Nicholas Monsarrat

Commander Nicholas John Turney Monsarrat (1910 - 1979) was born in Liverpool and educated at at Winchester and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied law. His career as a solicitor encountered a swift end when he decided to leave Liverpool for London, with a half-finished manuscript under his arm and £40 in his pocket.

Though a pacifist, Monsarrat served in World War II, first as a member of an ambulance brigade and then as a member of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR). His lifelong love of sailing made him a capable naval officer, and he served with distinction in a series of small warships assigned to escort convoys and protect them from enemy attack. Monsarrat ended the war as commander of a frigate, and drew on his wartime experience in his postwar sea stories. Resigning his wartime commission in 1946, Monsarrat entered the diplomatic service. He was posted at first to Johannesburg, South Africa and then, in 1953, to Ottawa, Canada. He turned to writing full-time in 1959, settling first on Guernsey, in the Channel Islands, and later on the Mediterranean island of Gozo (Malta).

With the publication of his first postwar novel, the classic The Cruel Sea, which was turned into a film, he became one of the most successful novelists of the twentieth century, whose rich and varied collection bears the hallmark of a truly gifted writer.

Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
  The Master Mariner Cursed Matthew Lawe strings together nautical adventures from Sir Francis Drake  to the opening of the St Lawrence Seaway

Modern Era Naval Fiction

Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
WWII The Cruel Sea Two escort ships battle to protect convoys from the U-boat menace
WWII H. M. Frigate Experiences aboard a frigate during the war
Short Story Anthologies
WWII H.M.S. Marlborough Will Enter Harbour  
WWII Three Corvettes  
WWII The Ship That Died of Shame  

Modern Era Other Nautical Fiction

Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
  The Nylon Pirates Alcestis, a British luxury liner, moored in New York and bound on a cruise to the Caribbean
  A Fair Day's Work Liverpool Docks, on Merseyside - a senseless strike threatens to delay the departure of an ocean liner


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