Throughout history, sailing has been instrumental in the development of civilization, affording humanity greater mobility than travel over land, whether for trade, transport or warfare, and the capacity for fishing. Sailing has contributed to many great explorations in the world. In 1889, Knight sailed to the island of Trindade off the coast of Brazil in a 64 foot cutter named the Alerte. He was in search of treasure. In A Classic Guide to Sailing, E. F. Knight, the soldier, journalist and war correspondent, relates some of his experiences and lays down the basic principles of sailing and boatcraft for the budding sailor.
Edward Frederick (E.F.) Knight (23 April 1852 - 3 July 1925) was an English barrister, soldier, journalist, and author of 20 books, many based on his dispatches as a war correspondent. He was an influence on children's author Arthur Ransome, who used Knight's book Sailing to teach himself how to sail; and in the Swallows and Amazons series as a resource for his fictional characters, who often refer to Knight on Sailing. He died in 1925.