Hornblower’s Historical Shipmates (HC)

Heather Noel-Smith & Lorna M. Campbell have just released a new book, Hornblower’s Historical Shipmates: The Young Gentlemen of Pellew’s Indefatigable. It is available worldwide in Hardcover.

This book sets out the lives of seventeen ‘young gentlemen’ who were midshipmen under the famous Captain Sir Edward Pellew. Together, aboard the frigate HMS Indefatigable, they fought a celebrated action in 1797 against the French ship of the line Les Droits de l’Homme. C. S. Forester, the historical novelist, placed his famous hero, Horatio Hornblower, aboard Pellew’s ship as a midshipman, so this book tells, as it were, the actual stories of Hornblower’s real-life shipmates. And what stories they were! From diverse backgrounds, aristocratic and humble, they bonded closely with Pellew, learned their naval leadership skills from him, and benefited from his patronage and his friendship in their subsequent, very varied careers. The group provides a fascinating snapshot of the later eighteenth-century sailing navy in microcosm. Besides tracing the men’s naval lives, the book shows how they adapted to peace after 1815, presenting details of their civilian careers. The colourful lives recounted include those of the Honourable George Cadogan, son of an earl, who survived three courts martial and a duel to retire with honour as an admiral in 1813; Thomas Groube, of a Falmouth merchant family, who commanded a fleet of boats which destroyed the Dutch shipping at Batavia, capital of the Dutch East Indies, in 1806; and James Bray, of Irish Catholic descent, who was killed commanding a sloop during the American war of 1812

Source: Hornblower’s Historical Shipmates (HC)

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The Burning of His Majesty’s Schooner Gaspee (HC)

Steven Park’s new book, The Burning of His Majesty’s Schooner Gaspee: An Attack on Crown Rule Before the American Revolution will be released in Hardcover in the US on 4 November 2016 and in the UK on 28 February 2017. It is now available for pre-order.

Considered one of the first acts of rebellion to British authority over the American colonies, a fresh account placing the incident into historical context.

Between the Boston Massacre in 1770 and the Boston Tea Party in 1773—a period historians refer to as “the lull”—a group of prominent Rhode Islanders rowed out to His Majesty’s schooner Gaspee,which had run aground six miles south of Providence while on an anti-smuggling patrol. After threatening and shooting its commanding officer, the raiders looted the vessel and burned it to the waterline. Despite colony-wide sympathy for the June 1772 raid, neither the government in Providence nor authorities in London could let this pass without a response. As a result, a Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by Rhode Island governor Joseph Wanton zealously investigated the incident.

In The Burning of His Majesty’s Schooner Gaspee: An Attack on Crown Rule Before the American Revolution, historian Steven Park reveals that what started out as a customs battle over the seizure of a prominent citizen’s rum was soon transformed into the spark that re-ignited Patriot fervor. The significance of the raid was underscored by a fiery Thanksgiving Day sermon given by a little-known Baptist minister in Boston. His inflammatory message was reprinted in several colonies and was one of the most successful pamphlets of the pre-Independence period. The commission turned out to be essentially a sham and made the administration in London look weak and ineffective. In the wake of the Gaspee affair, Committees of Correspondence soon formed in all but one of the original thirteen colonies, and later East India Company tea would be defiantly dumped into Boston Harbor.

Source: The Burning of His Majesty’s Schooner Gaspee (HC)

The Hungry Horizon (PB)

Mike Hawthorne recently released the first novel in a proposed 3 book pirate fiction series,. The Hungry Horizon, is available worldwide in Paperback.

Jamaica, Christmas 1679. In Morant Bay, a fleet of buccaneers secretly prepares to attack the Spanish Main, in defiance of the peace treaty between England and Spain. A veteran of the Dutch Wars and Henry Morgan’s sack of Panama, Tom Sheppard flees from a brawl in Port Royal with his two young turtle-fishing mates to join the expedition and escape the threat of the gallows. Expecting a quick raid on a Caribbean port, they find themselves carried by events far beyond their original target towards the Great Southern Ocean. The buccaneers struggle against wild seas, rivers, mountains and jungles. Their allies are fierce native tribes who have never surrendered to the Spanish colonists. For Tom, each step takes him further away from the prospect of a respectable career in Europe. Reluctantly, he is dragged deep into the criminal world of squabbling pirate captains on the edge of the known world. His dreams of escape are frustrated at every turn. He must keep his friends safe and come to terms with what he has become or go mad.

Source: The Hungry Horizon (PB)

The Blackstrap Station (K)

Alaric Bond has just released the latest book in the Fighting Sail series, The Blackstrap Station, which is now available in ebook formats worldwide and will be released in paperback shortly.

Christmas 1803, although the group of shipwrecked Royal Navy seamen have anything but festivities in mind as they pitch their wits against the French force sent to retrieve them. And all the while, rescue in the shape of a British frigate, lies temptingly close, yet just beyond their reach…

Encompassing vicious sea battles, spirited land action and treachery from friend as much as foe, The Blackstrap Station tells a stirring tale of courage, honour and loyalty, set against the backdrop of what is to become a broiling Mediterranean summer.

