Master and Commander, the first book of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey and Maturin series, follows the adventures of Captain Jack Aubrey and his best friend, surgeon and spy Stephen Maturin, during the days of full sails, rolling seas, and naval warfare between Britain and her rivals, France and Spain. As with any roaring historical adventure, there are rogues to best, beauties to pursue, and strange lands to discover.
But Captain Aubrey isn't the only master and commander on the high seas of fiction. These books, many part of a series, feature unforgettable captains facing the rigors and horrors of the boundless deep. Some lead brilliantly while others shatter under the strain of command. Yet each gives an unforgettable performance in the continuing saga of man against the sea.
Steinbeck's first novel is a high seas adventure based on the life of that rum privateer, Captain Henry Morgan.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oliver Tressilian helped defeat the Spanish Armada only to be betrayed by his half-brother, forcing him to become a fugitive. Now a pirate off the Barbary Coast and follower of Islam, Captain Tressilain, the Sea-Hawk, finds adventure and romance in his new life.
New Hampshireman Geoffrey Frost seizes the opportunity to become a privateer and patriot during the American Revolution.
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.
By C. Northcote Parkinson
This book recounts the earliest adventures of Parkinson's hero, Richard Delancey. Ranked as a midshipman, when the events of the American Revolution and the ongoing hostilities between France and England send him across the sea, Delancey finds himself instrumental in defending the Isle of Jersey, and later, the Rock of Gibraltar.
First of a series.
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.