Review: The Astreya Trilogy by Seymour Hamilton

The Astreya Trilogy will appeal to fans of both nautical fiction and fantasy. The first book, Astreya: The Voyage South, follows the story of a young man who sets out to discover his heritage. He is the son of a mysterious shipwrecked sailor who died before he was born and about whom his mother, and the people of the village where he lived, new little. We follow his journey, partly by sea and partly by land, as he starts to get some clues as to his ancestry and inheritance, a bracelet with a green stone which glows when he puts it on and seems to have some power.

In the second book, Astreya: The Men of the Sea, he finds himself aboard the three masted ships of his father’s people, the Men of the Sea, who have been wandering the oceans for years and are feared by those on land.

Read More Review: The Astreya Trilogy by Seymour Hamilton.

Astreya: The Voyage South (PB)

Seymour Hamilton has a new book which has just been released worldwide, Astreya: The Voyage South. The first book in a nautical/fantasy series the Kindle version is currently listed and the paperback version will be available in the next few days.

Astreya isn’t like the other boys in his remote fishing village. When Astreya leaves home, his widowed mother gives him his father’s knife, a riddling notebook, and a bracelet with a mysterious and powerful green stone. He sails south with an adventurous fishing boat skipper, hoping that in the world beyond, he can find out who his father was, what the three enigmatic gifts mean, and whether there is any value to the looks, skills and talents that have set him apart from everyone he has ever known.

Read More Astreya: The Voyage South (PB).

The Social History of English Seamen, 1485-1649 (HC)

Cheryl A. Fury (Editor) has a new book which is available for pre-order in hardcover, The Social History of English Seamen, 1485-1649. It will be released wordlwide on 20 December 2011.

Traditionally, the history of English maritime adventures has focused on the great sea captains and swashbucklers. However, over the past few decades, social historians have begun to examine the less well-known seafarers who were on the dangerous voyages of commerce, exploration, privateering and piracy, as well as naval campaigns. This book brings together some of their findings. There is no comparable work that provides such an overview of our knowledge of English seamen during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the tumultuous world in which they lived. Subjects covered include trade, piracy, wives, widows and the wider maritime community, health and medicine at sea, religion and shipboard culture, how Tudor and Stuart ships were manned and provisioned, and what has been learned from the important wreck the Mary Rose.

via The Social History of English Seamen, 1485-1649 (HC).

The Naval Mutinies of 1797: Unity and Perseverance

Ann Veronica Coats & Philip MacDougall have a new book which is available for pre-order in hardcover, The Naval Mutinies of 1797: Unity and Perseverance. It will be released wordlwide on 17 November 2011.

The naval mutinies of 1797 were unprecedented in scale and impressive in their level of organisation. Under threat of French invasion, crews in the Royal Navy’s home fleet, after making clear demands, refused to sail until their demands were met. Subsequent mutinies affected the crews of more than one hundred ships in at least five home anchorages, replicated in the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Indian Ocean.

Channel Fleet seamen pursued their grievances of pay and conditions by traditional petitions to their commanding officer, Admiral Richard Howe, but his flawed comprehension and communications were further exacerbated by the Admiralty. The Spithead mutiny became the seamen’s last resort. Ironically Howe acknowledged the justice of their position and was instrumental in resolving the Spithead mutiny, but this did not prevent occurrences at the Nore and elsewhere.

Read more The Naval Mutinies of 1797: Unity and Perseverance.

A Ship of War (HC)

Author Sean Thomas Russell has a new novel which is now available for pre-order in Hardcover, A Ship of War. It will be released in the UK on 29 March 2012, but there is no date for other countries yet.

1794 – Charles Hayden sets off aboard the ill-fated HMS Themis with orders to destroy a French frigate sailing from Le Havre and to gather intelligence from a royalist spy. On discovering French plans for an imminent invasion of England, Hayden must return to Portsmouth to give warning before it’s too late.

