W. H. G. Kingston in an 1884 portrait

William Henry Giles Kingston (1814-1880) was the son of a merchant in Oporto, where he spent much of his youth. His books are mainly written for young boys. One of his early ones, Peter the Whaler (1851), was successful and was followed by more than 150 similar books which had simple plots and were full of adventures and escapes. They tend to have a high moral tone. He also made numerous translations of other authors works, including Jules Verne, which remain standards to the present day. His books went through many editions and revisions, and continued to be published well into the 20th century. Many of his novels are not copyright in many countries and some are available as free eBooks in the online store..

Series: Three Officers
Year  Book  Comment
  The Three Midshipmen Three school friends join the Royal Navy
  The Three Lieutenants The Friends fight slaving in the Caribbean
  The Three Commanders Action in East Africa, the Crimea and the Pacific.
  The Three Admirals Further adventures of the friends and their young followers
Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
  Old Jack: A Man-of-War's-Man and South-Sea Whaler An old sailor's account of his own adventures, during times of peace and of war, in many parts of the world
  Marmaduke Merry, The Midshipman: or My Early Days at Sea The memoirs of a midshipman during the Napoleonic wars
  Hurricane Hurry: or, The Adventures of a Naval Officer Afloat and on Shore A Royal Naval officer participates in the American war of Independence
  True Blue: or, The Life and Adventures of a British Seaman of the old School True Blue, born on a Royal Navy ship, serves all his life at sea, participating in various notable events.
  Ben Burton; or, Born and Bred at Sea Ben Burton's story from birth to a senior Naval rank
  Salt Water; The Sea Life and adventures of Neil D'Arcy, the Midshipman The adventures of a young boy who joins the Royal Navy as a midshipman
  Will Weatherhelm; or the Yarn of an Old Sailor, about his early life and adventures Maritime adventures of a Shetlander before and during the Napoleonic wars
  Ronald Morton; or, The Fire Ships: A story of the Last Naval War A story of a Shetland families inheritance.
  Paul Gerrard, the Cabin Boy The adventures of a Cabin Boy
  Adrift in a Boat Adventures of a Midshipman and his friend
  Sunshine Bill Adventures in the West Indies
  The Child of the Wreck; or, the Loss of the Royal George Based on the life of a survivor of the loss of the Royal George
  Saved from the Sea, The Loss of the Viper Adventures of a shipwrecked crew
  The Boy who sailed with Blake Adventures around the career or Admiral Blake
  Paddy Finn; or, The Adventures of a Midshipman Afloat and Ashore The adventures of a Midshipman
  The Heir of Kilfinnan The story of a naval officer and his eventual inheritance.
  From Powder Monkey to Admiral - A Story of Naval Adventure A boys rise through the naval ranks
  John Deane of Nottingham - Historic Adventures by Land and Sea A fictionalised biography
  The Boatswain's Son: a tale of the sea A 14 year old is promoted to Midshipman after distinguishing himself in battle (short story)
  The Story of Nelson A story about Nelson (short story)

AOS Naval Non Fiction

Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
  The San Fiorenzo and her Captain A factual account of one ship's experiences during the mutiny at the Nore
  Captain Cook, his Life, Voyages and Discoveries A Biography of the great Captain Cook
  How Britannia Came to Rule the Waves A history of the British Navy to 1876.

AOS Pirate Fiction

Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
  The Pirate of the Mediterranean A Greek Pirate who preyed mostly upon Italian, Greek and Turkish vessels

AOS Other Nautical Fiction

Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
  The Voyages of the Ranger and Crusader The stories of a troopship to India and an emigrant ship to New Zealand.
  A Voyage Round the World Adventures by sea and land, mainly set in South America, the South Sea Islands and Japan
  Peter the Whaler Adventures in the Arctic Regions and other parts of the World
  The South Sea Whaler The story of the loss of the Champion and the adventures of her crew

 Additionally Kingston published several short stories which appeared in Ainsworth's Magazine (thanks to Dr. Charles G. Waugh for this information).

  • "The Black Slaver"  v. 14, 1848
  • "The Cavern of Panama; or, the Pirate's Treasure" v. 15, 1849
  • "The Demon Pilot" v. 11, 1847
  • "The Father's Curse" v. 11, 1847
  • "Jack Dory, The Free Trader" v. 19, 1851
  • "Jonathon Johnson's Second Voyage" v. 11, 1847
  • "Pepe the Pirate" v. 12, 1847

© 2008-2024 David Hayes (Astrodene)