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The Nautical Fiction List
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Reader in yacht's berth

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Entries preceded by a '*' are reviewed on my Nautical Book Reviews page

Entries preceded by a '+' are available electronically, see the separate Electronic Nautical Books List

Mann, Paul
     The Britannia Contract, 1993 (Arabs hijack the royal yacht BRITANNIA with
       Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip aboard during a royal visit to Saudi
       Arabia. The ransom demands are outrageous, so special forces attempt a
       spectacular rescue.)

Manning, Charles
     48 South, 1990 (Seven ex-Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm officers are recruited,
       with the British Governments approval, by Argentina to help train the
       Special Air Attack Group. The Group is a top secret project conceived
       as a means to eliminate the British Navy when it  arrives in the South
       Atlantic in response to the Argentines proposed invasion of the
       Falkland Islands. In this innovative story, the Group, which
       incidentally has a significant proportion of women pilots, will use
       large numbers of locally produced, deadly, but low tech Corsair
       fighter-bombers to swamp the fleets defence systems. Once they have
       eliminated the small number of very high tech Harriers that make up the
       Royal Navy's air defence they would use the same tactics to destroy
       enough warships to force the British to relinquish their claim to the
       Islands. Interestingly different!)

Marlowe, Stephen 1928-
     The Memoirs of Christopher Columbus, 1987 (The fictional memoirs of
       Chrisptopher Columbus.)

Marmur, Jacland
     The Ransome of Peter Drake (Short story. The story about a radio operator
       who panicked and did not get a distress call out when his ship sank,
       causing the crew to spend weeks in a lifeboat before being rescued. He
       signs on another ship as an ordinary seaman. Well you guessed it, the
       ship starts sinking and he has a chance to redeem himself.)

Marryat, Frederick 1792-1848 (Marryat was a British naval officer during the
  Napoleonic wars, starting his career on board Lord Cochrane's ship. Lord
  Cochrane was the colorful officer whose exploits were later an inspiration
  to Forester and O'Brian. Some of the first novels written about the sea war
  against Napoleon, and some of the few written by a man actually present.)
     The Naval Officer: or Scenes and Adventures in the Life of Frank Mildmay,
       1829 (Marryat's first novel. A delightful read. The adventures of Frank
       Mildmay during his service in the Royal Navy during the late Napoleonic
       Wars. Many of the incidents were based on Marryat's experiences during
       his early service, so the novel was often confused with an
       autobiography. However, to create a more interesting tale, Marryat made
       Mildmay a rake, with the disconcerting -- for Marryat -- result that
       everyone assumed that everything attributed to Mildmay was really the
       good captain's character. Created the Hornblower-Aubrey mold so often
     The King's Own, 1830 (The hero, not knowing himself to be the grandson of
       a noble admiral, rises in the navy through his own abilities, but is
       murdered when on the brink of coming into his own. Has many stirring
       sea episodes, based on Marryat's wide experience.)
     Newton Foster; or The Merchant Service, 1832 (Master of a coastal brig,
       pressed, against the rules, into the Royal Navy, our hero ends up in an
       East Indaman and goes into action with the Bombay Marine, rising to the
       command of an Indiaman, he rescues a noble French family, and marries
       their daughter.)
     Peter Simple, 1834 (Peter Simple, fool younger son of a younger son
       is packed off to the Navy, where his mentor, the Corkman O'Brien,
       Master's Mate of the DIOMEDE decides that Simple may not be a fool.
       Based on the exploits of Lord Cochrane when he commanded frigates
       Marryat served in.)
     Jacob Faithful; or The Story of a Waterman, 1834 (Faithful spends his
       first decade on his father's Thames lighter and only steps foot on
       shore when his mother spontaneously combusts and his father drowns
       after leaping from the cabin in panic at the sight. That's a brave
       enough start to a life and a novel. And there's more. The mother,
       penniless in life, drew crowds as a pile of ashes and was eventually
       bought by a surgeon. Proceeds from show and sale set our man up with a
       47 pounds for a good start in life. With such a start, and despite
       opportunities for education and clerking, Faithful continues on the
       river, apprenticed first to a bargeman and then a wherryman. Finally,
       over three quarters of the way through the book, our man is pressed
       into the Royal navy. A picaresque account of river life, with plentiful
       villains and much yarning from those who have seen service in the Navy
       or the Greenland Fishery and a liberal splattering of nautical
       metaphor. So if you can accept the doldrum pace of young Tom's laboured
       puns, you have a fine tale of early 19th century London when the Thames
       was a bustling thoroughfare. "Another winner for the Captain. I cannot
       understand why it tends to be the moralistic children's books that
       reprint,..." [SA])
    *Mr. Midshipman Easy, 1834 (His best known work. The coming-of-age story
       of a naive but intelligent and courageous midshipman during the Age of
       Sail. Easy is said to have been inspired by the adventures of Cochrane
       when he was a young midshipman.)
     The Pirate and The Three Cutters, 1836 (Two short novels, seemingly
       always published together, and sharing a brisk light-hearted style.)
     The Pirate, 1836 (Twin brothers are separated in infancy. One grows up a
       member of a pirate gang, the other becomes a naval officer. The pirate
       brother eschews the pirates' evil ways (as in THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE),
       the brothers meet, are reconciled, defeat the pirate leader, and find
       his treasure.)
     The Three Cutters, 1836 (A noble yachtsman foolishly tries to assist a
       revenue cutter in seizing a smuggler. The gentlemanly smuggler hijacks
       the yacht, assumes the identity of the yachtsman, lands his cargo, and
       wins the heart of a fair (and rich) widow who is a guest on the yacht.
       Must be one of the earliest fictional accounts of yachting.)
     Snarleyyow; or The Dog Fiend, 1837 (Smuggling and Jacobites in 1699,
       " a purely literary sense [his] real masterpiece..." [The Oxford
    +Masterman Ready; or, The Wreck of the Pacific, 1841 (A tale of shipwreck
       and castaways for young readers.)
     The Phantom Ship (The "Flying Dutchman.")
     Poor Jack (Set in and around the Greenwich naval pensioners' hospital.
       Contains the oldest recorded lyrics to SPANISH LADIES.)