Source: The Blackstrap Station (K)

The Shores of Tripoli (HC/K)

James L. Haley has a new book available for pre-order in Hardcover and Kindle formats. The Shores of Tripoli: Lieutenant Putnam and the Barbary Pirates will be released worldwide on 1 November 2016.

The first novel in a brilliant new series by award-winning historian James L. Haley, featuring young midshipman Bliven Putnam as he begins his naval service aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise.

It is 1801 and President Thomas Jefferson has assembled a deep-water navy to fight the growing threat of piracy, as American civilians are regularly kidnapped by Islamist brigands and held for ransom, enslaved, or killed, all at their captors whim. The Berber States of North Africa, especially Tripoli, claimed their faith gave them the right to pillage anyone who did not submit to their religion.

Young Bliven Putnam, great-nephew of Revolutionary War hero Israel Putnam, is bound for the Mediterranean and a desperate battle with the pirate ship Tripoli. He later returns under legendary Commodore Edward Preble on the Constitution, and marches across the Libyan desert with General Eaton to assault Derna discovering the lessons he learns about war, and life, are not what he expected.

Rich with historical detail and cracking with high-wire action, “The Shores of Tripoli” brings this amazing period in American history to life with brilliant clarity.”

Source: The Shores of Tripoli (HC/K)

Faces of the Civil War Navies (HC/K)

Ronald S. Coddington has a new book available for pre-order in Hardcover and Kindle formats. Faces of the Civil War Navies: An Album of Union and Confederate Sailors will be released worldwide on 30 October 2016.

During the American Civil War, more than one hundred thousand men fought on ships at sea or on one of America’s great inland rivers. There were no large-scale fleet engagements, yet the navies, particularly the Union Navy, did much to define the character of the war and affect its length. The first hostile shots roared from rebel artillery at Charleston Harbor. Along the Mississippi River and other inland waterways across the South, Union gunboats were often the first to arrive in deadly enemy territory. In the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic seaboard, blockaders in blue floated within earshot of gray garrisons that guarded vital ports. And on the open seas, rebel raiders wreaked havoc on civilian shipping.In Faces of the Civil War Navies, renowned researcher and Civil War photograph collector Ronald S. Coddington focuses his considerable skills on the Union and Confederate navies. Using identifiable cartes de visite of common sailors on both sides of the war, many of them never before published, Coddington uncovers the personal histories of each individual who looked into the eye of the primitive camera. These unique narratives are drawn from military and pension records, letters, diaries, period newspapers, and other primary sources. In addition to presenting the personal stories of seventy-seven intrepid volunteers, Coddington also focuses on the momentous naval events that ushered in an era of ironclad ships and other technical innovations.The fourth volume in Coddington’s series on Civil War soldiers, this microhistory will appeal to anyone with an interest in the Civil War, social history, or photography. The narratives and photographs in Faces of the Civil War Navies shed new light on a lesser-known part of our American story. Taken collectively, these “snapshots” remind us that the history of war is not merely a chronicle of campaigns won and lost, it is the collective personal odysseys of thousands of individual life stories.

Source: Faces of the Civil War Navies (HC/K)

The Golden Age of Piracy (HC/K)

Benerson Little has a new book available for pre-order in Hardcover and Kindle formats. The Golden Age of Piracy: The Truth Behind Pirate Myths will be released in the US on 25 October 2016 and in the UK on 10 November 2016.

For thousands of years, pirates have terrorized the ocean voyager and the coastal inhabitant, plundered ship and shore, and wrought havoc on the lives and livelihoods of rich and poor alike. Around these desperate men has grown a body of myths and legends, fascinating tales that today strongly influence our notions of pirates and piracy.Most of these myths derive from the pirates of the Golden Age, from roughly 1655 to 1725. This was the age of the Spanish Main, of Henry Morgan and Blackbeard, of Bartholomew Sharp and Bartholomew Roberts. The history of pirate myth is rich in action, at sea and ashore. However, the truth is far more interesting. In “The Golden Age of Piracy,” expert pirate historian Benerson Little debunks more than a dozen pirate myths that derive from this era, from the flying of the Jolly Roger to the burying of treasure, from walking the plank to the staging of epic sea battles and shows that the truth is far more fascinating and disturbing than the romanticized legends.Among Little’s revelations are that pirates of the Golden Age never made their captives walk the plank and that they, instead, were subject to horrendous torture, such as being burned or hung by their arms. Likewise, epic sea battles involving pirates were fairly rare because most prey surrendered immediately. The stories are real and are drawn heavily from primary sources. Complementing them are colorful images of flags, ships, and buccaneers based on eyewitness accounts.

Source: The Golden Age of Piracy (HC/K)