Chris Durbin

Chris Durbin grew up in the seaside town of Porthcawl in South Wales. His first experience of sailing was as a sea cadet in the treacherous tideway of the Bristol Channel, and at the age of sixteen, he spent a week in a tops’l schooner in the Southwest Approaches. He was a crew member on the Porthcawl lifeboat before joining the Royal Navy where he spent 24 years as a warfare officer, serving in all classes of ship from aircraft carriers minesweepers. He took part in operational campaigns in the Falkland Islands, the Middle East and the Adriatic and he spent two years teaching tactics at a US Navy training centre in San Diego.

On his retirement from the Royal Navy, he joined a large American company and spent eighteen years in the aerospace, defence and security industry, including two years on the design team for the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. He now lives on the south coast of England, surrounded by hundreds of years of naval history.

Chris is a graduate of the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, the British Army Command and Staff College, the United States Navy War College (where he gained a postgraduate diploma in national security decision-making) and Cambridge University (where he was awarded an MPhil in International Relations).

With a lifelong interest in naval history and a long-standing ambition to write historical fiction, Chris has embarked upon creating the Carlisle & Holbrooke series, in which a colonial Virginian commands a British navy frigate during the middle years of the eighteenth century. The series will follow its principal characters through the Seven Years War and into the period of turbulent relations between Britain and her American Colonies in the 1760s. They’ll negotiate some thought-provoking loyalty issues when British policy and colonial restlessness lead inexorably to the American Revolution.

Series: Carlisle and Holbrooke Naval Adventures
Year  Book  Comment
1756 The Colonial Post-Captain An uneasy peace is about to be shattered as France prepares an invasion force in Toulon
1756 The Leeward Islands Squadron Carlisle must confront the challenges of higher command as he leads a squadron into battle
1757 The Jamaica Station Medina rescues a Spanish governor governor from his hurricane-wrecked ship
1758 Holbrooke's Tide Holbrooke, in command of a sloop-of-war, is under orders to survey and blockade the approaches to Emden
1758 The Cursed Fortress Carlisle’s frigate joins the blockade of Louisbourg before winter’s icy grip has eased
1758 Perilous Shore The government has demanded a campaign of raids on the French Channel ports.
1759 Rocks and Shoals Carlisle sails ahead of the fleet to find a way through the legendary dangers of the Saint Lawrence River
1759 Niagara Squadron Holbrooke commands the 600 boats carrying the army through the rivers and across Lake Ontario
1760 Ligurian Mission Edward Carlisle’s ship Dartmouth is sent to the Ligurian Sea.
1759 Nor'west by North Holbrooke, commanding the frigate Argonaut, joins a squadron sent to intercept a French expedition
1760 Carlisle's Duty Dartmouth is assigned to the Leeward Islands Squadron, tasked with blockading the French sugar islands
1761 Treacherous Moon Holbrooke finds that the only way to accomplish his orders is to land on French soil
1761 Cousins At Arms Dartmouth is sent from Jamaica on what looks like a trivial mission intended to demonstrate friendship to Spain.
1762 An Upright Man A raid on the Newfoundland fisheries would have an immediate financial impact
1762 Old Bahama Straits Carlisle is sent to scout the route to Havana through the dangerous Old Bahama Straits

 The author’s official web site is

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