Showell Styles

Showell Styles (1908-2005), who was a RNR Lt. Commander WW II, has written factual books about mountaineering. He is also a prolific fiction writer with many of his novels set in the age of sail. He has written two series, one about Michael Fitton and one (for young adults) about Septimus Quinn. Many of his stand alone novels, which are listed below are fictionalised accounts of actual well known figures from the history of the Royal Navy.

The Michael Fitton Series is based on the real exploits of Naval officer Fitton who was overlooked for promotion. It has been out of print but is currently being republished by Faber & Faber. I have attempted to put the series in order based on the descriptions. The Septimus Quinn series is currently out of print but it is believed to be for young adults. I have again attempted to put the series in order.

Series: Michael Fitton
Year Book Comment
  Mr Fitton's Prize  Michael Fitton joins the HMS Fortitude as master's mate
1797  Mr Fitton & the Black Legion 1400 of the French army have landed on the Pembroke coast 
  Mr Fitton in Command Fitton is in command of Courier's few survivors
  The 12 Gun Cutter Michael Fitton falls in love at first sight with the armed cutter Snipe 
1799 A Sword for Mr Fitton Michael Fitton joins the crew of the HMS Abergavenny as acting-lieutenant 
1803 Mr Fitton's Commission Fitton is disappointed when he is sent back to the West Indies and placed in command of the schooner Gipsy 
  Lieutenant Fitton Now a Lieutenant Fitton in command of Gipsy is capturing enemy privateers who disrupt Caribbean trade
  Mr Fitton at the Helm A second officer assigned to Gipsy becomes a thorn in Mr Fitton's side 
  The Martinique Mission Fitton hauls down Gipsy's colours with his ship lying helpless under the guns of Fort de France 
  Mr Fitton's Hurricane Lieutenant Fitton, commanding Gipsy, encounters a hurricane which brings unexpected dangers and problems.
  The Baltic Convoy Fitton is now in command of the gun-brig Cracker and has sailed to the Baltic 
  Gun Brig Captain Fitton and Cracker confront the American privateer Lexington
1815 A Ship for Mr Fitton Finding shore-life difficult Fitton accepts command of a ship embarking on a mysterious expedition to Marseilles 
Series: Septimus Quinn
Year Book Comment
  Midshipman Quinn  Quinn makes his mark aboard HMS Althea in spite of his spectacles.
  Quinn of the Fury  Captain Sainsbury puts Quinn in command of a captured brig with a cargo of foul-smelling undressed hides.
1804 Midshipman Quinn and Denise the Spy aka Midshipman Quinn Wins Through Quinn, aboard the Lively, participates in the The Battle of Cape Santa Maria
1805 Quinn at Trafalgar  Midshipman Quinn is at the Battle of Trafalgar
Omnibus editions
  The Midshipman Quinn Collection Midshipman Quinn, Quinn of the Fury, Midshipman Quinn and Denise the Spy, Quinn at Trafalgar
Series: n/a
Year Book Comment
  Nelson's Midshipman  A fictionalised account of Sir William Hoste's naval career
  The Admiral's Fancy  Fictionalized biography of Ben Hallowell  
  Mr Nelson's Ladies The female acquaintances of Horatio Nelson before his marriage 
1707  Admiral of England About Admiral Sir Clowdsley Shovell
  Number Two-Ninety
(or Confederate Raider) 
A fictionalised account of the the Confederate raider Alabama.
1797 Sea Road to Camperdown About Admiral Duncan
  Vincey Joe at Quiberon Novel based on the brig HMS Vencejo
  The Sea Officer Sir Edward Pellew's command of HMS Indefatigable
  The Frigate Captain
(or The Sea Lord)
The life of Thomas Lord Cochrane
The Malta Frigate Malta's bid to rid itself of the occupying French 
  The Independent Cruise His Majesty's brig-sloop Chance fights a duel at Gibraltar
  Mutiny in the Caribbean (No information is available about this novel but may be about the mutiny aboard HMS Hermione)
  Centurion Comes Home A novel about the round the world voyage of Anson
  Seven Gun Broadside William Wooldrige was facing a court martial for the loss of his sloop
1813 HMS Cracker HMS Cracker must protect convoys supplying Wellington
1810 The Lee Shore  Ring's knowledge of French was to lead him into a world of espionage and adventure.
1804 HMS Diamond Rock A novel based on the occupation of the Rocher du Diamant in 1804.
  The Quarterdeck Ladder Jeremiah Coghlan's meteoric rise from ship's boy to Post Captain 
  A Kiss for Captain Hardy A fictionalised biography of Thomas Masterman Hardy.
  Wolfe Commands You  A story of the life of General James Wolfe including the taking of Quebec.
  Nelson Made Me  (No information is available about this novel)  
  Land From the Sea  (No information is available about this novel)  
  Stella and the Fireships  William Bissell is in charge of fireships and explosion-vessels under Cochrane at the attack on Aix Roads
  Path to Glory (No information is available about this novel although the short story Siege of Toulon is an extract)
1793 Siege of Toulon The exploits of Sir Sidney Smith at the Siege of Toulon
(A short story that appears in ‘The Mammoth Book of Men of War') 

Modern Era Naval Fiction

Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
WWII Indestructable Jones A nineteen-year-old pacifist becomes an officer in the British Navy
WWII Jones' Private Navy no description available but may be a sequel to Indestructable Jones

© 2008-2024 David Hayes (Astrodene)