Hello and welcome to Astrodene’s Historic Naval Fiction.
This site is dedicated to the Age of Sail and the transition to steam, and in particular the time of "Nelson's Navy" when sailing ships roamed and fought throughout the oceans of the world. Probably most people have heard of Horatio Hornblower the hero created by C S Forester but over the years many more authors and their heroes have appeared and these pages will summarise them under the Authors A-Z. You can also find them via the Book Title Index. If you want to chat about them or read additional reviews and comments not on this site why not join my Historic Naval Fiction forum.
I aim to provide details of all the naval fiction novels from the age of sail that have been written, not just the Royal Navy but the US Navy, the Bombay Marine and others. Many of these books are now out of print so I have also brought links to purchase them together in the online store. Please browse the various sections for further information. Let me know if you find my pages interesting, or if you know of another author that should be included, by using the contact form available in Contact Me. If you would like to receive a monthly email notification of what's new please subscribe to my newsletter. The site also covers all other nautical literature, both fiction and non-fiction in the Other Nautical Genres section. This is where you will find news and listings of naval fiction set after the Age of Sail.
- Astrodene's HNF Blog
- Created on Thursday, 16 May 2013
- By David Hayes
What could be better news than a new book from award winning maritime historian and novelist Joan Druett? Well three books actually. Released together for kindle are the three books of the Promise of Gold trilogy, Judas Island, Calafia's Kingdom, and Dearest Enemy.
This release also marks Joan's move to a new publisher, Old Salt Press, an independent press catering to those who love books about ships and the sea. They are an association of writers working together to produce the very best of nautical and maritime fiction and non-fiction. Old Salt Press was launched by author and well know maritime blogger Rick Spilman.
Incidentally, Old Salt Press have announced that, to celebrate the publication of Joan Druett's Promise of Gold trilogy, starting May 15th and running through Sunday, May 19th, Rick Spilman's Hell Around the Horn will be free on Kindle. From May 18 – 20, Joan Druett's The Beckoning Ice will be free and from May 21 - 23, Joan's A Love of Adventure will be also be free. Some truly great fiction free! and an opportunity not to be missed.
- Naval Fiction Releases
- Created on Tuesday, 14 May 2013
- By Jason Vail
Jason Vail recently released a new novel in his alternate US history series, Lone Star Rising: T.S. Wasp and the Heart of Texas, which is available in paperback worldwide and for download on Kindle.
British forces spread across the rebellious colonies, crushing all resistance now that George Washington is dead and the American army is dispersed.
But defeat is merely a reckoning postponed. A few die-hards flee west into the Tennessee and the unsettled wilderness beyond the frontiers of British control, where after many years a leader arises among them, Andrew Jackson.
Yet the British cannot ignore these upstarts, and Banastre Tarleton eventually arrives to crush them as well. Those who survive, lead by Jackson, escape into the Spanish Empire — to Texas.
- Non-Fiction Releases
- Created on Saturday, 04 May 2013
- By Robert Hutchinson
A new book by Robert Hutchinson, The Spanish Armada, was released last month in hardcover and for Kindle.
After the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558, Protestant England was beset by the hostile Catholic powers of Europe - not least Spain. In October 1585 King Philip II of Spain declared his intention to destroy Protestant England and began preparing invasion plans, leading to an intense intelligence war between the two countries, culminating in the dramatic sea battles of 1588.
Robert Hutchinson's tautly written book is the first to examine this battle for intelligence, and uses everything from contemporary eye-witness accounts to papers held by the national archives in Spain and the UK to recount the dramatic battle that raged up the English Channel. Contrary to popular theory, the Armada was not defeated by superior English forces - in fact, Elizabeth I's parsimony meant that her ships had no munitions left by the time the Armada had fought its way up to the south coast of England. In reality it was a combination of inclement weather and bad luck that landed the killer blow on the Spanish forces, and of the 125 Spanish ships that set sail against England, only 60 limped home - the rest sunk or wrecked with barely a shot fired.
- Naval Fiction Releases
- Created on Saturday, 27 April 2013
- By Julian Stockwin
The latest novel in Julian Stockwin's Kydd series is now available for pre-order in hardcover, Caribbee. It is due for release in the UK on 24 October 2013 and in the US on 1 November 2013.
