Live the Adventure!

“A sensitive and insightful portrayal of a common man’s rise to fame and distinction in the age of fighting sail. Reeks of authenticity…” Quarterdeck

320 Comments on “Live the Adventure!

  1. Julian,

    My dad introduced me to your books whilst I was visiting him several years ago and I am counting down the days until I can get my hands on the next book! I read an awful lot and I have never been so engaged by or felt so close to a group of characters. Your writing style and story telling are both nothing short of genius.


  2. In 2004 I picked up a copy of Kydd at a book sale. The cover just interested me for some reason. Ten years on and I’ve never grown tired of Kydd’s adventures. They’re like old friends I visit from time to time, and I look forward to every new installment! I find Stockwin’s writing style much more accessible and fast-paced than O’Brian’s, yet still packed with fascinating details.

  3. I was surprised and delighted to hear I had won an advanced copy of your new Kydd book, PASHA. I’m a big fan and look forward to reading it and I hope many more new Kydd stories. Thank you very much. Godspeed, Mike Burns

  4. I only have 3 books left in the series….yikes!! Julian.. you have done a great deed writing these. I have a stressful job..but my life changes in an instant when I pick up Kydd and am transported into my nautical world!! What a great series. . And I’ve read tons of series. Still trying to find some. .but yours is terrific. As we all say… keep writing, we love you. Patty

    • Thank you for such kind comments, Patty. You might like to know that in addition to the ongoing Kydd series (PASHA is out in October) I’m bringing out another historical adventure novel in November, THE SILK TREE. This one is not a sea tale, but I think you might enjoy it! It tells of two adventurers who risk all to steal the secret of silk from China.

    • You’re so right, Patty, I too have s stressful job but I can easily lose myself on the Billy Roarer:sometimes I’m a Third Officer on watch but other times I’m working alongside Toby Stirk on the gundeck haha!!
      Mike Z.

  5. Discovered Kydd this year and have read all your books back to back. I’m a massive heroic historical fiction fan. Kydd and Renzi are right up there with Sharpe and Harper and Macro and Cato. Roll on the next book!

    • I too have read the entire Kydd series. Wonderful, colourful stories of a time when Britannia ruled the waves. Hopefully more will be the the way.

  6. Hi Julian

    A quick question; have you any plans to preview the first few paragraphs of chapter one of PASHA? I hope so.
    Regards Mike Zanzinger.

  7. What stunning books, Mr Stockwin! I’ve not enjoyed reading do much in years. Great Grandfather was a Naval Surgeon, and going further back to 5 greats , there was a Naval Captain, too. I’ve also sailed briefly on a tall ship, the JST ‘Lord Nelson’ so have a wee feeling of the life (only a week, but we’re I younger and fitter i’d be looking for more!)
    Thank you for helping me to understand more of what my ancestors experienced.
    PS I enjoy hearing of the ships fiddlers striking up a jig or horn pipe – as a fiddler myself I raised a few tunes on ‘Lord Nelson’ and also on some Turkish Sailing Gullets!

  8. I have just finished reading “Caribbee” and have to say well done on another Cracking book, The problem now is I`am not sure what to read while waiting for the next book :-] but then again with my awful memory I can go back to the beginning of the series and start again, Do you have any early, signed back copies ? Regards Andy

    • Pleased to hear you enjoyed my latest, Andy! I do have a few signed back copies – some are First Editions, hardbacks – so if you would like to email me for further details I will let you know cost etc. Offhand, I think I have TREACHERY, CONQUEST, COMMAND, INVASION, VICTORY and QUARTERDECK but they are only in small quantities so don’t delay if you’re interested.

    • I have read all of the Kydd books in one year I could not stop reading them
      It became like an addiction but now I have to wait for the next book how long will that be?

  9. Dear Julian, By the start of “Invasion” Thomas appears to be a wealthy man. However unless I missed something toward the end of “Treachery”, we never received an idea as to the extent of the prize money he accumulated during his time as a privateer………..did I miss something Julian?
    John Plumer

  10. Hi Julian
    I had major problems with my computer so I am not sure if I have ordered a signed copy of your next book or not?

  11. I have read the series (currently well into ‘Caribbee’ with great pleasure! Unfortunately, my wife is blind, and so cannot also follow them – I have checked with the Canadian CNIB and our public library and neither have the titles in audio book format. She can handle books in audio format (“Talking Books”) but “ebooks” – Kindle, etc. are useless for her. Do you have any plans, or suggestions for the Blind reader?

    • Brian – sorry to hear my Kydd tales in audiobook are not available via CNIB or your local library. They are available in many countries through libraries and various organizations for blind and visually disabled readers and I am disappointed to hear this is not so in Canada. Hopefully this situation will be remedied at some point in the future but I am wondering whether you local library has a ‘Friends of the Library’ group who might purchase these so that your wife and others can listen to them?

  12. I was introduced to Thomas Kydd when a friend passed away and I given a couple of your books, having just finished Caribbee and planning to visit la Deserade next year. you might be interested to hear that as a youth I too lived in Guildford and was a member of the Holy Trinity scouts! your books are eagerly looked for every year.
    Well done and thank you for bringing a bygone life to life…..
    Thank you.

  13. I was in hospital for the better part of 2013 and your books were my companion. I finished Caribbee last night and look forward to your next book in October.

    Is there a wedding in the future for Renzi? What about Thomas and Miss Amelia, will he take her to England? Thomas is due a fine woman in his life. I still can’t get over Rosalynd’s death, it brought me to tears.

    Your ability to bring history to life is fantastic and I look forward to many more of your stories.

