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 Path in the Mighty Waters (HC)

A Path in the Mighty WatersLast month Stephen R. Berry released a new Hardcover book, A Path in the Mighty Waters: Shipboard Life and Atlantic Crossings to the New World. in the US. It will be released in the UK on 28 February 2015. It is also available worldwide for Kindle download.

In October 1735, James Oglethorpe's Georgia Expedition set sail from London, bound for Georgia. Two hundred and twenty-seven passengers boarded two merchant ships accompanied by a British naval vessel and began a transformative voyage across the Atlantic that would last nearly five months. Chronicling their passage in journals, letters, and other accounts, the migrants described the challenges of physical confinement, the experiences of living closely with people from different regions, religions, and classes, and the multi-faceted character of the ocean itself.

Using their specific journey as his narrative arc, Stephen Berry's A Path in the Mighty Waters tells the broader and hereto underexplored story of how people experienced their crossings to the New World in the eighteenth-century. During this time, hundreds of thousands of Europeans - mainly Irish and German - crossed the Atlantic as part of their martial, mercantile, political, or religious calling. Histories of these migrations, however, have often erased the ocean itself, giving priority to activities performed on solid ground. Reframing these histories, Berry shows how the ocean was more than a backdrop for human events; it actively shaped historical experiences by furnishing a dissociative break from normal patterns of life and a formative stage in travelers' processes of collective identification.

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Lady Castaways (K)

Lady CastawaysJoan Druett has just released a new book, Lady Castaways, available for kindle download worldwide. It will be released in paperback shortly.

It was not just the men who lived on the brink of peril when under sail at sea. Lucretia Jansz, who was enslaved as a concubine in 1629, was just one woman who endured a castaway experience. Award-winning historian Joan Druett (Island of the Lost, The Elephant Voyage), relates the stories of women who survived remarkable challenges, from heroines like Mary Ann Jewell, the "governess" of Auckland Island in the icy sub-Antarctic, to Millie Jenkins, whose ship was sunk by a whale.

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Byzantine Warship vs Arab Warship: 630-1000 AD (PB)

Byzantine Warship vs Arab Warship: 630-1000 AD has a new book available for pre-order in paperback, Byzantine Warship vs Arab Warship: 630-1000 AD. It will be released worldwide on 20th January 2015.

This engaging study pits the the Byzantine dromōn against the Arabic shalandī in the prolonged struggle for mastery in the Mediterranean in the four centuries after 630 AD.

For four hundred years the Byzantine Empire's naval forces vied with the warships of the Islamic world for mastery of the Mediterranean. At the heart of this confrontation were the fighting vessels of the two powers, the Byzantine dromōn and the Arabic shalandī, both oared warships. In those four centuries of warfare between two major maritime powers, both the Byzantines and the Arabs left us records of their doctrine and tactics, as well as of how their ships were built. Featuring full-colour artwork and rigorous analysis from an authority on naval warfare, this enthralling book offers a glimpse of the long-lost world of war at sea in the age of Byzantium.

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The British Navy in the Baltic (HC)

The British Navy in the BalticJohn D. Grainger has just released a new book, The British Navy in the Baltic. It is available worldwide in Hardcover.

This book presents a comprehensive overview of the activities of the British navy in the Baltic Sea from the earliest times until the twentieth century. It traces developments from Anglo-Saxon times, through the medieval period when there were frequent disputes between English kings and the Hanseatic League, the seventeenth-century wars with the Dutch, and Britain's involvement in the Northern Wars in the early years of the eighteenth century. It considers in detail the major period of British involvement in the Baltic during the Napoleonic Wars, when the British navy fought the Danes, Napoleon's allies, and was highly effective in ensuring Sweden's neutrality and Russia's change of allegiance. It goes on to discuss British naval actions in the Baltic during the Crimean War and in the First World War and its aftermath. Throughout, the book relates naval actions to patterns of trade, to wider international politics, and to geographical factors such as winter sea ice and the shallow nature of the Baltic Sea.

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First Fleet (K)

First FleetRob Mundle has a new book available for pre-order on Kindle, First Fleet. It will be released worldwide on 22 September 2014.

Bestselling Maritime Biographer, Rob Mundle, is back on the ocean with a blockbuster for Christmas. Rob's First Fleet tells the extraordinary story of the eighteenth century convoy of eleven ships that left England on 13 May 1787 for the 'lands beyond the seas'. Aboard were seafarers, convicts, marines, and a few good citizens -some 1300 in all - who had been consigned to a virtually unknown land on the opposite side of the world where they would establish a penal colony, and a nation. The fleet stopped at Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town before sailing across the notorious and challenging Southern Ocean, bound for Botany Bay. Somehow, all 11 ships arrived safely between 18 and 20 January, 1788. But, it's what happened during 252 days at sea while sailing half way around the world, and subsequently on land, that is almost beyond belief. No nation has ever been founded in such a courageous and dangerous manner. It's the basis for one hell of an adventure.

