by William H. Miller

The Royal Mail has, for over 500 years, provided a crucial service in keeping people connected by land, sea and air. As the British Empire grew, so too did the need for a fleet of liners to service it, and in 1839 Queen Victoria granted the initial Royal Charter incorporating the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. After running into financial trouble, the company was reconstituted as Royal Mail Lines in 1930.

Covering the turbulent period of the Second World War, as well as more peaceful and prosperous times, this collection of images illuminates the stories behind some of the great iconic liners.

Some of the ships featured include Asturias and Alcantara, at the time the largest motor ships in the world, the Magdalena, which sunk on its maiden voyage in 1949, the beautiful Andes, and perhaps the most famous cruise ship of all time, the Atlantis. Also covered are the former Nelson Line sextet, the ‘Highland’ ships, and the Three Graces, the last ships built for Royal Mail.

This is a nice book, with excellent photos and reproduction of posters which brings back memories of this great company and I would highly recommend it.

Published by:


Amberley Publications,

The Hill, Merrywalks, Stroud, Glos. GL5 4EP


Paperback: 235mm x 165mm, 96 pp illustrated

Price: £14.99



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