Richard Lewis wrote the first history of the RNLI, The Lifeboat and Its Work, published in 1874 to mark the 50th anniversary of the charity's foundation.

The 251-page volume sold out so quickly that a second edition was published later in the year. 

As well as providing a history of the development of the RNLI from its founding in 1824, the book contains technical information on lifeboat design, carriages, lifeboat stations, the current regulations, advice on handling open boats in heavy surf and instructions for the Restoration of the apparently drowned.