Marshall, Edison 1894-
     Yankee Pasha, 1947 (The adventures of Jason Starbuck, a doughty
       Adirondack frontiersman of the 1790s who loses his family in a Indian
       raid, finds a great love while working the coastal fisheries of New
       England, and pursues her across the Atlantic and most of the known
       world. Swashbuckling adventure on land and sea, with much of it laid
       among the Barbary corsairs where Starbuck more or less goes native.
       Probably the only historical novel ever to include both a ship duel
       in the Bight of Benin and scenes at the court of the Cham of Tartary.)
     The Viking, 1951 (The sea is secondary - maybe tertiary - to this story
       of a young viking's rise to power. The movie of the same name with Kirk
       Douglas and Tony Curtis was loosely based on this excellent novel.)
     American Captain, 1954 (An epic tale, circa early 1800's, of a captain
       of an American merchantman captured by Barbary pirates, sold into
       captivity, etc. "A great read." [JG])
     West with the Vikings, 1961 (Lief Ericson goes exploring, discovers the
       new world. Written before Viking discovery of America was generally
       regarded as truth rather than myth.)

Martin, Larry Jay
     Rush to Destiny, 1992  (Biographical novel of Edward F. Beale "naval hero,
       soldier, adventurer...")

Martin, William 1950-
     Annapolis, 1996 (With a title like this, how could it miss? The saga of
       one sea-faring family from pre-Revolutionary days to the Gulf War.)

Martinek, Frank V. 1895-
     Commander Don Winslow series: (Books derived from a comic strip revolving
     around Winslow, whose clear nobility of appearance instantly labelled him
     as a most upright and marvellous young officer. The series follows
     Winslow and his short, plump officer buddy up through the ranks as they
     get involved in a wide variety of peacetime naval activities -- from
     battleship duty to flying. "Primary" pic depictions and straight copy,
     alternating page-by-page in what were known as the Big Little Books.
     "What makes the Don Winslow material so intriguing is its almost
     propagandistic approach to making the Navy look good." [FY])
       Don Winslow, USN, in Ceylon With Kwang, 1934
       Don Winslow of the Navy, 1940 (The famous adventures of Commander Don
         Winslow, hero of countless American teenagers during WW II.)
       Don Winslow Face to Face With the Scorpion, 1940
       Don Winslow Breaks the Spy Net, 1941
       Don Winslow Saves the Secret Formula, 1941
       Don Winslow and the Scorpion's Stronghold

