F. Van Wyck Mason

Francis Van Wyck Mason (1901 – 1978) was an American historian and novelist with 65 published novels. He was born in Boston, and during his first eight years he lived in Berlin and then Paris where his grandfather served as U.S. Consul General. During World War I he was an ambulance driver for a while and then enlisted in the French Army where he became a decorated artillery officer before rising to the rank of Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. After the war he attended Harvard during which period he was mistakenly arrested for murder. Having borrowed a dinner jacket, he was wrongly identified for a waiter who at the time had committed a murder.

He travelled extensively before becoming a writer selling stories to the pulp magazines and then moving on to novels. During World War II he worked as Chief Historian serving on General Eisenhower's staff. He spent the later years of his life in Bermuda, writing historical fiction for both the adult and youth market. His historical stories nearly always involve some kind of warfare and frequently include naval battles or long sea voyages. As well as stand alone HNF novels, two of his series AmericanRevolution and Civil War include some HNF novels.

Series: American Revolution
Year  Book  Comment
  Three Harbours Revolutionary War naval action, based around Norfolk, Boston and Bermuda
  Stars on the Sea Tim Bennett is a crewman on an American privateer, sailing from New England to the Bahamas
  Rivers of Glory Lt. Warren becomes a US Navy spy during Siege of Savannah to regain favour with the Marine Commission
  Eagle in the Sky Adventures of three doctors. One is Peter Burnham, a surgeon on an American privateer
  Valley Forge:
24 December 1777
(Not Historic Naval Fiction)
  Wild Horizon (Not Historic Naval Fiction)
Series: Civil War
Year  Book  Comment
  Proud New Flags Sam Seymour follows his father into the navy, but resigns his commission to serve the Confederate Navy
  Blue Hurricane The Union Navy and the river war of 1861-1862 
  Our Valiant Few The Confederate Navy's attempts to break the blockade of Charleston
  Trumpets Sound No More

Mainly land based novel but includes a battle at sea.

  Armored Giants A story about the battle between the Monitor and Merrimac
Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
  The Battle of Lake Erie A fictionalised account of the Battle of Lake Erie
1772 Captain Nemesis Lt. Andrews, a colonial in the RN, is framed and sentenced but escapes to become a pirate.
  Golden Admiral

The adventures of Sir Francis Drake and the Armada.

  Manila Galleon Fictionalised account of  Anson's voyage around the world, 1740-44
  Guns for Rebellion

RN Deserter Andrew Hunter must help move captured cannon to blow the British navy out of Boston harbor.

AOS Pirate Fiction

Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
  Cutlass Empire A fictionalised account of the life of Henry Morgan
  Captain Judas

Amos Trent, taken by Barbary pirates, feigns conversion to Islam so he can become a corsair.

AOS Other Nautical Fiction

Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
1609 The Sea 'Venture A novel based around the landing of Sir George Somers on the Bermudas
  Harpoon in Eden A Nantucket whaling family settle in New Zealand.
  Log Cabin Noble Swashbuckling on the high seas in the dying days of the Spanish Main

© 2008-2024 David Hayes (Astrodene)