Richard Woodman

Richard Martin Woodman LVO was born and educated in London and went to sea in cargo-liners aged 16 in 1960. He became a watch-keeping officer in 1964 and in 1967 specialised in maintaining aids to navigation in specialist ships, being promoted captain in 1980. Having spent eleven years in command at sea and a further six in operational management ashore, he retired briefly in 1998. However, having sailed the Atlantic and in European waters, he is now a Board Member of Trinity House, the authority responsible for navigational safety round the coast. He remains active in that Corporation's service.

He began writing at sea and has had work published in a variety of publications. He is a correspondent for Lloyd's List, the shipping news-paper, and has written fifty books, a mixture of fiction and maritime history, winning several prizes for his work. He won the Desmond Wettern Maritime Media Award in 2001 for his journalism, the Society of Nautical Research's Anderson Medal in 2005 for three major studies of convoy operations in the Second World War and the Marine Society's Thomas Gray Medal n 2010 for his five-volume history of the British Merchant Navy.

His sea-stories cover several periods, ranging from the 17th to the 20th Centuries, and ranging from home waters to the Pacific. Well reviewed, Richard Woodman's work makes full use of his understanding of the sea, ships and the men and women to be found in this distinct environment. He has written three naval fiction series.

The first series about Nathaniel Drinkwater starts at the time of the American War of Independence. The hero has a somewhat less meteoric rise through the ranks and serves in different types of vessels. We therefore get a new view of the navy.

The second about Kit Faulkner is set during the English Civil War and the Restoration. The third, the Sword of State trilogy, is about George Monck, the famous general of the sea during the Anglo/Dutch wars.

He also wrote the William Kite series,  about a Privateer.

Series: Nathaniel Drinkwater
Year Book Comment
1779   Joins Navy as Midshipman aboard frigate Cyclops
1780-1781 An Eye of the Fleet  Cyclops takes part in Moonlight Battle of Cape Trafalgar during relief of Gibraltar. Drinkwater is briefly prizemaster before the frigate goes to the Carolinas After further missions he is made acting lieutenant. 
  Serves as second mate on a Trinity House buoy yacht 
1788  The Steeple Rock 

Now first mate of the Argus, Drinkwater must discover what cut a ship's cables (short story) 

A Kings Cutter  His commission as acting lieutenant is restored and he is first officer of the cutter Kestrel which undertakes clandestine missions in the English Channel and North Sea. Drinkwater commands Kestrel against the Dutch at the Battle of Camperdown and is promoted to Lieutenant. 
A Brig of War  First Lieutenant on the Brig Hellebore .After being wrecked on a reef in the Red Sea the crew take a French Frigate Antigone which is unarmed whilst it is repaired. 
The Bomb Vessel  Appointed Lieutenant in command of Bomb Tender Virago. He serves under Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen and is promoted to Commander 
1801 The Night Attack  Cdr. Drinkwater of HMS Wolf is badly wounded during Nelson's attack on Boulogne (short story)
  Drinkwater returns home and slowly recovers during the Peace of Amiens. With war declared again he sought re-employment 
1803  The Corvette
aka Arctic Treachery
Still ranking as Commander he serves as a Jobbing Post Captain on the Corvette Melusine protecting the Arctic whaling fleet 
aka Decision at Trafalgar
Made Post as Captain of Antigone. The ship takes part in the defence of the English Channel and its approaches in the lead up to Trafalgar. Promoted to command a "74" Drinkwater is captured en route and is on the French flagship during the battle. 
1807  Baltic Mission  Once again in command of Antigone Drinkwater serves in the Baltic & is instrumental in finding the details of the secret treaty between the Tsar & Napoleon 
In Distant Waters  Now commanding Patrician, Drinkwater is sent to the Pacific to combat the Russians and defeats their line of battle ship 
A Private Revenge  After surviving a typhoon Patrician arrives in Hong Kong. After loosing 2 ships of a convoy to Sea Dyak pirates they try and recover them. 
Under False Colours  Drinkwater is sent on a mission, disguised as a merchant ships master to Hamburg to help break the alliance between Russia and France 
The Flying Squadron  When war breaks out with America, Drinkwater, back in command of Patrician, leads a Flying Squadron to combat the threat of raiders 
Beneath the Aurora  As head of the navy's secret department, Drinkwater takes command of the frigate Andromeda and heads for Norway to stop the supply of arms to Americans seeking a Canadian rebellion. 
1814  The Shadow of the Eagle  With the war over Drinkwater takes Andromeda to the Azores to defeat a plot to free Bonaparte 
1843  Ebb Tide  As a newly appointed Elder Brother of Trinity House, Sir Nathaniel goes on his final voyage 
Omnibus editions
  The First Nathaniel Drinkwater Omnibus An Eye of the Fleet, A King's Cutter, A Brig of War
  The Second Nathaniel Drinkwater Omnibus The Bomb Vessel, The Corvette, 1805
  Blaze of Glory: The Third Nathaniel Drinkwater Omnibus Baltic Mission, In Distant Waters, A Private Revenge
  Death or Damnation: The Fourth Nathaniel Drinkwater Omnibus Under False Colours, The Flying Squadron, Beneath the Aurora
  Distant Gunfire: The Fifth Nathaniel Drinkwater Omnibus The Shadow of the Eagle, Ebb Tide, The Steeple Rock (Short), The Night Attack (Short)
Series: Kit Faulkner
Year Book Comment
1618 A Ship for the King Kit Faulkner must chose which side he will fight for in the Civil War
1649 For King or Commonwealth Kit Faulkner has been living in exile with the rump of the Royal Navy
1659 The King's Chameleon Kit's son Henry's actions may threaten everything that he holds dear...
Series: Sword of State Trilogy
Year Book Comment
1644 Sword of State: The Forging Word of Monck's prowess has reached Parliament (not nautical)
1652 Sword of State: The Tempering Will the great general find his sea legs and overcome his greatest challenge yet?
1659 Sword of State: The Wielding When the Monarchy is restored, there is never a quiet moment for Monck
Omnibus edition
  Sword of State The Remarkable Story of George Monck