    • Hope you are on the mend, now, Lewis. Thank you for your kind comments about my books – regret I can’t give the game away re future plots but think you might find some surprises in PASHA, out in October…

  14. Greetings from NZ. Have just enjoyed reading Quarterdeck and Tenacious. Wondering if I might come across a mention of the lands downunder in your novels? Regards p

  15. I don’t know if it’s anything you have control over, but could you pretty please get Amazon to put some kind of consistent numbering in your book titles on Kindle? I come back to read them at least once a year before the next book comes out, but I can never remember the order!

    • Jon – I’ll certainly look into this. Meanwhile, there is a one-page (pdf) summary of the order of the Kydd books on the home page of my website you might like to print out.

  16. Jules:

    Let me first say “Thank you for both the Kydd series and for your wonderful web page.” Now my question: P.J. Duncan recently asked a question about cannons and carronades, which you well answered. My questions is related. I have had the privilege of hearing a 12-pounder fired. The roar was deafening. My question: Were not the gunners, if not the entire crew, driven to deafness from the roar of their cannons?

    • On the gun decks some sailors tied pads over their ears against the noise but they could be left deaf for days afterwards; some would never properly regain their hearing. From my own experience during the Vietnam War you get used to the sound of guns going off and we did what the Georgian sailors did – keep the mouth open when the blast goes off, which helps – but I’m probably paying for it now with diminished hearing…

      • Having heard (from 100 feet) the thunderous BLAP of a 12-pounder, I compare it with a naval 5-inch loud BLANG. To others, perhaps these descriptions of sound don’t make sense .. but, it helps to keep the mouth open with hands covering the ears.

      • Jules In thumbing through the old posts I ran accross the exchange about cannon fire and how to protect one’s ears. I was a loader on 3″ AA guns on the destroyer I rode during the Vietnam War. We would take bits of paper towels, wet them and stuff same in our ears. It always worked and made standing alongside the guns tolerable. Saliva worked also in a pinch. Thanks for the memory.

  17. Hi! Have just read ‘Caribee’ over Christmas. The plot was a real page turner and although I am not a nautical man your books make me wish I could experience life on such ships, but only for a short time. I like my creature comforts too much.
    A question – where do you find the evidence for the speech mannerisms you give your characters?
    Kind regards,

    • Neil – pleased you found CARIBBEE a great read! Thanks for the question – I’m planning a blog on speech patterns in my Kydd books in the near future.

      • Julian.  I see that you have published 14 Kydd novels.   How many do you think you will publish overall?  When you have exhausted the series, what have you got planned?

        • Yes, 14 to date in the Kydd series. And my nonfiction book STOCKWIN’S MARITIME MISCELLANY. Have another half dozen or so Kydd titles roughly planned out so that will keep me busy for a few years. Then? Who knows? Might take a sabattical…

          • Thanks for that. Am 71 in Feb 2014. Hope to see all out. If not I will arrange for a ‘ghost copy’ to filter through (less VAT of course. Happy New Year

    • I have been hooked since I read “KYDD” and have loved every book I have read since. I am about to start “COMMAND” and will go out and purchase the next two in the series.

    • I have thoroughly enjoyed every book in the Kydd Series and having just read Caribee it is of the same quality. I would like to congratulate you on your continued enthusiasm and I’m already looking forward to next book. Lyn Williams

  18. Julian,
    Bolitho was my hero, now I am not so sure !
    What a find, I am half way through “Tenacious”.
    Recently finished the final Nathaniel Drinkwater. Perhaps Thomas and Nathaniel could briefly meet……..why not have a word with Richard Woodman ? !!!!

    • John

      Bolitho was my hero too. I also liked Ramage by Dudley Pope. The Kydd series has an entirely different perspective from the lower deck to the Quarterdeck. You mentioned Nathanial Drinkwater. Actually never heard of him so I will have tio look into that. I have read the entire series of Kydd (except Caribee and the earlier one). Reading them a second time!!

      • Stephen,
        Now completing “Command”, Hopefully he will be off the beach by the end of the book !!
        Richard Woodman is the Drinkwater author….you must start the series !

        • John. Of course I will be reading the series Drinkwater. I am reading the entire series of Kydd again which will then enable me to take in Victory and Caribbee. Then I will tackle Drinkwater (I may start collecting on my Kindle)

    • I agree that Kydd should meet Bolitho (and Ramage). When I finish Big Jules books I’ll have to read Drinkwater, so thanks for the referral.
      As to identifying sequential order of any of these great “fighting sail” authors books kindle does a “fair” job of indicating the next in series, but it’s true that it could be improved.

      • To the list you might also add C. Northcote Parkinson’s (ala Parkinson’s Law) Richard DeLancey series. Out of more than a half-dozen of the genre, KYDD stands at least head and epaulets above the others.

  19. My father is a maritime history fiend and is slowly getting me hooked on the historical genre also. I am thrashing through the Kydd series, currently on Invasion.
    Such a great series and bringing the history of the time to life superbly.
    The Nile battle was remarkable and I hardly new of it before. No less with Akre (sp?).
    Much thanks.

  20. I am hooked on the Kydd series. I have just started “Tenacious” and have “Command” waiting. Once I start “Command will purchase the next two books. They are a terrific read.

  21. I recently turned 66 yrs old and grew up on the Columbia River in Pacific Northwest Washington State , within 60 miles of mouth . My first sailboat @ 16 yrs old was 19-0 ‘ wood whaler wilth a concrete/lead keel center board sloop rig. I’ve managed to migrate up to a twin engine prop pwr boat, not as exciting but slightly more reliable @ times. I”ve moved up river 30 miles and been around corner a few times , i’m glad to say I just finished my first Kydd book, “the Privateer’s Revenge”. Am looking foward to reading the entire series . Darryl Erskine

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