Sailors, Scientists, Spies

Sailors describes the lives of two Spanish naval officers. Jorge Juan and Antonio Ulloa, chosen in 1735 by Philip V to represent Spanish interests on a French expedition to South America.

Their experiences on this journey and their later contributions to eighteenth-century Spain were remarkable, from ship design to canal building, mining, dangerous sea patrols to naming the base metal platinum. More

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About Ken Smith

After leaving school Ken Smith joined the Royal Navy as an apprentice. Following five years of technical training, he went to sea and was responsible for maintaining radars and radios in a number of ships, and also spent a period of more than two years working in a naval radio station in Gibraltar. It was there he first became interested in the Spanish language and culture, interests he has maintained since, with varying levels of attention according to his other responsibilities and commitments.
Ken's Naval experience made him a natural for the computer industry, where he became increasingly involved in setting up, presenting and managing computer training for a number of companies. His final years in business were spent as a director of a small, private company. After retirement he took a degree course in Humanities, which had largely passed him by in his earlier years as a result of his largely technical education. These later studies culminated in his being awarded an MA in Hispanic Studies at University College, London.
Ken Smith can be contacted at


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