AOS Privateer Fiction

Series: William Kite
Year Book Comment
  The Guineaman  William Kite's first voyage to sea in a Liverpool slave ship at the beginning of the Seven Years' War
  The Privateersman  Kite returns to sea, this time with his young son 
  The East Indiaman Follows Kite from London to the placid waters of the Indian Ocean 

AOS Naval Non Fiction

Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
  The Sea Warriors Fighting Captains and Frigate Warfare in the Age of Nelson
  The Victory of Seapower Winning the Napoleonic War 1806-1814

AOS Other Nautical Fiction

Series: James Dunbar
Year  Book  Comment
  Waterfront In Puerto San Martin James Dunbar seeks to rescue a waterfront prostitute but he is up against the ship's captain
  Under Sail Dunbar secures a berth on a ship bound for Australia, destined for four years of danger


Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
  Wager Two tea clippers race from Shanghai to London and marrying one Captain's daughter is the prize
1601 The Disastrous Voyage of the Santa Margarita Based on the true story of a Galleon wrecked on the Marianas Islands, off the Philippines
  Beyond Madagascar: A Bold & Consequential Voyage Based on the true story of the failed colonisation of the island of Madagascar
  A River in Borneo A Tale of the East Indies

AOS Other Non Fiction

Series: A History of the British Merchant Navy (Books 4-5 are Modern Era)
Year  Book  Comment
  Neptune's Trident Spices and Slaves 1500-1507 
  Britannia's Realm In Support of the State 1763-1816
  Masters Under God Makers of Empire 1816-1884
  More Days, More Dollars The Universal Bucket Chain 1885-1920
  Fiddler's Green The Great Squandering 1921-2010
Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
  A Low Set of Blackguards The East India Company and its Maritime Service 1600-1834 Vol.1
  Keepers of the Sea History of the Yachts and Tenders of Trinity House
  The History of the Ship The Comprehensive Story of Seafaring from the Earliest Times to the Present Day
  The Story of Sail From the earliest known craft of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt to the final surviving sailing ships of the 20th century
  A Brief History of Mutiny Furious, Savage and Bloody - 400 Years of Rebellion
  The Merchant Navy The entire colourful history looks in detail at the day-to-day existences of the seamen.
  Light Upon the Waters The History of Trinity House 1514-2014

Modern Era Naval Fiction

Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
  The Darkening Sea Three generations serve from Jutland to the Falklands
  The Accident Active is sent to investigate the wreck of the Wallenstein
  Dead Man Talking The German navy has built a super-U-cruiser for commerce raiding

Modern Era Naval Non Fiction

Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
  Battle of the River Plate: A Grand Delusion The first major naval confrontation of the Second World War
  Arctic Convoys: 1941-1945 For the last four gruelling years of the war, the Western Allies ran the gauntlet of the icy Barents Sea
  Malta Convoys: 1940-1943 The island of Malta was under siege and its strategic importance was obvious to both sides

Modern Era Other Nautical Fiction

Series: Tales of the Sea (Short Stories)
Year  Book  Comment
  Cold Truth An advertisement sets Edward Adams on a strange voyage to the Arctic
  The Judgement of his Peers What could explain Bastable’s perfidious conduct
  An Absence of Imagination A Tale of the China coast
1966 Magnetic Anomaly Explores the courage and contrary natures of men, set against an ocean rescue.
  Unintended Consequences A sudden and appalling event shatters the new life of Capt. Sanford
  The Petrel's Cry an anthology of five short stories
Omnibus editions
  Time and Tide Cold Truth, The Judgement of his Peers, An Absence of Imagination
Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
  Blue Funnel: Voyage East
aka The Antigone
Life aboard a British vessel in the last great days of the Merchant Navy before containers
  Endangered Species Both Captain John Mackinnon and his ship are embarking on their last voyage
  Act of Terror As the cruise liner Adventurer sails its passengers are in great danger.
  Captain of the Caryatid Ambitious Harbour Master, James St John Stanier arrives at Porth Ardur
  The Cruise of the Commissioner Captain James St John Stanier has been promoted to Commissioner of Celtic Lighthouses
Omnibus editions
  The Captain and Commissioner Captain of the Caryatid, The Cruise of the Commissioner

Modern Era Other Non Fiction

Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
  The Real Cruel Sea The Merchant Navy in the Battle of the Atlantic, 1939-1943


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