Days of Sail

Peter H. Spectre and David Larkin

A beautiful book to browse, this volume was written to record the recreation of the Susan Constant, the Godspeed’s sister ship, in 1992.

C. S. Forester

As commander-in-chief of His Majesty's ships and vessels in the West Indies, Admiral Hornblower faces pirates, revolutionaries, and a blistering hurricane in the chaotic aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars.

Marcus Rediker

What was it like when Britain ruled the waves, but pirates haunted the coasts of colonial America? In this maritime history, Rediker examines a dangerous, adventurous brotherhood of the sea.

Rafael Sabatini

A man wrongly punished for treason escapes from slavery in the West Indies to become a savvy pirate, yet he longs for the plantation owner's niece.

William P. Mack

In an exciting novel set in the age of sail, one of the first Scotsmen to command a ship in Nelson's navy battles Spanish and French enemies, as well dangerous seas and his volatile crew, to establish a reputation for himself.

James A. Michener

In this epic, the Chesapeake Bay region gets Michener's novel treatment. From Indians to religious pilgrims, from pirates to slave holders, from Quakers to desperate Irish immigrants, the people come in and make their mark on the windy marshes and tidal basins of the Chesapeake Bay.

David Donachie

Harry Ludlow, forced out of the Royal Navy, becomes a privateer in partnership with his younger brother James. But for the Ludlows, murder and intrigue take more of their time than hunting fat trading vessels. Harry and James find themselves aboard the Navy's 74-gun Magnanime. In command is a captain with whom Harry has crossed swords in the past. When James is found standing over the body of a dead officer, Harry's feud shifts into the background.

First of the Privateersman mystery series.

Horace Beck

A superb account of the traditions and legends of the people who live by the sea; their beliefs and superstitions about boatbuilding, the weather, creatures real and legendary, the ghosts and saints and demons that surround and influence their lives. (Publisher's description)

Patrick O'Brian

This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against a thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.

Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall

The thrilling account of the strange, eventful, and tragic voyage of His Majesty's Ship Bounty in 1788-1789, which culminated in Fletcher Christian's mutiny against Captain Bligh.

Donald G. Shomette
“…a dazzling array of swashbuckling pirates, picaroons, and sea rovers pitted against the often feckless representatives of an outpost government authority in the Chesapeake Bay region. It is an exciting and dramatic 200-year history that begins grimly with the "starving time" in the Virginia colony in 1609 and ends with the peaceful resolution of the Othello affair with the French in 1807. In between lies a full panoply of violent and bizarre buccaneering incidents… .”
(Publisher’s description)
Dudley Pope

The young lieutenant takes up special orders direct from Nelson himself which bring news of a mission close to his own heart. In a daring foray, under the very nose of the French Mediterranean fleet, Ramage is to sail his tiny cutter close in to the Italian shore and rescue a party of stranded aristocrats from Napoleon's fast-advancing army. First of a series.

Dudley Pope

Ordered to Naples after the battle of Trafalgar, Ramage and the Calypso are given fresh orders. The Barbary Coast pirates--the Saracens--are active in Sicily again, and terrorizing fishing ports. Ramage and his crew are sent to Sicily to track down the Saracens before they can attack another town.  Part of a series.

John Buchan

"My arm was too short to make a fighter of me, and I could only strive to close, that I might get the use of my weight and my great strength of neck and shoulder. Ringan danced round me, tapping me lightly on nose and cheek, but hard enough to make the blood flow, I defended myself as best I could, while my temper rose rapidly and made me forget my penitence. Time and again I looked for a chance to slip in, but he was as wary as a fox, and was a yard off before I could get my arm round him."
Follow the rowsing adventures of men facing off against pirates, Powhatans, and each other in this classic adventure story.

Michael Cadnum

In 1587, sailing to Spain on board Sir Francis Drake's ship "Elizabeth Bonaventure," seventeen-year-old surgeon's apprentice Thomas Spyre finds that, with the sudden death of his master, he must take over as ship's surgeon and prove his skill not only as a doctor but also as a fighter when he is enlisted by Drake to face battle.

James L. Nelson

Former swashbuckler Thomas Marlowe and his wife have settled in 1702 Tidewater Virginia where they immediately make enemies by freeing their slaves. Planning to set to sea again, to make his fortune plundering rival merchant vessels, Captain Marlowe finds himself bound instead to hunt down an old friend who has killed the captain of a slave ship and has now set sail for Africa.
Book 2 of the Brethren of the Coast series.

Douglas Kelley

This fictionalized story is based on the life of Mary Ann Patten, who went from sea captain's wife to skipper of her husband's ship when he fell ill. He recovered enough to make her life even more difficult. Entertaining and fascinating.

David Donachie

In 1793, privateer Harry Ludlow finds himself aboard the navy's 74-gun Magnanime, with his younger brother James. In command is Oliver Carter, a captain with whom Harry has an unfortunate history. When James is found standing over the body of a dead officer, Harry's feud shifts into the background. But dark secrets start to surface on all sides. First of the Privateersman series.

James L. Nelson
A naval adventure whose hero commands a warship, defending colonial Virginia from pirates. On land he faces danger as well for he killed a tobacco planter in a duel over a woman and the family wants revenge.
Book 1 of the Brethren of the Coast series.

William A. Baker

An excellent reference book for those who would like to know some of the particulars of old sailing vessels.

Derek Lundy

When, as a young man in the 1880s, Benjamin Lundy signed up for unimaginably hard duty aboard a...commercial sailing vessel -- one destined for a treacherous, white-knuckle passage around...Cape Horn -- he had no idea that his experience would also provide a window into an epochal transition that would fundamentally change man's relation to the sea.

Robert Louis Stevenson

While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her son find a treasure map that leads to a pirate fortune as well as great danger.

Richard Henry Dana

The narrative of the author's journey from Boston around the Cape Horn and landing at a port in the western coast of the United States. A classic work of non-fiction that inspired Melville.

Gene Hackman and Daniel Lenihan

When his parents are murdered, 17-year-old Jack O'Reilly joins the crew of the Perdido Star, facing "storms, shipwreck, hostile and friendly natives, and enemy vessels," eventually leading a renegade band called the Right Honourable Brotherhood of Shipwrecked Men.

Charles Kingsley

This vibrant novel captures the daring spirit of adventurers who sailed with Sir Francis Drake, and this new edition features text reset in the original typeface and full-color illustrations reproduced from the original canvases.

David Cordingly

"In this illuminating historical narrative, maritime scholar David Cordingly shows that in fact an astonishing number of women went to sea in the great age of sail. Some traveled as the wives or mistresses of captains. A few were smuggled aboard by officers or seaman. A number of cases have come to light of young women dressing in men's clothes and working alongside the sailors for months, and sometimes years. In the U.S. and Britsh navies, it was not uncommon for the wives of bosuns, carpenters, and cooks to go to sea on warships. Cordingly's tremendous research shows that there was indeed a thriving female population--from female pirates to the sirens of legend--on and around the high seas."