Martyr, Weston 1885-
     The L200 Millionaire, 1932 (Short stories: The f200 [200 pound]
       Millionaire; The Lucky Bargees; The Ditch Crawlers; more? Idyllic
       portraits of cruising in Europe before WWII. Excellent writing; perhaps
       just the thing to get ones significant other interested in coastal

Masefield, John 1878-1967 (Poet laureate of England, 1930.)
     Salt-Water Ballads, 1902
     Mainsail Haul, 1905 (18 nautical short stories from the master, covering
       this world and the next. Some spooky, some pirates, and a treasure
     A Tarpaulin Muster, 1907 (24 short stories.)
     Captain Margaret, 1908 (In about 1685 Our hero sails from Salcombe in the
       West Country to Virginia to pick up primo: some tobbacco trade and
       secundo: some men with whom to attempt a colonial adventure in Darien.
       On the way out of Salcombe Margaret picks up his former sweetheart and
       her villainous husband, knowing the villain to be wanted for forgery.
       The book deals mainly with the consequences of Margaret's reluctance to
       tell the lady that her feller is a bad one. The Darien enterprise fails
       magnificently as one of Margaret's privateer colleagues turns nasty,
       looking for short term booty on a raid and eventually turning on his
       leader. Simple enough adventure stuff although the sexual machinations
       are quite advanced for a work of 1908. "Masefield is at his best with
       the descriptions of the sea and ships from one who really knew them.
       The eventual loss of London grime from the grooves of the main-brace
       falls struck a chord with me." [SA])
     A Sailor's Garland, 1924
     Jim Davis, 1926 (Novel about British smuggling in the dying days of the
       Napoleonic Wars as seen from the point of view of a young boy who gets
       caught up in smugglers' activities. Told first person years after the
       events related.)
     The Bird of Dawning, 1933 ("Cruiser" Tewksbury is a young junior mate in
       the tea clipper REDGAUNTLET, whose ambitious captain is in a very nervy
       state from overwork. He also dislikes Cruiser and despises him for
       having served in steamships. Several days out during the "race" to
       England, the REDGAUNTLET is run down by another ship and sunk. Cruiser
       and 5-6 of the crew find themselves in an open boat with scant food and
       water. A couple of the men are sea lawyers and general no-goods, and
       things look bad until the boat comes upon the clipper BIRD OF DAWNING
       mysteriously abandoned in mid-ocean. He attempts to sail her back home
       to England with his short-handed crew. There's a slight "Boys Own
       Stories" feel to the novel, but the characterizations are good and the
       various ships are described most lovingly.)
     The Taking of the Gry, 1934 (During a revolution in the tiny Latin
       American country of Santa Ana, two foolhardy, desperate try to "kidnap"
       an ammuntion ship, the GRY, from a harbor held by their enemies. An
       entertaining yarn by a good storyteller.)
     Victorious Troy, or The Hurrying Angel, 1935 (The square-rigger THE
       HURRYING ANGEL is tested by a storm in the southern ocean.)
     Salt-Water Ballads and Poems, 1944
     Sea Poems, 1978

Mason, F. van Wyck 1901-
     Captain Nemesis, 1931 (In 1772, Lieutenant Nathaniel Andrews, a colonial
       in the Royal Navy, is framed and sentenced to be transported to
       Australia. He escapes, establishes himself as a pirate, and plans his
     Three Harbors, 1938  (Revolutionary War naval action.)
     Stars on the Sea, 1940 (Early American revolutionary war adventure.)
     Rivers of Glory, 1942 (Novel about a US Navy spy during Siege of Savannah
       during the Revolutionary War.)
     Eagle in the Sky, 1948 (Adventures of three doctors in the American
       Revolution, with a focus on Peter Burnham, who serves as surgeon on an
       American privateer.)
     The Cutlass Empire, 1949 (Fictionalized biography of Henry Morgan)
     Proud New Flags, 1951 (American Civil War (Confederate) naval adventure.)
     Golden Admiral, 1953 (Fictionalized adventures of Sir Francis Drake.)
     Our Valiant Few, 1956 (The Confederate Navy's attempts to break the
       blockade of Charleston during the American Civil War using torpedo
       boats and primitive submarines. Lots of action on shore, but minimal
       naval action.)
     Blue Hurricane, 1957 (Union Navy in action against the Confederacy on the
       western rivers -- sequel to PROUD NEW FLAGS. Since this book ends well
       before Vicksburg, there may be more books in the series. Either that or
       Mason ended the series with this one.)
    The Manila Galleon, 1961 (fiction based on  Anson's voyage around the
       world, 1740-44.)
     The Sea 'Venture, 1961 (Colonizing of Bermuda and Jamestown.)
     Harpoon in Eden, 1969 (Saga of a Nantucket whaling family settling in
       New Zealand in the 1830s. "A rip-roaring good yarn!")
     Armored Giants: a novel of the Civil War, 1980

Masselink, Ben 1919-
     The Danger Islands, 1964 (an ex-GI sailing along near Tahiti falls victim
       to bad guys in a converted PT boat who steal his boat and papers. He
       chases them all over the Pacific.)

