Britannia’s Amazon (PB)

Antoine Vanner has just released the next book in The Dawlish Chronicles, Britannia’s Amazon. It is now available in paperback and for kindle download worldwide.

Florence Dawlish stands at the quayside in Portsmouth and watches the Royal Navy’s newest cruiser, HMS Leonidas, departing under command of her husband Captain Nicholas Dawlish. Months of separation lie ahead, quiet months which she plans to fill with charitable works.Witnessing of the abduction of a young girl shatters that quiet, bringing Florence into brutal contact with the squalid underside of complacent Victorian society. With her personal loyalties challenged to the limit, and conscious that her persistence in seeking justice may damage her ambitious husband’s career, not to mention the possibility of prison for herself, Florence is drawn ever deeper into a maelstrom of corruption and violence. The enemies she faces are merciless and vicious, their identities protected by guile, power and influence.Florence has faced danger before but it was shared then with her husband Nicholas. Now she must make the hardest decisions of her life without his support. And when legal measures prove futile she must make very difficult choices…Britannia’s Amazon plays out in a world of extreme wealth and limitless poverty, marriages of American heiresses to British aristocracy and children starving in foul garrets, crusading journalists and hideously disfigured match-girls, arrogant aesthetes and ineffectual benevolence.This is the fifth volume of the Dawlish Chronicles naval fiction series – action and adventure set in the age of transition from sail to steam in the later 19th Century. But in Britannia’s Amazon the action is driven by Florence, the indomitable wife whom naval officer Nicholas Dawlish met – and fell in love with – in the first of the series, Britannia’s Wolf. Fiercely devoted to the welfare of seamen and their families, she is to find that Britain itself offers dangers as lethal as her husband faces overseas.This volume includes, as a bonus, the short story Britannia’s Eye, which casts light on Nicholas’s boyhood and his decision to join the Royal Navy.

Source: Britannia’s Amazon (PB)

Jutland: The Unfinished Battle (HC) | Historic Naval Fiction

This year sees the centenary of the Battle of Jutland and for those interested an excellent resource for both the battle itself and planned commemoration events can be found at

To mark this anniversary Nicolas Jellicoe, the grandson of one of the admirals, as a new book out in hardcover, Jutland: The Unfinished Battle. It is now available in the UK and will be released in the US on 15 May 2016.

One hundred years after Jutland, the first and largest engagement of Dreadnoughts in the twentieth century, historians are still fighting this controversial and misunderstood battle. What was in fact a strategic victory stands out starkly against the background of bitter public disappointment in the Royal Navy and decades of divisive acrimony and very public infighting between the camps supporting the two most senior commanders, Jellicoe and Beatty.

This book not only re-tells the story of the battle from both a British and German perspective based on the latest research, but it also helps clarify the context of Germany’s inevitable naval clash. It then traces the bitter dispute that ensued in the years after the smoke of war had cleared right up to his death in 1935, Admiral Jellicoe was embroiled in what became known as the Jutland Controversy . Nick Jellicoe is uniquely placed to tell the story of Jutland. His naval connections are strong: his father, the second Earl served as First Lord of the Admiralty while his grandfather, Sir John Jellicoe commanded the Grand Fleet for the first two years on the war, from 1914 to 1916 famously described by Churchill as being the only man who could have lost the war in an afternoon .

Source: Jutland: The Unfinished Battle (HC) | Historic Naval Fiction

Review: Britannia’s Spartan by Antoine Vanner – Historic Naval Fiction | Historic Naval Fiction

Britannia's SpartanBritannia’s Spartan by Antoine Vanner continues the adventures of Commander Nicholas Dawlish, serving in the Royal Navy as the Victorian Era draws to a close. Newly promoted to Captain and command of the navy’s newest cruiser, HMS Leonidas, he is ordered to the Far East on what should be a routine voyage to test her capabilities, becoming the first RN warship to complete the round trip by steam alone.

On arrival orders are changed and he is sent on a diplomatic mission to Korea where Chinese influence is on the wane, a rapidly modernising Japan is seeking to fill the void and Britain needs allies against Russian expansion.

Dawlish soon finds himself having to make some hard decisions as to what would be in Britain’s interest as war between the regional powers threatens to break out.

Plenty of action follows both on land and at sea in what was a well written novel with a good plot that flowed smoothly holding my attention well. I continue to enjoy Dawlish’s adventures for their insights into how the Navy handled the transition to steam vessels, their powerful weapons and innovations such as torpedos. I look forward to reading more.

Both this book and the series as a whole are highy recommended.

