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

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Description

A swashbuckling tale of international intrigue, armed battles, and Swingin' Sixties radio pirates over a fifty-year history of the world's smallest rebel nation.

In 1967, a retired army major and self-made millionaire named Paddy Roy Bates cemented his family's place in history when he inaugurated himself ruler of the Principality of Sealand, a tiny dominion of the high seas. And so began the peculiar story of the world's most stubborn micronation on a World War II anti-aircraft gun platform off the British coast.

Sealand is the raucous tale of how a rogue adventurer seized the disused Maunsell Sea Fort from pirate radio broadcasters, settled his eccentric family on it, and defended their tiny kingdom from UK government officials and armed mercenaries for half a century. Incorporating original interviews with surviving Sealand royals, Dylan Taylor-Lehman recounts the battles and schemes as Roy and his crew engaged with diplomats, entertained purveyors of pirate radio and TV, and even thwarted an attempted coup that saw the Prince Regent taken hostage. Incredibly, more than fifty years later, the self-proclaimed independent nation still stands--replete with its own constitution, national flag and anthem, currency, and passports.

Featuring rare, vintage photographs of the Bates clan and their unusual enterprises, this stranger-than-fiction account of a dissident family and their outrageous attempt to build a sovereign kingdom on an isolated platform in shark-infested waters is the stuff of legend.

Product Details

Price
$18.99  $17.47
Publisher
Diversion Books
Publish Date
June 09, 2020
Pages
336
Dimensions
5.3 X 1.1 X 8.3 inches | 0.85 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
ISBN/EAN
9781635767261

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About the Author

Dylan Taylor-Lehman is a nonfiction writer from the foothills of Appalachia who has lived and reported in numerous biomes. Previously a reporter for the award-winning Yellow Springs News, his work has also been published in Atlas Obscura, The Millions, and Narratively, where he is a staff writer. Dylan's first book, Dance of the Trustees, covers the ins-and-outs of life in a quirky rural town. Articles about explosions, crimes, landfill ecosystems, and the history of the Spanish tortilla can be found at his blog, The Yawning Chasm.

Reviews

Advance Praise for Sealand
"Sealand is a rollicking ride across a tumultuous and astoundingly improbable history. How did I not know about this? How can a heap of concrete and metal in the North Sea possibly be the newest and smallest country in the world? Prepare to be charmed and transfixed by Roy Bates, the swashbuckling, visionary Prince of Sealand and his 'micro Royal Family' who stave off sea invaders, cyber coups, and attempted governmental takeovers in the name of freedom. An unlikely, remarkable, riveting story."--Buddy Levy, bestselling author of Labyrinth of Ice: The Triumphant and Tragic Greely Polar Expedition

"In Sealand, Dylan Taylor-Lehman offers a thoroughly researched, stranger-than-fiction account of a rogue principality a fraction the size of Buckingham Palace. With decades of outrageous shenanigans and unparalleled bravado on display, the story of the Bates family gives the term royalty a whole new meaning."--Robert Jobson, Royal Editor for the London Evening Standard; and author of King Charles: The Man, The Monarch, and The Future of Britain

"Outrageously funny yet tender at its core, Sealand chronicles an oddball visionary's quest to create a legacy that even kings and emperors might envy. The gifted Dylan Taylor-Lehman has blessed us with a book every bit as madcap and admirable as Roy Bates's dream of a sovereign North Sea paradise."--Brendan I. Koerner, author of The Skies Belong to Us and Now the Hell Will Start

"Sealand proves that a factual story can be weirder than fiction. What makes Dylan Taylor-Lehman's expertly researched, oddball historical yarn so compelling is its uncanny attention to reality. Spanning swashbuckling invasions and legal hairsplitting, governments in exile and schemes by scammers, this book testifies that even the tiniest of nations--and dreams--can have inspirational and kick-ass origin stories."--Ethan Gilsdorf, author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks

"Dylan Taylor-Lehman deserves an award--or maybe a Sealand title of nobility--for this brilliant tale chronicling a little-known story. Sealand is endlessly captivating, like a thriller, and filled with crisp, evocative writing. Now, you'll have to excuse me, I'm visiting the principality to become an official 'Lord of Sealand.'"--Bob Batchelor, author of The Bourbon King

Praise for Dance of the Trustees
"Dylan Taylor-Lehman has a curiosity that knows no bounds, and he has trained it on the quirky concerns of a village and township in southwest Ohio where he lived for two years. Lucky for us, the readers, his narrative voice is as charming and distinctive as his curiosity is strong. This book is a funny, informative, and delightful look at small town shenanigans and goings-on." --Diane Chiddister, Editor, Yellow Springs News