More than a decade ago, Thomas Kydd and Nicholas Renzi were in the Caribbean as sailors before the mast in the old Trajan. Now Kydd, a storied hero of Trafalgar, holds the glory of being Post-captain of the 32-gun frigate, L'Aurore. His almost unbelievable feat of self-advancement is the toast of his own crew... but the envy of others less blessed than he.
After unremitting war a Caribbean posting seems a welcome respite. But, in addition to the balmy warmth and turquoise waters, Kydd and Renzi find themselves facing a familiar threat as the French imperil Britain's vital sugar trade.
When more and more merchantmen begin vanishing from the sea, fear spreads. Before long, the sugar ships refuse to set sail at all. Now Kydd and Renzi must embark on a dangerous game of espionage, seamanship and breath-taking action in order to destroy this new and terrible danger to the Empire.
- Naval Fiction Releases
- Created on Sunday, 21 April 2013
- By Richard Woodman
The latest novel in Richard Woodman's Kit Faulkner series, The King's Chameleon, is now available for pre-order in hardcover. It will be released in the UK on 25 July 2013 and in the US on 1 November 2013.
England, 1659. Captain Kit Faulkner's house is prospering; his eldest son, Nathaniel, has recently returned from a profitable trip to Jamaica in the good ship Faithful, and his daughter, Hannah, has made a suitable match with a young sailor. But the resignation of the Lord Protector, Richard Cromwell, throws England into uncertainty. Will the republic flourish, or will a King return to the throne? Kit is content to let matters take their natural course, but his younger son, Henry, is an idealist with political ambitions. It soon becomes clear that Henry is in much deeper than Kit first realised, and Henry's actions may threaten everything that Kit holds dear...
- Non-Fiction Releases
- Created on Thursday, 04 April 2013
- By Allen Gardiner
The epic chase of the Essex by HMS Phoebe during the War of 1812 inspired Patrick O'Brian and the movie Master and Commander. Aboard Phoebe was a young Midshipman Allen Gardiner who recorded the events. These have been edited by John S Rieske into a new book Hunting the Essex: A Journal of the Voyage of HMS Phoebe 1813-1814 which is now available for pre-order in hardcover worldwide. It will be released on 30 June 2013.
In February 1813 the British frigate Phoebe set out on a secret mission that would involve sailing halfway around the world to attack American settlements in the Pacific Northwest. The United States, frustrated at the treatment of its shipping by the combatants in the Napoleonic Wars, had finally opened hostilities against the British in the previous June. From the American perspective the War of 1812 began with disasters in its invasion of Canada, but against all expectations the infant US Navy had scored significant victories at sea. The most strategically significant of these was the campaign by the frigate USS Essex, which had almost annihilated the lucrative British whaling trade in the south Pacific. Therefore, Phoebe was diverted to hunt down and destroy this highly successful commerce-raider.
After an epic search, Phoebe tracked her prey to neutral Valparaiso where the American frigate was blockaded and,in a very bloody battle, eventually captured. The American captain, David Porter, published a self-serving account of his actions which ever since has mired the battle in controversy, so this British naval eyewitness account is an important counter-balance. It is one of the lesser-known campaigns of a war which is currently celebrating its bicentenary, but its inherent drama inspired the plot of Patrick O'Brian's novel The Far Side of the World, although in its movie adaptation Master & Commander the American frigate is transformed into a French privateer.
- Naval Fiction Releases
- Created on Sunday, 24 March 2013
- By J. D. Davies
The latest book in J. D. Davies's Journals of Matthew Quinton, The Lion of Midnight, is now available for pre-order in paperback. It will be released worldwide on 23 April 2013.
Winter, 1666. A second war has broken out between the English and the Dutch...
Captain Matthew Quinton's fifth mission for King and country is to the Swedish court at Gothenburg. Sweden is at the height of its military power and Quinton is charged with securing much-needed support in England's new war against her old enemy, the Dutch republic.
Accompanying him is the mysterious Lord Conisborough, who - unknown to his captain - is sworn to another secret mission: to track down and kill the notorious regicide John Bale, alone among peers of the realm to sign the death warrant of Charles I.
Gothenburg proves to be a hotbed of dangerously conflicting loyalties, and Quinton and crew find themselves needing help from the most unexpected quarters.