BookPicks for Christmas

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Books make great Christmas gifts and I’ve chosen twelve to recommend for Santa’s sack. Some classics, some discoveries – and all have a maritime connection of some kind…

By James Davey and Richard Johns, Seaforth

The Royal Navy during the second half of the eighteenth century through the lens of contemporary caricature. Witty and perceptive!

[ Buy ]

Under a Yellow SkyUnder a Yellow Sky
By Simon J Hall, Whittles Publishing

A lively memoir written of the time when the British merchant fleet was still one of the largest in the world – and the Red Ensign a common sight.

[ Buy ]

lifeboatcoverCourage on our Coasts
By Nigel Millard, Conway

Commencing on the Isle of Man – the birthplace of the RNLI – a clockwise circumnavigation of the British and Irish coasts. Stunning photography!
[ Buy ]

Nelson, navy & nationNelson, Navy & Nation
Edited by Quintin Colville & James Davey, Conway

The Royal Navy and the British People 1688-1815. Superbly illustrated.
[ Buy ]

British naval swordsBritish Naval Swords & Swordsmanship
By John McGrath and Mark Barton, Seaforth

A fascinating look at the sword – not just as a sought-after collector’s piece but its position in the wider social and historical context.
[ Buy ]

Cover LAVERY ConquestThe Conquest of the Ocean by Brian Lavery
By Brian Lavery, Dorling Kindersley

A gloriously illustrated account of 5000 years of seafaring history.

[ Buy ]

By Rick Jolly, Conway

The humourous and colourful slang of the Senior Service. A delightful book to dip into!
[ Buy ]

LaveryNavyNelson’s Navy
By Brian Lavery, Conway

Reprinted many times, this is must be the most comprehensive one-volume overview of Britain’s navy during the Napoleonic wars. Highly recommended.
[ Buy ]

Hunter Killers
By Iain Ballantyne, Orion

The incredible true story of the Cold War beneath the waves. Now told!
[ Buy ]

SmythWordBookThe Sailors Word Book
By William Smyth, Cambridge University Press

An indispensable guide to nineteenth-century nautical vocabulary.
[ Buy ]

TurnerSeaTurner and the Sea
By Christine Riding and Richard Jones, Thames & Hudson

Throwing new light on the seascapes of one of the foremost figures of British and European art. A coffee table book to treasure!
[ Buy ]

BrokeShannonBroke of the Shannon and the War 1812
By Tim Voelcker, Seaforth

His victory over Chesapeake had far-reaching consequences. A timely update in the bicentenary year of his victory.

[ Buy ]

And if you’re looking for a specific Signed First Edition Kydd title I still have a few available. Email for details and prices. (Kydd Club members are entitled to a 10% discount on all purchases.) I’m happy to add a personal Christmas message. To ensure delivery in time for Christmas the deadline for orders is November 30. Don’t delay to avoid disappointment!

3 Comments on “BookPicks for Christmas”

  1. Jules: Here is another great book. I read this one years ago.
    “The Way of a Ship.” Here is a brief sysnopsis:

    “When, as a young man in the 1880s, Benjamin Lundy signed up for duty aboard a square-rigged commercial sailing vessel, he began a journey more exciting, and more terrifying, than he could have ever imagined: a treacherous, white-knuckle passage around that notorious “graveyard of ships,” Cape Horn. A century later, Derek Lundy, author of the bestselling Godforsaken Sea and an accomplished amateur seaman himself, set out to recount his forebear’s journey. The Way of a Ship is a mesmerizing account of life on board a square-rigger, a remarkable reconstruction of a harrowing voyage through the most dangerous waters. Derek Lundy’s masterful account evokes the excitement, romance, and brutality of a bygone era — “a fantastic ride through one of the greatest moments in the history of adventure” (Seattle Times).” I have bought copies of this book as gifts for friends who sail on the sea.

    Thank you.

  2. Do you have a book suggestion that covers the experiences of (particularly British) privateers during the Kydd period? I have an ancestor who was a privateer commander at the time.

    • I go into privateering in quite some detail in my book TREACHERY, in which Kydd himself becomes a privateer for a time.

      You could also read “The Privateers” by Donald Macintyre (what they did) and “Pirates and Privateers” (how they did it) by David Starkey.

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