Masters, John 1914-
     The Rock, 1970 (This is the history of the great fortress-rock, Gibraltar
       and the surrounding seas wrapped up in one epic novel.)

Masterson, Graham
     Maiden Voyage, 1984 (The fate of a shipping company depends upon the
       successful maiden voyage of their new liner ARCADIA, the greatest liner
       of them all. Flappers, affairs, elegant balls, intrigue and treachery
       in this 1920s tale.)

Mather, Berkeley
     The Gold of Malabar, 1967

Matthiessen, Peter
     Far Tortuga, 1975 (The western Caribbean Sea and its sailors depicted by
       award-winning novelist. An outstanding book.)

Maynard, Kenneth
     Lamb series: (Another Napoleonic War hero.)
       Lieutenant Lamb, 1984 (It's 1798. After six years in the Royal Navy,
         and four months after receiving his lieutenant's commission, Lamb
         joins HMS STURDY, to serve as junior lieutenant under a whiskey
         soaked captain and a vicious first officer. In additon, he battles
         ruthless privateers and the hated French, finding time along the way
         to sow some wild oats in exotic ports, eventually having a run-in
         with the mighty French frigate TROMPEUR.)
       First Lieutenant, 1985 (Lamb serves as First Lieutenant of the frigate
         HMS ADROIT in the West Indies.)
       Lamb In Command, 1986 (Lamb gains his first command, the mail packet
         HERON, seeing service in the Caribbean.)
       Lamb's Mixed Fortunes (Deals with the British invasion of Egypt. Lamb's
         ship, the ADROIT strikes to the French. End of series, end of author.)

Mays, Victor 1927-
     Action Starboard, 1956 (War of 1812 adventure for young readers.)
     Dead Reckoning, 1967 (A teenager stumbles upon a spy ring, discovers what
       his father has been doing for the navy, and gets the FBI and Coast
       Guard to help out.)

Meacham, Ellis K.
     Percival Merewether series: (Of the Honorable East India Company's
     Bombay Marine during the Napoleonic Wars. These stories take place
     _within the world of Hornblower_. The three books form a coherent whole,
     with all questions having answers by the end of the third book.)
       The East Indiaman, 1968 (Percival Merewether is placed in command of
         HEIC RAPID, and rescues the Governor Designate of Madras from a
         pirate, puts down a mutiny of sepoys in Vellore, and maneuvers the
         Chinese government into allowing HEIC ships to sail from Canton.)
       On the Company's Service, 1971 (1806-07, Merewether commands HEICS
         RAPID, serves as HEIC Commodore.)
       For King and Company, 1976 (1807-08, Merewether becomes senior captain
         of Bombay Marine, commands HEICS PITT.)

Meade, Everard
     The Dignity of Danger, 1993 (Covers both sides of the Japanese kamikaze
       attacks in Pacific. One minute you're in a Japanese airplane, looking
       for a target, and the next you're with a gunner aboard ship. Author was
       with ComAirPac.)

Meader, Stephen Warren 1892-1977 (Philadelphia-based advertising copywriter
  and author of 44 books, all for young adults)
     The Black Buccaneer, 1920 (Piracy along the Carolinas coast; a young boy
       is taken hostage by real-life pirate Stede Bonnet.)
     Away to Sea, 1931
     Clear for Action! 1940 (Story of a young man impressed into service on a
       British warship slightly before the start of the war of 1812.)
     Shadow in the Pines, 1942 (Nazi spies on the New Jersey shore. Includes
       an Interesting sequence showing a US Coast Guard station during
       wartime, and a ship battle in Chesapeake Bay!)
     The Sea Snake, 1943 (A teenager is abducted aboard a U-boat, escapes, and
       helps a USAAF bomber crew find and destroy it in the Caribbean.)
     Whaler 'Round the Horn, 1950 (Life on whaling ship and in Hawaii.)
     Guns for the Saratoga, 1955 (A young man whose father owns a foundry and
       make guns for a new warship, the SARATOGA, experiences adventures
       aboard her as a midshipman.)
     The Commodore's Cup, 1957 (Sailboat racing in Chesapeake Bay.)
     The Voyage of the Javelin, 1959 (A young man on sails in a clipper ship
       from the East coast to San Francisco around the horn during the
       California gold rush days.)
     Phantom of the Blockade, 1962 (Story of a young man on a blockade runner
       during the American civil war.)
     The Cape May Packet, 1969 (A young man's adventures aboard a privateer
       during the revolutionary war.)