Source: Review: Britannia’s Spartan by Antoine Vanner – Historic Naval Fiction | Historic Naval Fiction

Britannia’s Spartan (PB) – Historic Naval Fiction | Historic Naval Fiction

Antoine Vanner has just released the next book in The Dawlish Chronicles, Britannia’s Spartan. It is now available in paperback worldwide and will be released for kindle shortly.

This is the fourth volume of the Dawlish Chronicles It is 1882 and Captain Nicholas Dawlish has just taken command of the Royal Navy’s newest cruiser, HMS Leonidas. Her voyage to the Far East is to be a peaceful venture, a test of this innovative vessel’s engines and boilers. It should bear no relation to the nightmare of failure in China that Dawlish remembers as his baptism of fire as a boy.

As HMS Leonidas arrives in Hong Kong Dawlish has no forewarning of the nightmare of riot, treachery, massacre and battle that he and his crew will encounter. A new balance of power is emerging in the Far East. Imperial China, weak and corrupt, is challenged by a rapidly modernising Japan, while Russia threatens both from the north. They all need to control Korea, a kingdom frozen in time and reluctant to emerge from centuries of isolation. British interests too are at stake, and treading a safe path between the rival powers is vital, but perhaps impossible.

Dawlish finds himself a critical player in a complex political powder keg. He must take account of a weak Korean king and his shrewd queen, of murderous palace intrigue, of a powerbroker who seems more American than Chinese and a Japanese naval captain whom he will come to despise and admire in equal measure. And he will have no one to turn to for guidance.Britannia’s Spartan sees Dawlish drawn into his fiercest battles yet on sea and land. Daring and initiative have already brought him rapid advancement and he hungers for more. But is he at last out of his depth?

Source: Britannia’s Spartan (PB) – Historic Naval Fiction | Historic Naval Fiction

Review: The Virgin of the Wind Rose by Glen Craney – Historic Naval Fiction

The nautical element of this book is based around a secret society, heirs to the Templars, under the control of Henry the Navigator and the voyages of Portuguese mariners known to history. Are they just explorers? Is Christopher Columbus who he seems to be? or are they trying to avoid the Tribulations of the Book of Revelation.

What they were doing is revealed through a parallel modern day plot as history repeats itself and the clues they left must be unravelled by State Department lawyer Jaq Quartermane and a roguish antiquities thief named Elymas.

The modern element is a similar basis, though unique plot, to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and is a page turner as the reader is eager to learn the next twist in the unfolding mystery.

Whilst the nautical element of this book is only minor it was a refreshing and interesting read which wove together a number of alternative history theories and historical locations I was not previously aware of in a very well written narrative which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Highly recommended.

Source: Review: The Virgin of the Wind Rose by Glen Craney – Historic Naval Fiction

HMS Victory Pocket Manual 1805 (HC) | Historic Naval Fiction

A new hardcover book by Peter Goodwin is available for pre-order, HMS Victory Pocket Manual 1805: Nelson’s Flagship at Trafalgar. It will be released in the UK on 19 November 2015 and in the US on 15 December 2015.

The full history of the world’s most famous warship told in the most accessible pocket-book format and written by the leading historian of the sailing man of war. Includes a pertinent and varied selection of contemporary documents and records to explain the day-to-day running of a three-decker Georgian warship This new addition to the best-selling Conway Pocket-book range features Admiral Nelson’s fully preserved flagship HMS Victory, the most tangible symbol of the Royal Navy’s greatest battle off Cape Trafalgar on October 21st 1805.In the HMS Victory Pocket Manual, Peter Goodwin adopts a fresh approach to explain the workings of the only surviving ‘line of battle’ ship of the Napoleonic Wars. As Victory was engaged in battle during only two per cent of her active service, Peter Goodwin also provides a glimpse into life and work at sea during the other ninety-eight per cent of the time. As technical and historical advisor to the ship in Portsmouth for over twenty years, he is in a unique position to investigate and interpret not only the ship’s structure but also the essential aspects of shipboard life: victualling, organisation, discipline, domestic arrangements and medical care.In his role as Keeper and Curator of the ship, the author was asked thousands of questions by visitors and historians alike. This volume presents answer to the most important and telling questions: ‘What types of wood were used in building Victory?’; ‘What was Victory’s longest voyage?’; ‘How many shots were fired from her guns at Trafalgar?’; ‘How many boats did Victory carry?’; ‘What was prize money?’; ‘What was grog?’; ‘When did her career as a fighting ship end?’, and ‘How many people visit Victory each year?’.

