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Philip Pearson: A Challenger’s Song


2021 book mixing fact, fiction, letters, journals, song and oral history, by London-based singer and writer

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P&P: £2.50 UK/Isle of Man/Channel Islands; £5.50 Europe; £8.50 RotW

“A sensitive and lovingly told story mixing fact, action, letters, journals, song and oral history. Pearson writes with a rich clarity and intelligence about his great-grandfather, Charlie Collins, the boy who ran away to sea to become head stoker on the celebrated scientific expedition of the HMS Challenger (1872-76)” – Andrea Watts, writer and creative writing tutor

In 1872, HMS Challenger, powered by sail and steam, left Portsmouth for an epic voyage of ocean exploration. A Challenger’s Song combines a lifetime reimagined with a fresh account of the voyage seen through the eyes of the crew and scientists, drawing on their own letters and accounts. Click here for more on the book.

“I had read about the voyage of HMS Challenger before, but this combination of imaginative reconstruction and factual information for me shed a new light on life for those on board … my appreciation of the men and boys whose hard work kept the Challenger going, and made possible the collection of samples which led to a transformation of our understanding of the deep oceans, was increased enormously … The sea shanty section at the end is a nice bonus!” – Angela Colling, editor, Ocean Challenge

Philip Pearson was born and brought up in Brighton. He sings with the London Sea Shanty Collective, and is an environment campaigner with the Greener Jobs Alliance.