Non-Fiction Releases


This section lists upcoming and recently released non-fiction books about the Age of Sail. They will also appear in the Non-Fiction Listings

Empire and Imperialism (HC)

A History of the Royal Navy : Empire and ImperialismA new hardcover book by Daniel Owen Spence, part of the A History of the Royal Navy series, is available for pre-order, Empire and Imperialism. It will be released in the UK on 30 October 2015 and in the US on 30 December 2015.

The British Empire, the largest empire in history, was fundamentally a maritime one. Britain's imperial power was inextricably tied to the strength of the Royal Navy the ability to protect and extend Britain's political and economic interests overseas, and to provide the vital bonds that connected the metropole with the colonies. This book will examine the intrinsic relationship between the Royal Navy and the empire, by examining not only the navy's expansionist role on land and sea, but also the ideological and cultural influence it exerted for both the coloniser and colonised. The navy's voyages of discovery created new scientific knowledge and inspired art, literature and film. Using the model of the Royal Navy, colonies began to develop their own navies, many of which supported the Royal Navy in the major conflicts of the twentieth century. Daniel Owen Spence here provides a history of the navy's role in empire from the earliest days of colonisation to the present-day Commonwealth. In doing so, he shows how the relationship between the navy and the empire played a part in shaping the globalised society we inhabit today.

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Lion in the Bay (HC)

Lion in the BayA new hardcover book by the late Stanley L Quick, edited by Chipp Reid, is available for pre-order, Lion in the Bay: The British Invasion of the Chesapeake, 1813-14. It will be released in the US on 15 October 2015 and in the UK on 30 October 2015.

The story of Fort McHenry's defense during the War of 1812 is well known, but "Lion in the Bay" is an intimate look at the events leading up to the battle that inspired our national anthem. As the War of 1812 raged on the high seas and along the Canadian border, the British decided to strike at the heart of the United States, the relatively undefended area of the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake was a fertile farm region, a place of renowned shipbuilding, and an area politically divided over the war. Plus, if the British succeeded in taking the bay, the nation's capital was not far away. Admiral George Cockburn led the British into the bay following a failed attempt to take Norfolk, Virginia. Originally intended to relieve pressure on other fronts, the Chesapeake theater became a British campaign of retribution for the burning of York (present day Toronto) by the Americans in 1812. As a result, the Chesapeake region, once an economic engine for America, was transformed into a region of terrorized citizens, destroyed farms, and fears of slave insurrection. In August 1814, President James Madison refused to bolster the defenses on the waterway that led to Washington, and the British took advantage. Cockburn again led a naval force into the bay, this time running into opposition from Commo. Joshua Barney and his Chesapeake Bay Flotilla. Barney put up a heroic, though doomed fight before the British sailed up the Patuxent River and landed at Benedict, Maryland, where over 4,000 troops disembarked to begin their advance toward Washington, D.C. After defeating the Americans at the Battle of Bladensburg, the British moved into Washington, burning the city, before returning to their boats and setting out for Baltimore. There, the British armada encountered a stalwart group of American defenders at Fort McHenry. Despite a massive bombardment, Baltimore's defenses held, forcing the British to abandon their campaign to close the Chesapeake. More than just an in-depth look at one front of the War of 1812, "Lion in the Bay" is a story of resilience and triumph in the wake of catastrophe.

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In Nelson's Wake (HC)

In Nelson's WakeAuthor James Davey has a new book in hardcover available for pre-order, In Nelson's Wake: The Navy and the Napoleonic Wars .It will be released in the UK on 15 October 2015 and in the US on 17 March 2016.

Horatio Nelson's celebrated victory over the French at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 presented Britain with an unprecedented command of the seas. Yet the Royal Navy's role in the struggle against Napoleonic France was far from over. This groundbreaking book asserts that, contrary to the accepted notion that the Battle of Trafalgar essentially completed the Navy's task, the war at sea actually intensified over the next decade, ceasing only with Napoleon's final surrender. In this dramatic account of naval contributions between 1803 and 1815, James Davey offers original and exciting insights into the Napoleonic wars and Britain's maritime history. Encompassing Trafalgar, the Peninsular War, the War of 1812, the final campaign against Napoleon, and many lesser known but likewise crucial moments, the book sheds light on the experiences of individuals high and low, from admiral and captain to sailor and cabin boy. The cast of characters also includes others from across Britain-dockyard workers, politicians, civilians-who made fundamental contributions to the war effort and in so doing, both saved the nation and shaped Britain's history.

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HMS Pickle (HC)

HMS Pickle: The Swiftest Ship in Nelson's Trafalgar FleetAuthor Peter Hore has a new book in hardcover available for pre-order, HMS Pickle: The Swiftest Ship in Nelson's Trafalgar Fleet .It will be released in the UK on 5 October 2015 and in the US on 15 October 2015.

The smallest ship in Nelson’s fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar was the curiously-named HMS Pickle. The ship was a topsail schooner and, though deemed too small to take part in the fighting it distinguished itself as the ship to bring Captain John Lapenotiere with the news of Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar and his death. The schooner set off on October 26th and took 9 days to reach Britain after facing a gale off Cape Finisterre. After the Pickle anchored in Falmouth Bay on November 4th Lapenotiere started his journey to London (a trip that usually took a week was covered in 37 hours with 19 horse changes). Captain Peter Hore describes the ship’s beginnings as a civilian vessel called Sting, through conversion with 10 guns and its role with Admiral Cornwall’s Inshore Squadron for French reconnaissance in 1803. HMS Pickle was also involved in the rescue for the crew of HMS Magnificent in 1804 and further reconnaissance missions. This full history details other colourful episodes including a single-ship action against the French privateer Favorite in 1807. Pickle was wrecked in July 1808 when she was grounded as she entered Cadiz harbour but without loss of life. The Pickle’s journey is commemorated by Royal Navy Warrant Officers on November 5th.

