Archives

Books for Santa’s Sack 2017

I’m a bit of a bah humbug creature when it comes to the commercialisation of Christmas – but there’s one thing that I fervently believe: a book is a present that, if well chosen for the recipient, will give hours of pleasure and be a lasting reminder in itself of someone putting thought, not just […]

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Chatham: World’s Most Complete Age of Sail Dockyard

Over the years I’ve toured over the Chatham Historic Dockyard quite a number of times. Shortly to reopen after its winter closure the dockyard is well worth a visit. There are seven main attractions – Command of the Ocean exhibition; Three Historic Warships (HMS Cavalier, HMS Garnet and HM Submarine Ocelot); the Victorian Ropery; RNLI […]

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The Nelson Quiz

This day two hundred and eleven years ago Lord Horatio Nelson died at the Battle of Trafalgar. By request, I’m posting a Nelson quiz I devised a few years ago. Test your knowledge of Nelson lore with these twenty questions. (Answers at the end of the blog.) And there’s a copy of Victory, up for […]

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BookPick: Hornblower’s Historical Shipmates

Among the many larger-than-life naval officers who strode the quarterdeck in the period I write about (1793-1815) Edward Pellew ranks among the most memorable. Not far from where I live in Devon is the site of his heroic action in saving the lives of some 500 men, women and children from certain death aboard the […]

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BookPick: Letters of Seamen in the Wars with France

Behind my decision to begin the Kydd series with a common seaman, rather than an officer, was my curiousity about (and admiration for) that tiny handful of men who crossed the great social divide in the eighteenth century from before the mast as a seaman to the quarterdeck as a king’s officer. In the bitter […]

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BookPick: Beyond Jutland

With this year seeing the centenary of the Battle of Jutland, the Royal Navy’s last great set-piece sea battle, a number of important books on Jutland have been published. I reviewed a selection of these in a previous blog. There have also been some excellent other titles forthcoming this year on various aspects of The […]

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BookPicks: The Great War

This year is the centenary of the Battle of Jutland, the Royal Navy’s last great set-piece sea battle. Rarely has an engagement with the enemy been so controversial, misunderstood, written about, discussed and disputed. I know from my own naval wardroom conversations that this continues to this day. A number of excellent books on Jutland […]

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BookPick: A History of the Royal Navy: Empire and Imperialism

This book is part of the eminently readable ongoing History of the Royal Navy Series published by I.B.Tauris, in association with the National Museum for the Royal Navy. The series, when complete, will consist of three chronologically themed books covering the sailing navy from the 1660s until 1815; the navy in the nineteenth century from […]

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BookPick: Support for the Fleet

The author of this monumental work is Jonathan Coad, a former Inspector of Ancient Monuments. He is a Vice-President of the Society for Nautical Research and a former President of the Royal Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. Support for the Fleet traces the architectural and engineering works in the Royal Navy’s shore bases […]

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HMS Victory – 250 this month!

There’ve been many famous ships in Britain’s proud maritime history – Mary Rose, Golden Hinde, Cutty Sark, to name but three… but one ship stands head and shoulders above the rest – HMS Victory, now currently undergoing major restoration in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to ensure her preservation for future generations This month marks the 250th […]

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