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Warships of the Anglo-Dutch Wars 1652-74 (PB)

Angus Konstam has a new book which is available for pre-order in paperback, Warships of the Anglo-Dutch Wars 1652-74. It will be released wordlwide on 20 December 2011.

During the 17th century England and Holland found themselves at war three times, in a clash for economic and naval supremacy, fought out in the cold waters of the North Sea and the English Channel. The First Anglo-Dutch War (1652-54) pitted the Dutch against Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth Navy, which proved as successful at sea as his New Model Army had been on land. Following the Restoration of 1660 the two maritime powers clashed again, and in the Second Dutch War (1665-67) it was the Dutch who had the upper hand. They humiliated the English by burning their fleet in the Medway (1667), forcing Charles II to sue for peace. This peace proved temporary, and the Third Dutch War (1672-74) proved a well-balanced and bitterly-fought naval contest. The Royal Navy eventually emerged triumphant, establishing a tradition of naval dominance that would last for two centuries.

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Bligh: William Bligh in the South Seas (HC)

Anne Salmond has a new book which is available in hardcover, Bligh: William Bligh in the South Seas. It was released wordlwide on 11 October 2011.

In Bligh, the story of the most notorious of all Pacific explorers is told through a new lens as a key episode in the history of the world, rather than simply of the West. Award-winning anthropologist Anne Salmond recounts with a fresh perspective the triumphs and disasters of William Bligh’s life in a riveting narrative that for the first time portrays the Pacific islanders as players. Beginning in 1777, when Bligh, at twenty-two, first arrived in Tahiti with Captain Cook, Salmond charts Bligh’s three Pacific voyages–and tells how they transformed lives on the islands as well as on board the ships and back in Europe. She sheds new insight into the mutiny aboard the Bounty–and on Bligh’s remarkable 3,000-mile journey across the Pacific in a small boat–through revelations from the raw, unguarded letters between him and his wife Betsy. This beautifully told story reveals Bligh for the first time, as an important ethnographer adding to the paradoxical legacy of this famed seaman, and it captures more definitively than ever the excitement, drama, and terror of these events.

via Bligh: William Bligh in the South Seas (HC).

Review: The Glorious First of June by Sam Willis

When we look back at the Age of Sail our view is often overshadowed by Napoleon’s control of continental land and Nelson’s climactic battles at sea. Each in their own way built a legend of invincibility on land and sea respectively. This hindsight however pushes the early strugglesof the French revolution into the background and causes us to view earlier sea battles against later Nelson’s success, often on the basis of the number of prizes taken.

In the early years of the French Revolutionary War things were far less clear cut and of course nobody knew they were embarking on almost two decades of conflict. On land France was going through the convulsions of the Terror under Robespierre and at sea the Royal Navy, which had suffered defeats during the American War of Independance, notably causing the surrender of Cornwallis at York Town, was still gathering it’s forces.

Read More Review: The Glorious First of June by Sam Willis.

CSS Alabama vs USS Kearsarge (PB)

Mark Lardas has a new book which is available for pre-order in paperback, CSS Alabama vs USS Kearsarge: Cherbourg 1864. It will be released wordlwide on 20 November 2011.

The most successful commerce raider of the Civil War, the CSS Alabama almost single-handedly drove United States merchant shipping from the seas. Her illustrious career saw the capture of 60 merchant ships and two duels with ships of the US Navy. This book gives the complete story of the development of the Confederacy’s commerce raiding force and the ships the Union set against them. Compiled from numerous first-hand accounts as well as archeological evidence, it covers the three famous battles of the commerce raiders, CSS Florida vs. USS Wachusett, CSS Alabama vs. USS Hatteras, and CSS Alabama vs. USS Kearsarge, analyzing the strengths and weakness of each of the combatants. While the American Civil War is usually considered a land war, there was plenty of blood in the water.

Read More CSS Alabama vs USS Kearsarge (PB).