Former seaman and now maritime artist and illustrator Gordon Miller has created a seaworthy book filled with more than 90 of his watercolours depicting sailing ships of the past...Miller, who lives in Vancouver, has sailed the seas, and it shows in his brush strokes. He brings to life an era that we can only see today through replicas and training ships."

— Winnipeg Free Press
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About the Author

Gordon Miller

Gordon Miller is a distinguished maritime artist and illustrator. In his youth he worked as a seaman, sailing the west coast from Alaska to Seattle. Later he was chief designer for both the Vancouver Maritime Museum and Vancouver Museum. Since 1977 he has freelanced with commissions from institutions such as the UBC Museum of Anthropology, Parks Canada, the National Film Board and the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa. His work has been used by many publishers, including Canadian Geographic and National Geographic. His paintings appear in collections in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia
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