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The Seven Years War (HC)

A History of the Royal Navy: The Seven Years WarMartin Robson has a new book available for pre-order in Hardcover, A History of the Royal Navy: The Seven Years War. It will be released worldwide on 30 September 2015.

The Seven Years War (1756-1763) was the first global conflict and became the key factor in creating the British Empire. This book looks at Britain's maritime strategic, operational and tactical success (and failures), through a wide-ranging history of the Royal Navy's role in the war. By the end of the war in 1763 Britain was by no means a hegemonic power, but it was the only state capable of sustained global power projection on a global scale. Key to Britain's success was political and strategic direction from London, through the war planning of Pitt the Elder and the successful implementation of his policies by a stellar cast of naval and military leaders at an operational and tactical level. Martin Robson highlights the work of some of the key protagonists in the Royal Navy, such as Admiral Hawke whose appreciation of the wider strategic context at Quiberon Bay in 1759 decided the fate of North America, but he also provides insights into the experience of life in the lower decks at this time. Robson ultimately shows that the creation, containment and expansion of the British Empire was made possible by the exercise of maritime power through the Royal Navy.

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Sailors on the Rocks (HC)

Sailors on the RocksPeter C. Smith has a new book available for pre-order in Hardcover, Sailors on the Rocks: Famous Royal Navy Shipwrecks. It will be released on 30 September 2015 in the UK and on 19 December 2015 in the US.

For three hundred years or more the Royal Navy really did "Rule the Waves", in the sense that during the numerous wars with our overseas enemies, British fleets and individual ships more often than not emerged victorious from combat. One French Admiral was to generously acknowledge that the Royal Navy possessed, "a tradition of victory." And yet, in every other way, the waves were never ruled by any maritime power. Great fleets might wax and wane, ships grow ever more complex and powerful, but the sea, the eternally cruel sea, was always to have the final say.

This book highlights a sample array of disasters, occurring when men-of-war faced the ultimate test of the elements and lost. Among such tragedies are the wrecking of the Coronation in 1691, the destruction of the Winchester in 1695 and the great storm of 1703, along with a host of shipwrecks on far-flung shores from New Zealand to Nova Scotia, and from Florida to South Africa. Some of the featured stories are already famous, like that of the Birkenhead. Others are lesser-known, like the sister cruisers Raleigh and Effingham, separated by many years. More recently, steam power replaced the uncertainties of sail, but even so losses continued, from little destroyers in both world wars (Narborough, Opal and Sturdy among them) through great battleships like Montagu. Even modern warships equipped with every modern navigational device come to grief; witness the strange affair of the frigate Nottingham, or the humiliating grounding of the nuclear 'wonder' submarine Astute on Skye in 2010. This unique book presents a fascinating insight into the malevolent power of the sea and storms over man's creation and dominion, chronicling some of the most dramatic shipwrecks ever to have occurred in our seas.

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Tudor Warship Mary Rose (PB)

Tudor Warship Mary RoseDouglas McElvogue has a new book available for pre-order in Paperback, Tudor Warship Mary Rose. It will be released on 24 September 2015 worldwide.

The great warship the Mary Rose was built between 1509 and 1511 and served 34 years in Henry VIII's navy before catastrophically sinking in the Battle of the Solent on 19 July 1545. A fighting platform and sailing ship, she was the pride of the Tudor fleet. Yet her memory passed into undeserved oblivion - until the remains of this magnificent flagship were dramatically raised to the surface in 1982 after 437 years at the bottom of the Solent.

Part of the bestselling Conway Anatomy of The Ship series, Tudor Warship Mary Rose provides the finest possible graphical representation of the Mary Rose. Illustrated with a complete set of scale drawings, this book contains technical plans as well as explanatory views, all with fully descriptive keys. Douglas McElvogue uses archaeological techniques to trace the development and eventful career of Henry VIII's gunship, while placing it in the context of longer-term advances in ship construction.

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Privateering (HC)

Privateering: Patriots and Profits in the War of 1812Faye M. Kert has a new book available for pre-order in Hardcover, Privateering: Patriots and Profits in the War of 1812. It will be released on 10 September 2015 worldwide.

During the War of 1812, most clashes on the high seas involved privately owned merchant ships, not official naval vessels. Licensed by their home governments and considered key weapons of maritime warfare, these ships were authorized to attack and seize enemy traders. Once the prizes were legally condemned by a prize court, the privateers could sell off ships and cargo and pocket the proceeds. Because only a handful of ship-to-ship engagements occurred between the Royal Navy and the United States Navy, it was really the privateers who fought―and won―the war at sea.

In Privateering, Faye M. Kert introduces readers to U.S. and Atlantic Canadian privateers who sailed those skirmishing ships, describing both the rare captains who made money and the more common ones who lost it. Some privateers survived numerous engagements and returned to their pre-war lives; others perished under violent circumstances. Kert demonstrates how the romantic image of pirates and privateers came to obscure the dangerous and bloody reality of private armed warfare.

Building on two decades of research, Privateering places the story of private armed warfare within the overall context of the War of 1812. Kert highlights the economic, strategic, social, and political impact of privateering on both sides and explains why its toll on normal shipping helped convince the British that the war had grown too costly. Fascinating, unfamiliar, and full of surprises, this book will appeal to historians and general readers alike.

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