Non-Fiction Releases

This section lists upcoming and recently released non-fiction books about the Age of Sail. They will also appear in the Non-Fiction Listings

A History of the Royal Navy: The Royal Marines (HC)

A History of the Royal Navy: The Royal MarinesA new book by Britt Zerbe, A History of the Royal Navy: The Royal Marines, is now available for pre-order in Hardcover. It will be released worldwide on 30 August 2014. EDIT: Publication has been delayed to 30 May 2015.

The Royal Marines are the elite force of the Royal Navy. Founded in 1755, but tracing their origins as far back as 1664, the Marines are an iconic amphibious infantry force, combining military and naval skills and operations. During World War I, the Marines were key players in the amphibious landings at Gallipoli and in World War II the Marines were active in a number of theatres including the capture of Madagascar and the defence of Crete. In the post-war world, the Marines were active in the ill-fated Suez crisis. Today's Marines are highly-skilled maritime-focused commandoes who have played a pivotal role in recent conflicts in the Falklands, Afghanistan and Iraq. This book provides a complete history of the force from formation to the present day. As well as covering the campaigns fought by the Marines - from the Napoleonic Wars to the twenty-first century - the book also looks aspects of change and continuity in marine identity over the 300 years of their existence. As the first complete history of the Royal Marines, this book will be essential reading for all military and naval history enthusiasts.

Read more...

Scotland and the Sea (HC)

Scotland and the SeaNick Robins new book, Scotland and the Sea: The Scottish Dimension in Maritime History, is now available in hardcover in the UK. It will be released on 15 April 2014 in the US.

Scotland's maritime heritage is a highly significant one, embracing as it does a quite outstanding contribution to Britain's development both as an empire and as the world's leading maritime power in the nineteenth century. Scottish engineering, ship-owning and operating, as well as business and entrepreneurial skills, played a major part in the success of the Merchant Navy, while Scottish emigrants took skills to every corner of the world, creating trade and wealth both abroad and at home. In terms of engineering, 'Clyde-built' was the Kite Mark for the shipbuilding industry the world over. Scottish shipowners included household names such as Allan, Anchor, Donaldson and Henderson, while Scotsmen were instrumental in founding and, for much of the time, managing Cunard, British India, P & O, Orient, Glen and many other 'English' companies. The author tells an exhilarating story of energy and inventiveness, describing the remarkable navigational skills of the highlanders and the technological and business skills of the lowlanders, and relates the early development of the steamship, the impact of emigration, the involvement with exploration and the development of trade routes, and the final flowering of the world's last great iron sailing ships. And the evidence is still here, in the Cutty Sark, the Denny test tank at Helensburgh, and the Burrel Collection at Pollock, all reminders of a remarkable story.

Read more...

With Commodore Perry to Japan (PB/K}

With Commodore Perry to JapanA new book, With Commodore Perry to Japan: The Journal of William Speiden Jr., 1852-1855, edited by John A Wolter, David A Ranzan, & John J McDonough is now available for pre-order in paperback or for kindle. It will be released on 15 November 2013 in the US and on 30 November 2013 in the UK.

With Commodore Perry to Japan offers a personal account of Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry's expedition to Japan through the eyes of a sixteen-year-old purser's clerk of the USS Mississippi. The documentary edition, endorsed by the National Historic Publications & Records Commission, provides excellent coverage of both the political mission of the Perry expedition, the opening of relations with Japan, and of the social history of a naval warship as well. Also included are fifty-five illustrations ranging from hand drawn, pen-and-ink scenes of everyday life sketched by Speiden and other members of the crew to exquisitely detailed pith paintings by Chinese artists.

Read more...

The Sloop of War: 1650-1763 (HC)

The Sloop of War: 1650-1763Ian Mclaughlan's new book, The Sloop of War: 1650-1763, is now available for pre-order in hardcover. It will be released on 30 November 2013 in the UK and on 15 July 2014 in the US.

This is the first study in depth of the Royal Navy's vital, but largely ignored small craft. In the age of sail they were built in huge numbers and in far greater variety than the more regulated major warships, so they present a particular challenge to any historian attempting a coherent design history. However, for the first time this book charts the development of the ancillary types, variously described in the 17th century as sloops, ketches, brigantines, advice boats and even yachts, as they coalesce into the single 18th-century category of Sloop of War.

In this era they were generally two-masted, although they set a bewildering variety of sail plans from them. The author traces their origins to open boats, like those carried by Basque whalers, shows how developments in Europe influenced English craft, and homes in on the relationship between rigs, hull-form and the duties they were designed to undertake. Visual documentation is scanty, but this book draws together a unique collection of rare and unseen images, coupled with the author's own reconstructions in line drawings and watercolour sketches to provide the most convincing depictions of the appearance of these vessels. By tackling some of the most obscure questions about the early history of small-boat rigs, the book adds a dimension that will be of interest to historians of coastal sail and practical yachtsman, as well as warship enthusiasts.

Read more...

Additional information