The Lordship of Galloway


The author has drawn new interpretations from his extensive research. Galloway developed as a kingdom dominating the western seaways between Scotland and Ireland. It was to the Solway and the Isle of Mann that the Vikings moved following their expulsion from Ireland. Over the centuries there was a regular movement of people between Ulster and Scotland. This turbulent history has been captured in this book which sets the history of Galloway in the context of the relationships of the kings of Ireland, Scotland and England

The Liner


In all of the wealth of published maritime history, the warship represents a major part of the available material and the liner receives remarkably little coverage. This book does much to redress the balance by providing a comprehensive history of the liner. The illustration is excellent and extensive. The liner was the link between nations for a brief period of little more than one hundred years. During that period, the technology developed rapidly and ship size grew to provide the fastest method of moving people in numbers across the oceans. At the same time, luxury became very important and within a few decades, the liner had developed from a method of conveying large numbers of people in adequate comfort, to five star floating hotels. Of course liners included luxury and squalor together

The Line of Battle, The Sailing Warship 1650-1840


This is a very welcome reprint of the second in a series of twelve volumes tracing the development of ships and their uses from ancient times. The publisher has decided to reprint only half of the original volumes but that decision might be changed as the six selected volumes go on sale. The authors/editors have done a fine job and the publisher has done full justice to their work with a beautifully produced book. The subject is the golden years of sailing warship design and of wooden construction, ending with the introduction of iron, steel and steam that made greater size, power, speed and specialization possible. The wealth of illustration and the well drafted text make this one of the key books on its subject

The Life and Adventures of John Nichol


This is a thrilling tale of the adventures of an 18th Century sailor, told by him, and edited sensitively into contemporary English by Flannery. It is a tale of the seas and continents of the world, visited by Nicol, of his service on a slaver, man-of-war, convict ship, and Greenland whaler. First hand accounts by an average sailor are very rare and this is a book not to miss, an extraordinary, story told by an extraordinary sailor

The Law Marches West


This is an account by Sir Cecil of the march West in 1874 by the North-West Mounted Police in which he participated as a Captain in the NWMP. This is an absorbing first hand account complete with photographs. A story of law enforcement challenges in a raw developing world of pioneers, Indians and gold prospectors. It is an interesting counterpoint as a Canadian history to the more numerous accounts of the United States in the same period

The Last Corsair


It describes the exploits of the German cruiser Emden during the opening months of WWI in the Indian Ocean. Within 3 months she sank 16 merchant ships, 2 warships, shelled Madras and carried out a raid against Penang harbour. The cruiser’s luck finally ran out on 9th November 1914 when she was pounded to a wreck by the Australian cruiser Sydney before her German Captain ran her aground on a reef on the edge of North Keeling Island



The eagerly awaited sixth book in the story of Kydd and his particular friend Renzi is another cracking good yarn from the age of sail. Any fictional naval character who’s story is set in the period has to eventually come into contact with Nelson and this is the time for Kydd and Renzi to meet the Admiral who has dominated the history of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. It is also inevitable that the fictional characters will have at least a brush with Napoleon. Stockwin has chosen this story to include those two encounters and he has chosen, in this reviewer’s opinion, wisely. Firstly, he has to move Tenacious from the North American station to the action involving Nelson and Napoleon. In the process he vividly paints the picture of a fear and turmoil as England anticipates invasion in conditions closely repeated almost a century and a half later. The mutinies at Spithead and the Nore have encouraged the Admiralty to disperse the ships. Lack of political will and naval assets have combined to make the Mediterranean a French lake. Now the Royal Navy is expected to achieve the impossible by protecting England from a ruthless and well-equipped enemy who has cowed the rest of Europe and only has to defeat England to dominate the world. First it is necessary to find out what the enemy is really up to



This is the fifth book in the stories of Kydd and Renzi. Stockwin has the opportunity to develop the different characters of Kydd and Renzi as they adapt to the significant change in their fortunes when they are confirmed as Lieutenants. Renzi comes from a privileged background and his adaptation originally was as a volunteer seaman in the Royal Navy. Kydd also had an initial adaptation to life aboard a warship as a pressed man but his humble background as a young wigmaker presented less challenge in relating to the seamen in his mess. Now the situations are reversed as Renzi slips easily into the social environment of the wardroom and Kydd feels uncomfortable and unable to freely join in the conversations about hunting and the pursuits of gentlemen. Stockwin himself made the migration from Petty Officer to Officer

Come Hell and High Water


Jean Hood has a keen interest in the English Civil War and worked as an Information Officer for Lloyd’s Register of Shipping. In this book she describes 17 remarkable and varied maritime incidents from “Prince” in 1752 to the recent rescue by a Royal Navy team of the Russian submarine AS-28 and its crew. There is a bandw section of photographs, paintings and etchings to illustrate these 17 incidents. Each incident is comprehensively described and bandw sketches and etchings are scattered through the text. A well-researched work that conveys the shock and horror of the incidents in a moving and gripping manner. Inevitably the sinking of the Titanic is one incident described and it is difficult to add anything new to such a thoroughly covered incident. The selection of incidents is interesting and provides a spread of some of the range of disasters that face sailors in war and peace. Each incident is described in a very readable account that will involve a wide range of readers, but there is also a wealth of additional supporting information for the serious student of risk and of maritime history

No More Beyond


Birlinn have a reputation for finding books to publish on subjects that have received little or no attention but should have. This book is no exception. The author has produced a comprehensive biography of Hubert Wilkins who was an outstanding Australian pioneer who is virtually unknown. Wilkins was born in South Australia on the edge of the Outback in a simple stone cottage. The family was forced out of farming by withering droughts and Hubert developed a keen interest in climate forecasting. He embarked on a career of research that was to take him to the corners of the Earth, often as the first to travel there. Initially he flowered as a photographer and particularly as a war photographer following the Balkan War, recording the retreat of the defeated Turkish army as it fled the Bulgarians in 1912, almost costing Wilkins his life. His work was highly commended by war correspondents and he was to later serve in uniform on the Western Front in 1917 becoming a legendary and much decorated war photographer. That part of his career should have brought him to public notice and a place in the history of photography, but it was another type of photography that sparked his real lifetime career of achievement