KyddFest-11: – Invasion
Over the previous months I’ve been celebrating the earlier titles in the Kydd Series, it’s Invasion for this blog. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the book, either as a first-time reader or if you’re a re-reader and taken it in more than once! It’s very gratifying for an author to be told that his work has inspired people to go back an read it again. And some of you have told me you have done this several times! Either reply to this blog or email me. Every respondent goes into the hat for a chance to win a copy of the book.
‘Commander Thomas Kydd, RN, is determined to once again sally forth to protect England from the threat of Napoleonic France. In this tenth volume of a thoroughly enjoyable series, our nautical hero witnesses the birth pangs of a new era in naval warfare. He is tasked by the high command to work with the eccentric American artist and inventor Robert Fulton on the development of Fulton’s submarine and torpedo-“infernal machines” to one comfortable on the quarterdeck of a sailing ship man-of-war.
The novel deals with the very real threat posed by a French invasion of England. Robert Fulton had first demonstrated his revolutionary weapon to the French but was frustrated at their hesitant reaction. Kydd’s good friend, Nicholas Renzi, is instrumental in convincing the reluctant American to transfer his allegiance from Napoleon to George III while Kydd is engaged in the deadly work of coastal warfare in the treacherous waters of the English Channel and the Downs.
Stockwin continues to display his talents in transporting his audience from the 21st century to the chaotic worlds of Kydd, Renzi, and their imperiled homeland and its enemies. He captures Georgian society and the closed world of a Royal Navy warship particularly well and, as one expects, goes into action with swords drawn and cannons and carronades blasting. Britannia does indeed rule the waves.’ – Historical Novel Society
The Sea Fencibles
A naval militia established to provide a close-in line of defence and obstruct the operation of enemy shipping, principally during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars – after all, for most of the war, Bonaparte’s troops were under arms just 19 miles away! The earliest recorded use of the term was in 1793, when Captain Sir Home Popham organised groups of fishermen to guard against French vessels off the coast of Nieuwpoort, Belgium. At Popham’s suggestion the British Admiralty subsequently authorised the formation of Sea Fencible units along the English and Irish coasts, supported by a network of Martello towers. Popham’s Sea Fencible companies consisted of merchant seamen using their own private or commercial vessels, but operating under letters of marque that authorised them to capture enemy ships should opportunity arise. The Navy provided the Fencibles with uniforms and weapons; it also protected them from the depredations of navy press gangs. The Admiralty disbanded its Sea Fencible units in 1810.
The Goodwin Sands
A 10-mile long sandbank in the English Channel lying 6 miles off the Deal coast in Kent, England. The area consists of fine sand resting on an Upper Chalk platform belonging to the same geological feature that incorporates the White Cliffs of Dover. The banks lie between 26 ft and 49 ft beneath the surface, depending on location, since tides and currents are constantly shifting the shoals. More than 2,000 ships are believed to have left their bones upon the Goodwin Sands.
I always enjoy bringing real-life characters into my Kydd tales and some of them make an appearance in more than one book. Admiral Sir James Saumarez is one of these, playing a role in both Treachery and Invasion. And when Kydd in involved in the Baltic Campaign in a few books’ time, Saumarez will again be part of the story. Do you have a favourite recurring historical (or fictional) character in the series? Let me know!
Previous blog on Invasion : Invasion: Glory and Adventure
Invasion has been published in the UK/US in English, in translated editions and in ebook, large print and audiobook.
Buy on Amazon or The Book Depository (free postage worldwide!) Also available at most bookstores.
Invasion aboard Victory by Paul Waite
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I have only recently discovered your Kydd series of novels and I have to say I’m absolutely hooked. When I first retired a couple of years ago, I resolved to read all of the Patrick O’Brien Aubrey/Maturin novels in historical order. When I had finished them I thought “what now?”. Then I discovered your Kydd novels which I’m now working my way through. I’ve just finished “Invasion” which I enjoyed just as much as the preceding books. I’m very impressed by the apparent level of authenticity. Thanks for giving me so much enjoyment Julian.
Question for Mr Stockwin –
I read somehwere that Captains and Senior Officers coming to the starboard side of a ship in Nelsons Time had to be piped aboard with honour guard etc. however entering on larboard side no formalities as such were observed. Is this true and why?
If this occurred it was a local ship custom, certainly not a written naval regulation.
I had no idea that Fulton was truly the original creator of the submarine until after reading this (yet another) wonderful addition to this series. The depth of your research never ceases to amaze me.
Hi, I think your books are great, and my wife and I have been able to follow some of Kydd’s footsteps,ie around Giuldford,the fort in Cape Town,and Nelsons harbour,and Port Mahon.please keep the books coming.
Regards Mike Bran.
I just started reading your books recently and can not wait for the next one to come out.
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I thought it was interesting how some of the characters thought it wrong to sneak up on the enemy flotilla and bomb them at anchor (or torpedo them) in the dark and would rather have faced them, outnumbered, in open battle. And (spoiler alert) I was disappointed that the torpedoes didn’t work. But I did love the part when Kydd and company paddled up in the dark to deliver the torpedoes.
I enjoy your books so very much that as I wait for the next one I reread the older ones.