Medland, Maurice
     Point of Honor, 1997 (Engineering Officer Lt. Blake leads a small
       boarding party from his destroyer to a derelict freighter, where they
       are stranded due to worsening weather and an accident on the destroyer.
       They find smashed radios, 30 tons of cocaine, $350 million in cash, and
       several bodies, all with broken necks and their tongues cut out. If any
       of the party are to survive, they must get the ship underway and ride
       out a tropical cyclone despite being shorthanded and without a
       qualified deck officer. Unfortunately, it soon becomes apparent that a
       ruthless killer is still aboard, and of course, the owners of the drugs
       and cash will certainly want it back when the weather clears. Our hero
       does just about everything right, but he's pretty much out of his

Melendez, Francisco
     The Mermaid and the Major: The True Story of the Invention of the
       Submarine, 1972 (Illustrated by the author. For young readers.)

Melville, Herman 1819-1891
    +Typee, a Peep at Polynesian Life, 1846
     Omoo, a Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas, 1847
     Redburn, 1849
     Mardi, and a Voyage Hither, 1849
     White-Jacket, or, the World in a Man-of-War, 1850 (An allegorical novel
       about the harsh life of a seaman onboard a nineteenth-century U. S.
       Navy frigate.)
    +Moby Dick, or The Whale, 1851
    +Billy Budd, Foretopman, 1924 (written 1891)

Melville-Ross, Antony
     HMS Trigger, 1982 (TRIGGER in UK. Captain Peter Harding, operating the
       submarine HMS TRIGGER in the Mediterranean in 1943.)
     Talon, 1983 (Harding and his former first lieutenant, John Gascoigne
       survive an accidental sinking of a Royal Navy submarine. Harding
       transfers to the Fleet Air Arm, and faces the Japanese as a fighter
       pilot. Gascoigne takes command of HMS TALON and attempts to match
       Harding's record in war patrols against the Japanese in the last year
       of the war.)
     Shadow, 1984 (Peter Harding joins his first submarine, HMS SHADOW, in
       1940 as navigation officer, and rises the position of executive officer
       during two years of warfare. Many of the other characters in TALON and
       HMS TRIGGER are also in this book.)

Meriwether, Louise
     Fragments of the Ark, 1994 (South Carolina Sea Island slave Peter Mango
       leads a group of runaway slaves in an attempt to steal the
       Confederate gunboat SWANEE at Charleston and deliver her to the Union
       Navy. Inspired by an actual incident.)

Metcalfe, William Charles (Wrote books for English lads around the turn of
  the century. Many are stories of the Merchant Navy, and set in the Orient.)
     Rogues' Island; or the Pirate's Lair, 1893 (14-year-old Charlie Currie
       joins the Merchant Navy as an apprentice on a sailing vessel. In the
       South China Sea the ship is run down in fog by a steamer, and a
       Chinese pirate junk rescues a group of survivors. In their ultimate
       escape (which includes the rescue of a beautiful English girl captive)
       our hero takes a minor part, being told to keep out of the way during
       the fighting, but he saves the junk they steal by jamming his body in a
       shot hole below the water line. Ah Sing, cousin to Fong Tah, the pirate
       chief, plays a key role. For a combination of altruistic and financial
       reasons he helps the escape, duelling to the death with Fong Tah in the
       process. Ah Sing's reward is to be made steward on an English ship.
       Politically incorrect nowadays, but contains admiring comments on junk

Michener, James 1907-
     Tales of the South Pacific, 1947 (Island life in WW II US navy.)
     Return to Paradise, 1951 (Sequel to Tales of the South Pacific.)
     Chesapeake, 1978
     Caribbean, 1989

Miers, Earl Schenck 1910-1972
     Pirate Chase, 1965 (Williamsberg youth gets captured by Blackbeard's
       ship, and is forced to serve with them or die. After escaping, he
       returns home, helps Virginia's Governor Spotswood to eliminate
       Blackbeard, and joins the expedition sent to fight the pirates.)

