When America First Met China (HC) – Historic Naval Fiction

A new hardcover book by Eric Jay Dolin, When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money During the Age of Sail will be released in the US on 11 September 2012 and in the UK on 5 October 2012.

Ancient China collides with newfangled America in this epic tale of opium smugglers, sea pirates, and dueling clipper ships.

Brilliantly illuminating one of the least-understood areas of American history, best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin now traces our fraught relationship with China back to its roots: the unforgiving nineteenth-century seas that separated a brash, rising naval power from a battered ancient empire. It is a prescient fable for our time, one that surprisingly continues to shed light on our modern relationship with China. Indeed, the furious trade in furs, opium, and bêche-de-mer–a rare sea cucumber delicacy–might have catalyzed America’s emerging economy, but it also sparked an ecological and human rights catastrophe of such epic proportions that the reverberations can still be felt today. Peopled with fascinating characters–from the “Financier of the Revolution” Robert Morris to the Chinese emperor Qianlong, who considered foreigners inferior beings–this page-turning saga of pirates and politicians, coolies and concubines becomes a must-read for any fan of Nathaniel Philbrick’s Mayflower or Mark Kurlansky’s Cod. Two maps, and 16 pages of color and 83 black-and-white illustrations.

via When America First Met China (HC) – Historic Naval Fiction.

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Roger Marsh Review: British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793 – 1817 – Historic Naval Fiction

Rif Winfield has made a lifetime’s study of the sailing warship. This is the third and, until the present day, the last book published in his excellent series of sequential volumes from Seaforth Publishing (though it was the first of them written). This monumental trilogy, taken as a whole, details every single known British ship in service with the Royal Navy from 1603 to 1817, every vessel built, purchased or taken. As we have said before, nothing quite like this series of volumes has ever been produced.

This one spans the period from 1793 until 1817, from the outbreak of the French Revolutionary War through to the aftermath of the 22-year-long Great French Wars and of the more minor War of 1812 between Britain and the USA, both of which conflicts ended in 1815. The timescale takes us up to the armament re-rating of 1817 in the post-war period (the launch year of the frigate HMS Trincomalee).

via Roger Marsh Review: British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793 – 1817 – Historic Naval Fiction.

Julian Mackrell Review: Captain Blackwell’s Prize by V. E. Ulett – Historic Naval Fiction

Captain Blackwell’s Prize is a Romance set in the world of ‘Nelson’s Navy’ early in the 19th century. As such, there is actually more grappling under sheets than on deck (two ship actions): though I could perhaps wish for a little more ‘naval’ and a little less ‘romance’, it all works pretty well to form a satisfying page-turner. Most of the action takes place shipboard, so lovers of naval fiction should feel right at home.

Ulett’s characters are as convincing as her naval action is credible. Blackwell is somewhat Aubrey-ish, an uncomplicated bear of a man who is equally at home pummelling his enemy as delicately caressing his beloved Mercedes, a capable girl, strong-willed yet vulnerable. Unlike O’Brian, we are treated to greater detail of their carnal relations than naval issues while ship-handling technicalities are kept to a minimum.

via Julian Mackrell Review: Captain Blackwell’s Prize by V. E. Ulett – Historic Naval Fiction.

Captain Blackwells Prize out in paperback – Historic Naval Fiction

In 2011 Captain Blackwells Prize by V. E. Ulett was the first historic naval fiction novel to be released solely as a serialised audio book.

I am pleased to advise that it has now been added to the list of publications by Fireship Press and was released last month in Paperback and ebook formats

via Captain Blackwells Prize out in paperback – Historic Naval Fiction.

Review: Blood Diamond by Mark Keating – Historic Naval Fiction

Blood Diamond is a novel about a pirate but, as the cover description makes clear, if you are conjuring up pictures of a Caribbean swashbuckler think again. A large portion of this book is based in London and Paris, not the usual haunt of pirates. However there is some nautical action, principally in the English Channel.

For those dedicated nautical fiction fans, you should not be put of by the large land based element. The principal character, Patrick Devlin, is a very believable character, far from the stereotypical pirate created by Hollywood, and the well written plot blends the land and sea elements well. It is based around the speculation which became known as the South Sea Bubble.

via Review: Blood Diamond by Mark Keating – Historic Naval Fiction.