Non-Fiction Releases

 

This section lists upcoming and recently released non-fiction books about the Age of Sail. They will also appear in the Non-Fiction Listings

lardas11Author Mark Lardas has a new book USS Lawrence vs HMS Detroit: The War of 1812 on the Great Lakes which is now available for pre-order in paperback. It will be released in the UK on 18 May 2017 and in the US on 23 May 2017.

The most critical naval fighting during the War of 1812 took place, not on the high seas, but on the inland lakes of North America: the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. Carrying between 12 and 22 cannon, the British and American sloops-of-war were ship-rigged, brig-rigged or schooner-rigged vessels. Lakes actions often involved two ships facing each other broadside to broadside, the best example of which was the battle of Lake Erie in 1813 where HMS Detroit led a Royal Navy squadron against the USS Lawrence-led US Navy.

Featuring full-colour artwork, this lively study investigates the prolonged struggle between British and US sloops-of-war, highlighting the differences between the war on the lakes and the war on the oceans during the Age of Fighting Sail. It reveals the circumstances under which these ships were built, how they were armed, and the human story behind their construction and use in battle.

The Warship AnneRichard Endsor has a new book available for pre-order in hardcover, The Warship Anne. It is will be released in the UK on 23 February 2017 and in the US on 23 May 2017.

If you go down to the shore at Hastings on the UK's south coast at low tide you will come upon an amazing sight. There, revealed by the receding waves are the remarkably complete mortal remains of a seventeenth century warship. The Anne was launched in 1678 and was lost in 1690 at the battle of Beachy Head. As she lay beached, she was torched to prevent her from falling into enemy hands. Today the wreck is owned by the Shipwreck Museum at Hastings and in the past few years there have been some intriguing attempts to bring the ship back to life using advanced simulation and modeling techniques. Ship's historian and draughtsman Richard Endsor has written a history of this wonderful and accessible ship, bringing the ship fully back to life using his beautiful and accurate drawings and paintings. Richard Endsor's previous book, The Restoration Warship inspired the locals at Deptford to plan a full size replica of Lenox, the warship covered in that book.

Hornblower's Historical ShipmatesHeather Noel-Smith & Lorna M. Campbell have just released a new book, Hornblower's Historical Shipmates: The Young Gentlemen of Pellew's Indefatigable. It is available worldwide in Hardcover.

This book sets out the lives of seventeen 'young gentlemen' who were midshipmen under the famous Captain Sir Edward Pellew. Together, aboard the frigate HMS Indefatigable, they fought a celebrated action in 1797 against the French ship of the line Les Droits de l'Homme. C. S. Forester, the historical novelist, placed his famous hero, Horatio Hornblower, aboard Pellew's ship as a midshipman, so this book tells, as it were, the actual stories of Hornblower's real-life shipmates. And what stories they were! From diverse backgrounds, aristocratic and humble, they bonded closely with Pellew, learned their naval leadership skills from him, and benefited from his patronage and his friendship in their subsequent, very varied careers. The group provides a fascinating snapshot of the later eighteenth-century sailing navy in microcosm. Besides tracing the men's naval lives, the book shows how they adapted to peace after 1815, presenting details of their civilian careers. The colourful lives recounted include those of the Honourable George Cadogan, son of an earl, who survived three courts martial and a duel to retire with honour as an admiral in 1813; Thomas Groube, of a Falmouth merchant family, who commanded a fleet of boats which destroyed the Dutch shipping at Batavia, capital of the Dutch East Indies, in 1806; and James Bray, of Irish Catholic descent, who was killed commanding a sloop during the American war of 1812

The Burning of His Majesty's Schooner GaspeeSteven Park's new book, The Burning of His Majesty's Schooner Gaspee: An Attack on Crown Rule Before the American Revolution will be released in Hardcover in the US on 4 November 2016 and in the UK on 28 February 2017. It is now available for pre-order.

Considered one of the first acts of rebellion to British authority over the American colonies, a fresh account placing the incident into historical context.

Between the Boston Massacre in 1770 and the Boston Tea Party in 1773—a period historians refer to as “the lull”—a group of prominent Rhode Islanders rowed out to His Majesty’s schooner Gaspee,which had run aground six miles south of Providence while on an anti-smuggling patrol. After threatening and shooting its commanding officer, the raiders looted the vessel and burned it to the waterline. Despite colony-wide sympathy for the June 1772 raid, neither the government in Providence nor authorities in London could let this pass without a response. As a result, a Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by Rhode Island governor Joseph Wanton zealously investigated the incident.

In The Burning of His Majesty’s Schooner Gaspee: An Attack on Crown Rule Before the American Revolution, historian Steven Park reveals that what started out as a customs battle over the seizure of a prominent citizen’s rum was soon transformed into the spark that re-ignited Patriot fervor. The significance of the raid was underscored by a fiery Thanksgiving Day sermon given by a little-known Baptist minister in Boston. His inflammatory message was reprinted in several colonies and was one of the most successful pamphlets of the pre-Independence period. The commission turned out to be essentially a sham and made the administration in London look weak and ineffective. In the wake of the Gaspee affair, Committees of Correspondence soon formed in all but one of the original thirteen colonies, and later East India Company tea would be defiantly dumped into Boston Harbor.