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Dutch Warships in the Age of Sail 1600 - 1714 (HC)

Dutch Warships in the Age of Sail 1600 - 1714James Bender has a new book available for pre-order in Hardcover, Dutch Warships in the Age of Sail 1600 - 1714: Design, Construction, Careers & Fates. It will be released in the UK on 20 September 2014 and in the US on 15 October 2014.

For most of the seventeenth century the Netherlands constituted the most important maritime power in the world, with by far the largest merchant fleet and a dominance in seaborne trade that other countries feared and envied. Born out of an 80-year struggle against Spain for independence, the Dutch republic relied on naval power to guarantee its freedom, promote its trade and defend its overseas colonies. The Dutch navy was crucial to its survival and success, yet the ships that made up its fleets are among the least studied of any in the age of sail. The reasons for this include a decentralised administration of five separate admiralties, often producing ships of the same name at the same time, the widespread co-opting of merchantmen into naval fleets, and competing systems of measuring ships, all of which leads to confusion and error. The most significant contribution of this book is to produce the first definitive listing of all Dutch fighting ships - whether purpose-built, purchased, hired or captured - from the heyday of the United Provinces, complete with technical details and summaries of their careers. It also provides an appreciation of the administrative, economic and technical background, and outlines the many campaigns fought by one of the most successful navies in history. With its unique depth of information, this is a work of the utmost importance to every naval historian and general reader interested in the navies of the sailing era.

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British Expeditions to the South Atlantic 1805-1807 (HC)

British Expeditions to the South Atlantic 1805-1807John D. Grainger has a new book available for pre-order in Hardcover, British Expeditions to the South Atlantic 1805-1807. It will be released in the US on 19 August 2014 and in the UK on 30 August 2014.

Between 1805 and 1807 the British mounted several expeditions into the South Atlantic aimed at weakening Napoleon's Spanish and Dutch allies. The targets were the Dutch colony on South Africa's Cape of Good Hope, which potentially threatened British shipping routes to India, and the Spanish colonies in the Rio de la Plata basin (now parts of Argentina and Uruguay). In 1805 an army of around 6,000 men was dispatched for the Cape under the highly-respected General David Baird. They were escorted and assisted by a naval squadron under Home Riggs Popham. The Cape surrendered in January 1806. Popham then persuaded Baird to lend him troops for an attack on Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires was taken in July but the paltry British force (around 2,400 men) was then besieged and forced to surrender in August. Popham was later court martialled for exceeding his orders. In Feb 1807 Montevideo was taken by a new (officially sanctioned) British force of 6,000 men. Whitelocke, the British Commander then attempted to retake Buenos Aires (not least to free British prisoners from the first attempt) but was defeated by unexpectedly fierce resistance stiffened by armed creoles and slaves. After heavy losses he signed an armistice, surrendering Montevideo and withdrawing all his forces. He too was court-martialled. One of the major themes of this new account is the strong Scottish connection - Baird and Popham were both Scots, and the 71st Highlanders made up the main force in the Cape and Popham's adventure. Another is the unlooked for consequences of these actions. The arrival of Scottish Calvinist ministers in the Cape influenced the eventual development of apartheid, while successful resistance to the British, with little help from Spain, shaped and accelerated the independence movement in South America.

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Give Me a Fast Ship (HC/K)

Give Me a Fast ShipTim McGrath has just released a new book Give Me a Fast Ship: The Continental Navy and America's Revolution at Sea. It is now available worldwide in Hardcover and for Kindle download.

Five ships against hundreds—the fledgling American Navy versus the greatest naval force the world had ever seen...

America in 1775 was on the verge of revolution—or, more likely, disastrous defeat. After the bloodshed at Lexington and Concord, England's King George sent hundreds of ships westward to bottle up American harbors and prey on American shipping. Colonists had no force to defend their coastline and waterways until John Adams of Massachusetts proposed a bold solution: The Continental Congress should raise a navy.

The idea was mad. The Royal Navy was the mightiest floating arsenal in history, with a seemingly endless supply of vessels. More than a hundred of these were massive "ships of the line," bristling with up to a hundred high-powered cannon that could level a city. The British were confident that His Majesty's warships would quickly bring the rebellious colonials to their knees.

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