When someone mentions attacks on British shipping in home waters during the American Revolution usually one name springs to mind, John Paul Jones. I was surprised to learn therefore that there was someone possibly even more successful who I had never heard of, Luke Ryan.
Ryan was an Irish smuggler operating out of Dunkirk who became a privateer sailing with an American Letter of Marque from Benjamin Franklin and went on to command the Calonne, a 400 ton ex-French naval frigate of two decks and 36 guns with a crew of nearly 250 men of Irish, French, American and Dutch nationalities. A small band of ships sailed under his overall command.
Read More Review: Gather the Shadowmen by Mark M. McMillin – Historic Naval Fiction.
Mark Lardas has a new book which is available for pre-order in paperback, Bonhomme Richard vs Serapis: Flamborough Head 1779. It will be released wordlwide on 20 June 2012.
The clash between the American Bonhomme Richard and the British HMS Serapis during the American Revolutionary War is perhaps the most famous single-ship duel in history. This epic battle between two very similar ships – and crews – off the coast of Britain in September 1779 created two naval heroes: in victory John Paul Jones became a figure that all future American naval officers would aspire to emulate, while Richard Pearson, in defeat, became a hero to the British for a tenacious defense that allowed the merchant vessels under his protection to escape.
Read More Bonhomme Richard vs Serapis (PB) – Historic Naval Fiction.
The Paperback version of The Winds of Folly by Seth Hunter is now available for pre-order worldwide. It is due to be published on 2 February 2012 and this is the first version that will be available in the US.
Read More The Winds of Folly Paperback now available for order – Historic Naval Fiction.
The outcome of the meeting between Constitution and Java is well known, and there is a danger with any story which has a forgone conclusion that tension or excitement can be either missing, or contrived. This is definitely not the case with A Perfect Wreck; from the start, with Constitution active and potent at sea, and Java working up at Portsmouth after her capture from the French, the story pulls the reader forward with a pace that is quite compelling. Maffeo adds poignance by fleshing out the historical characters, making them real, three dimensional, and totally believable while the wealth of detail that is present throughout the book, gives a fascinating background to the story, without slowing the plot or becoming in any way instructional.
In short we have a well researched and excellently written book; one that reads as easily as any novel, and yet carries the accuracy and credibility of a good reference work. A difficult trick, but one that Maffeo has pulled off perfectly.
Read More Alaric Bond Review: The Perfect Wreck by Steven E. Maffeo – Historic Naval Fiction.