Faces of the Civil War NaviesRonald S. Coddington has a new book available for pre-order in Hardcover and Kindle formats. Faces of the Civil War Navies: An Album of Union and Confederate Sailors will be released worldwide on 30 October 2016.

During the American Civil War, more than one hundred thousand men fought on ships at sea or on one of America’s great inland rivers. There were no large-scale fleet engagements, yet the navies, particularly the Union Navy, did much to define the character of the war and affect its length. The first hostile shots roared from rebel artillery at Charleston Harbor. Along the Mississippi River and other inland waterways across the South, Union gunboats were often the first to arrive in deadly enemy territory. In the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic seaboard, blockaders in blue floated within earshot of gray garrisons that guarded vital ports. And on the open seas, rebel raiders wreaked havoc on civilian shipping.

In Faces of the Civil War Navies, renowned researcher and Civil War photograph collector Ronald S. Coddington focuses his considerable skills on the Union and Confederate navies. Using identifiable cartes de visite of common sailors on both sides of the war, many of them never before published, Coddington uncovers the personal histories of each individual who looked into the eye of the primitive camera. These unique narratives are drawn from military and pension records, letters, diaries, period newspapers, and other primary sources. In addition to presenting the personal stories of seventy-seven intrepid volunteers, Coddington also focuses on the momentous naval events that ushered in an era of ironclad ships and other technical innovations.

The fourth volume in Coddington’s series on Civil War soldiers, this microhistory will appeal to anyone with an interest in the Civil War, social history, or photography. The narratives and photographs in Faces of the Civil War Navies shed new light on a lesser-known part of our American story. Taken collectively, these "snapshots" remind us that the history of war is not merely a chronicle of campaigns won and lost, it is the collective personal odysseys of thousands of individual life stories.

The Golden Age of PiracyBenerson Little has a new book available for pre-order in Hardcover and Kindle formats. The Golden Age of Piracy: The Truth Behind Pirate Myths will be released in the US on 25 October 2016 and in the UK on 10 November 2016.

For thousands of years, pirates have terrorized the ocean voyager and the coastal inhabitant, plundered ship and shore, and wrought havoc on the lives and livelihoods of rich and poor alike. Around these desperate men has grown a body of myths and legends, fascinating tales that today strongly influence our notions of pirates and piracy.

Most of these myths derive from the pirates of the Golden Age, from roughly 1655 to 1725. This was the age of the Spanish Main, of Henry Morgan and Blackbeard, of Bartholomew Sharp and Bartholomew Roberts. The history of pirate myth is rich in action, at sea and ashore. However, the truth is far more interesting. In "The Golden Age of Piracy," expert pirate historian Benerson Little debunks more than a dozen pirate myths that derive from this era, from the flying of the Jolly Roger to the burying of treasure, from walking the plank to the staging of epic sea battles and shows that the truth is far more fascinating and disturbing than the romanticized legends.

Among Little's revelations are that pirates of the Golden Age never made their captives walk the plank and that they, instead, were subject to horrendous torture, such as being burned or hung by their arms. Likewise, epic sea battles involving pirates were fairly rare because most prey surrendered immediately. The stories are real and are drawn heavily from primary sources. Complementing them are colorful images of flags, ships, and buccaneers based on eyewitness accounts.

The Lost Story of the William and MaryGill Hoffs new book, The Lost Story of the William and Mary: The Cowardice of Captain Stinson will be released in Hardcover in the UK on 30 September 2016 and in the US on 2 January 2017. It is now available for pre-order.

The emigrant ship William and Mary departed from Liverpool with 208 British, Irish, and Dutch emigrants in early 1853. Captained by young American Timothy Stinson, the vessel was sailing for New Orleans when the ship wrecked in the Bahamas in mysterious circumstances. Instead of grounding the ship on a nearby shore or building rafts for the passengers, Stinson and the majority of his crew sneaked away in lifeboats murdering at least two of the emigrants with a hatchet as they did so and reported the ship sunk with all on board lost. But the passengers kept the ship afloat and two days later were rescued by heroic wreckers as the ship went down. Now, over 160 years on, the tale of the two murdered in Bahamian waters and the hundreds who escaped thanks to kindly wreckers can finally be told. Stinson is no longer getting away with murder.

Crusoe's IslandAndrew D. Lambert's new book, Crusoe's Island: A Rich and Curious History of Pirates, Castaways and Madness will be released in worldwide in Hardcover and for kindle download on 13 September 2016. It is now available for pre-order.

From an acclaimed naval historian, Crusoe's Island charts the curious relationship between the British and an island on the other side of the world: Robinson Crusoe, in the South Pacific.

The tiny island assumed a remarkable position in British culture, most famously in Daniel Defoe's novel. Andrew Lambert reveals the truth behind the legend of this place, bringing to life the voices of the visiting sailors, scientists and artists, as well as the wonders, tragedy and violence that they encountered.

© 2008-2017 David Hayes (Astrodene)