Miller, Sharon B.
     Danger Aboard the Evening Star, 1974 (Jeremy Cuffe signs on as a ship's
       boy on a whaler owned by one of his grandfather's friends to reach his
       father, who is a missionary in New Zealand. Along the way he encounters
       numerous adventures and learns to love the life of a whaler. For young

Mitchell, James
     Steady, Boys, Steady, 1960 (Humorous account of a serious war fought by
       characters from all walks of life who find themselves in WW II special
       forces, the Royal Navy Commando. Rigorously trained in the Scottish
       Highlands, they survive to die on the beaches of Dieppe, North Africa,
       Sicily and Reggio.)

Mohrt, Michel
     Mariners' Prison, 1961 (Sea-going adventure based on an actual plot, when
       nationalists of Brittany wanted to separate from France and join
       Ireland and Wales. The book won the Grand Prix du Roman of the French

Mokin, Arthur 1923-
     Ironclad: The Monitor and the Merrimack, 1991 (The mood in Washington in
       1861 is bleak. The army is stalled, and rumors abound about the
       Confederate navy's steel-shelled war machine, when Secretary of the
       Navy Wells calls upon Captain John Erickson and his bizzare
       experimental craft, the MONITOR.)

Monsarrat, Nicholas 1910-?
     Leave Cancelled, 1945
     HMS Marlborough Will Enter Harbor, 1947
     The Cruel Sea, 1951 (WW II convoy escort, and his best by far.)
     The Ship That Died of Shame and Other Stories, 1959
     The Nylon Pirates, 1960 (A group of con-artists join the passengers of a
       "millionaire's cruise" as part of their plan to separate the other
       passengers from their cash and valuables over the three-month voyage.)
     A Fair Day's Work, 1964 (A cruise aboard modern ocean liner with labor
     Monsarrat at Sea, 1975 (Collection of Monsarrat's nautical writing, both
       fiction and non-fiction: The Longest Love, The Longest Hate; Three
       Corvettes; I Was There; A Ship to Remember; HMS Marlborough Will Enter
       Harbour; The Ship that Died of Shame.)
     The Master Mariner, Running Proud, 1978 ("Damned to immortality by a
       spectacular act of cowardice during battle with the Spanish Armada,
       young Matthew Lawe is sentenced to an eternity at sea....he rides...
       history with Henry Hudson, Henry Morgan, Lord Nelson, and others..."
       [from book cover blurb])
     The Master Mariner: Darken Ship; the unfinished novel, 1980

Montague, Dan
     White Wings, 1997 (The story of a Herreshoff Buzzard's Bay 15 and the
       three generations of women associated with it. The author apparently
       really did his homework and knew the boat model intimately. "He
       obviously loves the boat." [SL])

Moore, Donald 1923-
     All of One Company, 1957 (Also titled SCRAMBLE SIX HURRICANES. Northern
       convoy November 1943 - Royal Navy escort group sets out for Russia
       escorting Convoy PQ 63. Focusing mainly on the Woolworth carrier HMS
       VISCOUNT with her Hurricanes, Swordfish and escorts; day by day -m
       watch by watch - we follow the convoy's progress; from the viewpoint of
       the convoy - there are no insights into the higher command on either
       the Allied or German side. The escort groups air-ops and anti-sub
       tactics are particularly well done.)

Moore, Frank Frankfort 1855-1931 (A prolific author of novels, plays, poems,
  travel books and biographies, including a dozen or so nautical novels for
  young men. He published his first book at age 17, his last at 75: he is now
  almost completely forgotten.)
     Under Hatches: or, Ned Woodthorpe's Adventures, 1889 (Set in 1830.
       Sixteen-year old Ned, washed out to sea while saving a life, is picked
       up by a ship taking convicts to Botany Bay. In the Indian Ocean the
       crew and convicts mutiny, setting the officers and Ned afloat in a
       cutter, in which they sail to a desert island. The mutineers arrive two
       days later and swarm ashore. Ned and the the officers fight to
       recapture the ship.)

