War and Lawlessness on the High Seas

William Martin

For eight generations, as a nation fought for freedom, fought itself, and fought wars around the world, two proud families whose fates were intertwined, the Staffords and Parrishes, shed their blood for the navy and the city that was its mecca.

Wilbur Smith

The year is 1667; Sir Francis Courteney and his son Hal are on patrol in their fighting caravel off the Agulhas Cape of South Africa. They are lying in wait for one of the treasure-laden galleons of the Dutch East India Company returning from the Orient. So begins a quest for adventure and the spoils of war that sweeps them from the settlement of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa to the Great Horn of Ethiopia far to the north--at a time when international maritime law permitted acts of piracy, rape, and murder otherwise punishable by death.

Rafael Sabatini
In 1685, Irish physician Peter Blood is happily settled in a small English town when the rebellion of the Duke of Monmouth interrupts. After saving the life of a wounded nobleman who turns out to be a rebel, Blood is charged with treason and sentenced to ten years as an indentured slave in the Caribbean colonies. On the islands, Blood is recognized for his knowledge as a physician, and thus he develops a romance with a young lady. But their attachment is ill-fated, as her father is the owner of Blood's servitude. When Spaniards attack the colony, Blood and his fellow convicts take advantage of their victory celebration to steal their ship, sailing off to become the boldest and most fearless pirates on the Spanish Main.
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.

David Poyer

The year is 1861, and America shudders on the brink of disunion. Elisha Eaker, scion of a wealthy Manhattan banking family, joins the Navy against his father's wishes. He does it as much to avoid an arranged marriage to his cousin, Araminta Van Velsor, as to defend the flag.

Philip McCutchan

The Boer War is dragging into a series of sieges. By using the gold bullion brought by St Vincent Halfhy de to South Africa, General Buller hopes to bribe those who can bring a speedy end to the siege of Ladysmith.
Part of a series.

Julian Stockwin

Thomas Paine Kydd, a young wig-maker from Guildford, is seized and taken across the country to be part of the crew of the ninety-eight-gun line-of-battle ship Duke William. The ship sails immediately and Kydd has to learn the harsh realities of shipboard life fast. First of a series.

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.

Alexander Kent

Two novels in one: young Bolitho joins the Gorgon and battles pirates off the coast of Africa; at home, he helps clear the Cornwall coast of smugglers.
Book 1 of the Richard Bolitho novels.

Michel Faber and C. S. Forester

He was the penniless son of a minister who joined the Navy at a low rank to repay his father's debts. A collection of ten short stories follow the early and brilliant career of Horatio Hornblower.

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.

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.

Richard Woodman
Captain Nathaniel Drinkwater is caught up in the complex bloody Battle of Copenhagen, and must save his ship and help his brother escape the gallows.
Dewey Lambdin

In 1780, 17-year-old Alan Lewrie is rebellious and close to being a libertine, so much so that his father believes a bit of naval discipline will turn the boy around. Fresh aboard the king's ship ARIADNE, Midshipman Lewrie heads for the war-torn Americas, finding - rather unexpectedly - that he is a born sailor, equally at home on bawdy shore leave or afloat and in battle at sea.
First of a series.

Jack London

Pressed into service aboard the Ghost, Humphrey Van Weyden becomes an unwilling participant in a tense shipboard drama. The vessel's deranged and abusive captain, Wolf Larsen, perpetrates an atmosphere of increasing violence that ultimately boils into mutiny, shipwrick, and a desperate confrontation.

Steven Pressfield

"As the pride of Achilles drove the course of the Trojan War, so Alcibiades' will and ambition set their stamp upon the Peloponnesian War--the twenty-seven-year civil conflagration between the Athenian empires, Sparta, and the Peloponnesian league. As a commander on land and sea, Alcibiades was never defeated. The destinies of Athens and her favored son were inextricably intertwined. Man and city mirrored each other in boldness, ambition, and vulnerability. Allied, they swept from victory to victory. Apart, he guided her foes to glory."

Michael Scott

In the West Indies, where war, piracy, smuggling, and slave running are the order of the day, the hero of this tale advances from midshipman to lieutenant to a command of his own: the audacious little Wasp.