Source: HMS Victory Pocket Manual 1805 (HC) | Historic Naval Fiction

Action This Day (K) – Historic Naval Fiction

Naval historian Richard Freeman who has written a number of non-fiction works has started a naval fiction series. The second book in the Commander Steadfast Thrillers, Action This Day, is now available for kindle download worldwide.

November 1941. After the dramatic sinking of his first command – HMS Defiant – Lieutenant Commander George Steadfast needs a break. But less than a week later he is called to the Admiralty. He is being sent straight off on another mission. And the orders for this one come straight from Sir Winston Churchill.

Steadfast is being sent to the Mediterranean to rescue an Albanian scientist called Janos Dobransky. Dobransky has invented a compound that is vital to the war effort. Unaware of his importance, the Italians have captured him and are keeping him and other prisoners in a fortress off the Albanian coast. It is of vital importance that he is rescued before the Germans realise who he is. The mission is top secret, and Steadfast’s orders are clear: Get Dobransky back. No high jinks. No bravado. Just straight in and straight out.

With the fortress manned from all sides, how will Steadfast manage to infiltrate the island? Can he complete his mission without the Nazi’s catching wind of what Churchill is up to? Or will his latest – and most daring – mission be his last…?

‘Action This Day’ is a gripping naval thriller that combines convincing period detail with full-throttle story-telling, with almost every incident based on a true event in one of the thousands of convoys during the Second World War. It is the follow up to ‘First Command’.

via Action This Day (K) – Historic Naval Fiction.

Review: Britannia’s Shark by Antoine Vanner – Historic Naval Fiction

Britannia’s Shark by Antoine Vanner continues the adventures of Commander Nicholas Dawlish, serving in the Royal Navy as the Victorian Era draws to a close. The series so far has explored the Turkish Navy and river conflict in Paraguay and this time we move to conflict with the Finian movement for Irish independance and their involvement with John Philip Holland who invented the first practical submarine.

The Finian’s are a threat to British interests but as they are operating in the US diplomatic neccessity means that no overt action can be taken. Dawlish soon finds himself headed for New York undercover with orders to stop them using the submarine against Britain. When he is unsuccesful he must follow them to Cuba and aid the revolutionaries to complete his mission.

This was an interesting read for it’s insights into both early submarine development and the situation in Cuba at the time.

As is now to be expected from Vanner this was a well written novel with a good plot that flowed smoothly holding my attention well. I continue to enjoy Dawlish’s adventures for their insights into the naval matters at this time and look forward to reading more. Both this book and the series as a whole are highy recommended.

via Review: Britannia’s Shark by Antoine Vanner – Historic Naval Fiction.

Britannia’s Shark PB – Historic Naval Fiction

Antoine Vanner has just released the third book in The Dawlish Chronicles, Britannia’s Shark. It is now available in paperback worldwide and will be released for kindle shortly.

1881. The British Empire’s power seems unchallengeable. But now a group of revolutionaries threaten that power’s economic basis. Their weapon is the invention of a naïve genius, their sense of grievance is implacable and their leader is already proven in the crucible of war. Protected by powerful political and business interests, conventional British military and naval power cannot touch them.

A daring act of piracy drags the ambitious British naval officer, Nicholas Dawlish, into this deadly maelstrom. Drawn in too is his wife Florence, for whom a glimpse of a half-forgotten face evokes memories of earlier tragedy. For both a nightmare lies ahead, made worse by a weakness Dawlish never suspected he had. Amid the wealth and squalor of America’s Gilded Age, and on a fever-ridden island ruled by savage tyranny, and manipulated ruthlessly from London by the shadowy Admiral Topcliffe, Nicholas and Florence Dawlish must make very strange alliances if they are to survive – and prevail.

via Britannia’s Shark PB – Historic Naval Fiction.

Review: HMS Wasp by Peter J. Holloway – Historic Naval Fiction

HMS Wasp by Peter J. Holloway follows Ted Harris and his period of National Service aboard a small sloop in the Caribbean. He works in the electrical department where he is mentored by a Chief Petty Officer he comes to admire. As you might expect of a young man experiencing life abroad for the first time he also has some interesting experiences during his periods of shore leave.

The book is set shortly after the end of the Korean War and just before the Navy begins to contract as the far flung parts of Empire gain their independence and it therefore reflects what might be described as the end of an era.

This is a time of peace and ‘showing the flag’ visits so don’t expect any action but it is a well written novel with believable characters that held my attention well. It gave a good insight into the life of an ordinary seaman and National Serviceman and how they were matured by the process.

I enjoyed reading HMS Wasp and the book is recommended reading.

via Review: HMS Wasp by Peter J. Holloway – Historic Naval Fiction.