Moore, Frederick F. 1877-
     The Devil's Admiral, 1913 (Tale of a cargo ship sailing out of Manila
       into the China Sea with pirates, murder and villainy afoot.)

Moorehouse, Geoffrey 1931-
     The Boat and the Town, 1979 (Chronicles the lives of a fishing boat crew
       and their families in a small New England fishing village over the
       course of one year. Nicely written, and captures well the way a small
       crew get on (or don't get on) together in a small boat.)

Moray, Helga
     The Ruby Fleet, 1976 (Potboiler, where British skipper carries off an
       Indian wife, gaining the emnity of both British and Indian society. Set
       in the 1800s.)

Morgan, Charles
     The Gunroom, 1919 (Reprinted in 1968. Story of the brutal life of a
       midshipman in a pre-WW I Royal Navy ship. Allegedly suppressed by the
       Navy. A contemporary review says it was wriiten with the purpose of
       showing a national abuse.)

Morley, Frank Vigor 1877-?
     The Wreck of the Active, a story of adventure, 1936 (In the early 1800s
       two Americans sail in the schooner ACTIVE from London to Pacific
       Northwest around the Horn, encountering adventures with storms and

Morne, Hakan 1900-
     Slaves to the Sea, 1956 (Translation of a prize winning novel. A young
       Finn finds adventure and himself aboard a tramp steamer voyaging from
       Rotterdam to Archangelsk to Scotland to New York.)

Morrill, George P. 1920-
     Dark Sea Running, 1959 (Novel about a merchant marine captain commanding
       a T-2 tanker across the Atlantic convoy routes during WW II.)

Morris, Donald R. 1924- (Ex-USN officer, media commentator, and author of the
     Warm Bodies, 1955 (Life aboard an LST in the peacetime navy during the
       1950s. Story relates how the the LST's bachelor XO falls in love over
       the Christmas holidays, when the nearly-empty ship is visited by a
       woman reporter, then pursues her through various misadventures to the
       altar. Fimed as All Hands on Deck.)
     China Station, 1951 (Protagonist is an enlisted man aboard a destroyer
       based at Tsingtao in late 1940s. His White Russian girl friend is
       evacuated to Shanghai when Communist forces take Tsingtao.)

Moxon, Lloyd M.
     Before the Wind, A Novel of Conflict at Sea, 1978 (Novel, told in first
       person, of Lt. John St. John's passage from newly-made Royal Navy
       lieutenant to post captain during the Napoleonic Wars. The good
       lieutenant joins a 64 commanded by a rabidly Methodist captain. After
       falling into the captains bad graces, he is sent on a suicidal cutting
       out mission, but succeeds, and is "rewarded" by being given command of
       a brig no one else wants. But our hero turns the ship into the scourge
       of the French coast. Purportedly first in a series, but it does not
       appear that follow-ups were written. A good read)

Muir, Douglas
     Midnight Admirals, 1989 (The supercarrier USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN carries
       fighter planes, nukes and a demented psycopath on a trail of revenge. A
       Tom Clancy type techno-thriller.)

Munro, Neil (Pen name Hugh Foulis) 1864-1930
     Para Handy Tales (Stories about the most decrepit tramp steam sailing out
       of Glasgow, the VITAL SPARK, usually commanded by "Para Handy" (Peter
       Shandy). Funny.)
     Erchie and Jimmy Swan: with fifty-nine prev. uncollected stories, 1993
       (Some of these should be nautical.)

Murchie, Guy Jr. 1907- (Author of the aviation classic SONG OF THE SKY)
     Mutiny of the Bounty and Other Sea Stories, 1937 (Murchie wrote his
       account of the Bounty mutiny for the Chicago Tribune in the 1930s, it's
       been reprinted here, along with 5 stories and short novels by other

Myers, Henry
     The Utmost Island, 1951 (Novel about Lief Ericcson's voyage to the new

Names, Larry D.
     Ironclads: Man-of-War, 1995 (Events leading up to the siege of Ft. Sumter
       at the beginning of the Civil War. Focuses on the effort of a pacifist
       northern woman who is part of a shipping firm to head off the war,
       while various Sothrons -- including Rafael Semmes, and an oversexed
       southern belle -- attempt to spy out Union attempts to reinforce
       Sumter. Despite the title, ends before any ironclads appear.)

