Sealand: The True Story of the World’s Most Stubborn Micronation and Its Eccentric Royal Family

Dylan Taylor-Lehman. Diversion, $18.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-63576-726-1
Journalist Taylor-Lehman (Dance of the Trustees) delivers a granular history of the Principality of Sealand, a micronation established in 1967 on an anti-aircraft gun platform seven miles off the coast of Essex in the North Sea. After seizing control of Roughs Tower (one of the Maunsell Sea Forts built to defend England from German aircraft in WWII), pirate radio broadcaster Roy Bates and his wife and two children worked tirelessly to transform the decaying platform into a livable space. Using interviews with family members and U.K. government records, Taylor-Lehman retraces the Bates family’s dogged efforts to get Sealand recognized as a sovereign nation and hold off would-be invaders. The Bateses have engaged with diplomats around the world and capitalized on their principality by renting space for offshore data storage, printing Sealandic stamps and money, and offering Sealandic nobility titles for sale on the internet. Though the narrative meanders and sometimes gets trapped in a whirlpool of unnecessary details, Taylor-Lehman delivers a memorable portrait of one family’s attempt to escape, as Prince Roy Bates puts it, the world’s “damn bureaucracy.” This idiosyncratic history entertains. (June)
Reviewed on : 04/08/2020
Release date: 06/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-1-63576-637-0
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