Antoine Vanner

Antoine Vanner has survived military coups, a guerrilla war, storms at sea and life in mangrove swamps, tropical forest, offshore oil-platforms and the boardroom. He has lived and worked long-term in eight countries, has travelled widely in all continents except Antarctica and is fluent in three languages. He has a passion for nineteenth-century political and military history and has a deep understanding of what was the cutting-edge technology of the time. His knowledge of human nature and his first-hand experience of the locales – often surprising – of the most important conflicts of the period provide the impetus for his chronicling of the life of the Royal Navy officer Nicholas Dawlish.

"I'm fascinated by the Victorian period," Vanner says, "for not only was it one of colonial expansion and of Great Power rivalry that often came to the brink of war, but it was also one of unprecedented social, political, technological and scientific change. Britain's power may have been at an apogee but it was under constant threat and would demand constant adaptation from those who aspired to shape events. Many born in the 1840s would not only play significant roles in the later decades of the century but be key players in the maelstrom that would engulf the world in 1914. The Dawlish Chronicles are set in that world of change, uncertainty and risk and they involve projection of naval power to meet complex social, political and diplomatic challenges."

Modern Era Naval Fiction

Series: The Dawlish Chronicles
Year  Book  Comment
  Britannia's Eye Dawlish’s childhood. It tells of his relationship with his uncle (short story)
1864 Britannia's Innocent With his covert backing, British volunteers are ready to fight for the Danes and the Confederacy is willing to lease a new raider
1866 Britannia's Interests Dawlish is serving in the gunvessel HMS Sprightly
1866 Britannia’s Collector Dawlish’s service as a young naval officer in a gunvessel operating off the coast of South America
1877 Britannia's Guile Dawlish is hungry for promotion. He has chosen service on the Royal Navy’s hazardous Anti-Slavery patrol off East Africa
1877 Britannia's Wolf Dawlish is assigned to the Ottoman Navy to ravage Russian supply-lines
1879 Britannia's Reach Dawlish is on a broad river deep in the heart of South America as a flotilla of paddle steamers thrashes slowly upstream.
1881 Britannia's Shark A daring act of piracy drags Dawlish into a deadly maelstrom
1882 Britannia's Spartan Dawlish has taken command of the new cruiser, HMS Leonidas and is headed to the Far East
1882 Brittania's Amazon Florence has faced danger before but now she must make the hardest decisions of her life
1883 Britannia's Mission The slave trade flourishes in the Indian Ocean and the German Empire is showing interest in colonial expansion
1884 Britannia's Gamble An Islamist revolt is sweeping the Sudan and only Khartoum holds out. But there is one other way of reaching Gordon…
1884 Britannia's Morass A middle-aged widow is dead and Florence is sure someone was responsible and there must be retribution
1886 Britannia’s Rule Dawlish, commanding a flotilla of the Royal Navy’s latest warships, is at Trinidad when news arrives of a volcanic eruption
1914 Britannia’s Eventide A critical moment in the later years of Admiral Sir Nicholas Dawlish and his wife (short story)

The author’s official web site is

© 2008-2024 David Hayes (Astrodene)