Nash, N. Richard
     East Wind, Rain, 1977 (It is November 1941. A Navy Lieutenant in the
       intelligence section at Pearl Harbor is castrated, then dies under
       mysterious circumstances. Was this due to his liaison with the wife of
       an Issei or did he come too close to a secret that the IJN was trying
       to protect? His brother-in-law, another naval officer, seeks the answer
       only to be obstructed by his rabidly anti-Japanese commanding officer.)

Neale, William Johnson, 1812-1893 (Entered the Royal Navy in 1824 (aged 12!),
  served at the battle of Navarino in 1827, became a lawyer in 1836, married
  Nelson's grand-daughter.)
     The Flying Dutchman, a Legend of the High Seas, 1839 (West Indies in the
       1760s. Lt. Ramsay, RN falls in love with Angela, his captain's
       daughter. The tyrannical captain resolves to accomplish Ramsay's ruin,
       has him dismissed the service on a trumped up charge, presses him as a
       common seaman, and maroons him on a desert island. Ramsay's friend, a
       mysterious corporal of marines, strangles the captain and drops the
       body overboard. The crew mutiny and elect the corporal as their leader.
       Another ship, carrying Angela, attacks the mutinous frigate, but loses
       the battle and is abandoned in sinking condition. The waterlogged wreck
       drifts ashore on Ramsay's island. He revives the dying girl, they
       marry, and live an idyllic life for a year. Meanwhile the corporal
       contrives a plan to disguise the frigate as the dreaded Flying
       Dutchman, so un-nerving their opponents and winning every battle.
       Eventually the Ramsays are rescued, the mutineers meet their just
       deserts, and the corporal's true identity is revealed. Contains two
       excellent court martial episodes (Neale was both a seaman and a
       lawyer). A brisk, technically accurate, and fast moving novel.)
     Paul Periwinkle, or the Pressgang, 1841 (Picaresque novel, set in
       England, Ireland, and Haiti. Hero Paul is tried and convicted for the
       murder of a man who had disappeared, having been seized by a pressgang.
       Paul escapes to Ireland, then to the West Indies, surviving many
       vicissitudes, including piracy and plank-walking and events during
       revolt in Haiti by blacks led by Toussaint L'Ouverture; all is well in
       the end, virtuous triumphant, wicked punished ("that is what is meant
       by fiction" - Oscar Wilde). Eveline is a startlingly forceful heroine
       for the time: she wields gun and sword in unsuccessful defence of her
       father's vicarage in Ireland when the peasantry attack, is taken and
       raped, later escapes and for most of the rest of the novel poses as a
       man and fights fiercely on sea and land. An extraordinary feature is
       that the pressed man is left on a storm-beaten shipwreck from page 128
       to page 598, reappearing just in time to resolve the plot!)

Needle, Jan
     William Bentley series:
       A Fine Boy for Killing, 1979, 1997 (Set in the Royal Navy in the era of
         the Napoleonic Wars. A dark, grim story of a brutal frigate captain,
         pressed crew members, and a young midshipman, the captain's nephew,
         who is torn in his loyalties. The ship is sailing alone once manned,
         so no fleet actions are involved, and no major historical events
         impinge on the story. The 1997 printing has an author's note that it
         is his unabridged original, considerably different from the
         previously published 1979 version. "The nautical content seems pretty
         accurate to me... I'd read another of his... books if I came across
         it, but I wouldn't seek one out." [NH])
       The Wicked Trade, 1998 (William Bentley, of the press ship BITER
         faces murder, corruption and poor dental health while doing the
         Royal Navy's dirty work at Deptford. "...The reader is up to his
         knees in the viscous ooze of Deptford Creek where mouldering timber
         hulks and mouldier specimens of humanity are engaged on His Majesty's
         Service, which includes duplicity, murder, the wholesale removal of
         young women's teeth and beating the lights out of any scrofulous
         wreck capable of being bullied out onto a yardarm.... Seamen are
         pirates, killers and thugs, all grinning toothlessly - I hate to
         think what dentists must have done to the author in the past. It's
         fly-on-the-wall, warts-and-all, fast-and-furious stuff, in which
         Bentley's life, like that of his more rarified ancestor Hornblower,
         reflects as much the time in which he has been written as the time in
         which he sails; the privileged are stripped bare, institutions are
         corrupt and money is god. But let's hear it for Deptford: its
         literary moment has come." [From a review in WATERCRAFT])

Copyright © John Kohnen 1999
Commercial reproduction prohibited without written consent

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