Lt Cdr Julian Stockwin MBE is perhaps best known for the excellent stories following the careers of two fiction naval characters during the Napoleonic War. These absorbing tales bring to life the Navy of Nelson and feature some novel new plots and backgrounds that have made the Kydd series an international best seller, translated into a growing number of languages and attracting an expanding readership. This new book is a delight and a labour of love.
NAME: Stockwin's Maritime Miscellany CLASSIFICATION: Book Reviews FILE: R1555 DATE: 220609 AUTHOR: Julian Stockwin PUBLISHER: Ebury Press BINDING: Hard back PAGES: 216 PRICE: GB £12.99 GENRE: Non fiction SUBJECT: Georgian Navy, Royal Navy, wooden walls, Nelson, Napoleonic Wars, Revolutionary Wars, ships, technol;ogy, social history, Kydd, naval museums, ship museums, Renzi, Port Mystic, share riggers, Golden Age of Sail ISBN: 978-0-09-193066-0 IMAGE: B1555.jpg LINKS: http://tinyurl.com/ DESCRIPTION: Lt Cdr Julian Stockwin MBE is perhaps best known for the excellent stories following the careers of two fiction naval characters during the Napoleonic War. These absorbing tales bring to life the Navy of Nelson and feature some novel new plots and backgrounds that have made the Kydd series an international best seller, translated into a growing number of languages and attracting an expanding readership. This new book is a delight and a labour of love. The author has been involved with the sea all of his life, serving in the Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Navy. Through his working life and his more recent career as a writer, he has collected a huge amount of information. From this fund of knowledge, he has selected a collection of facts and anecdotes, details of events and museums, insights into the life of seaman during the golden period of sail in the reign of George III. The diversity of information and the fascinating explanations of the background to commonly used words and phrases, such as 'high and dry' and 'first rate', will appeal to a very wide readership. The greatest service the author has done is to fill in the blanks in fictional and non-fictional naval history. These are the facts that every writer has to discover and understand to be able to write a book that appears authentic and engages the reader. Used in this way, the information shines through in parts of the text without really providing a full explanation. Stockwin's Maritime Miscellany draws out the flesh of these skeletons. What has made the a author's stories of Kydd and Renzi so popular is that the tales have a truly authentic feel, even for a reader who is just standing into the historical novel of the days of sail and the legend of Nelson. To achieve this authenticity, the author has travelled to a new location each year to research for the next eagerly awaited episode in the career of Kydd and Renzi. Being able to see a scene much as it was two hundred years ago, to experience the scent and the sound, the touch of artefacts from the period. This provides the library of pictures from which the author writes. One of the most interesting aspects of this new book is that those who have read the tales of Kydd can see some of the lesser-known facts that have been woven into the fictional tale and to see how real-life has contributed to art. The book also shows how much scope there is to continue the fictional tales. Avid readers will be speculating on which innovative plot and setting will be used in the next instalment of the pressed wigmaker, commissioned and given command and of his close friend Renzi. Stockwin's Maritime Miscellany is a very worthwhile book and one that no self-respecting enthusiast of the period can afford to be without. Colour is used only on the dust jacket, but the body of the book contains many drawings, sketches and reproductions of engravings and paintings of the period. The standard of reproduction is good and the images add to the text. Although the core of the content is of the Royal Navy during the time of Nelson, the author has started much early and not confined himself to British material. One very useful table, entitled 'Size Matters' starts with Columbus's smallest ship and takes examples through to the giant nuclear carrier USS George H W Bush and the Dubai-based super-tanker 'Knock Nevis'