Recent Posts

Carmarthenshire Archives: J’accuse, Part 2


In the immediately preceding post, I produced incontrovertible evidence that Carmarthenshire County Council never installed dehumidifying equipment that would have enabled environmental conditions in the archival strongrooms to meet BS5454, the national standard for such facilities, despite provision to do so being set out explicitly, and costed, in the business plan submitted to, and accepted […]

Carmarthenshire Archives: J’accuse, Part 1


…or, if you prefer, rwy’n gyhuddo. Readers of the previous posts in this series will know that when I first started to express my concern about the future of the archives, and began the online campaign to raise awareness of the situation, there was virtually no clarity at all about what was likely to happen in […]

An Important Announcement


There will be an open meeting for those concerned about the current issues with Carmarthenshire’s archives, museums and heritage at the Ivy Bush Hotel, Carmarthen, on Monday September 28th, between 7 and 9 PM. For those not able to get there, I hope to be able to provide a detailed report on this site as […]

Carmarthenshire Archives: The Fait Accompli


Back to the seemingly endless and tangled saga of Carmarthenshire Archives today, and some clear evidence that we are approaching the end game – at least as far as the future location of a new record office is concerned. (The issue of why mould appeared in the strongrooms of the old facility is a very […]

A Breath of Fresh Sea Air


I thought I’d take a break this week from the ongoing issues with Carmarthenshire archives, and even from the range of issues that I normally blog about, to have a look at a refreshing little story which does much to restore one’s faith in humanity after too many dealings with local authority apparatchiks and the like. […]

Carmarthenshire Archives: the Right Hand and the Left Hand


Democracy is a wonderful thing; or, as President Harry S Truman said, ‘if you can’t convince them, confuse them’. (Or don’t reply to their Freedom of Information requests; but that’s another story, for another day.) Such has been the case with the ongoing saga of a possible future location for a new Carmarthenshire Record Office. […]



…it is perhaps deceptively easy for the uninformed to pass over the enormous contribution that Wales and the Welsh people have made to the story of British naval mastery over the years. Equally, the massive extent to which naval affairs and their influences have impacted profoundly on the lives of the Welsh people and on the country at large. is not at all as well understood as it very much ought to be, either in Wales or elsewhere in these islands. Well, J D Davies’s splendid new book will do much to correct the facile view that the maritime heritage of Wales is only about labouring tramp steamers…and it is therefore much to be welcomed, for it deals with a history and an experience of Welsh seafaring that has never hitherto been properly recounted.

The writer…takes the reader on a marvellous passage through 2000 years of Welsh seafaring endeavour…Handling a complex array of diverse and complicated sources with an enviable facility and writing in a polished prose which does justice to the depth and significance of this history, this is essentially a book about opening doors and windows and letting the light into a subject that has been unfairly neglected and largely ignored for too long, and that makes it a most valuable contribution to scholarship in modern naval history which can be strongly recommended. And a fine one it is… It will be clear I hope that your reviewer thinks this is a good and important book, but whether or not it will succeed other than modestly in shifting the trajectory of Welsh maritime history towards a deeper engagement with the naval dimension of the country’s sea history is, I think, likely to remain a matter of conjecture for a time yet. – Dr Campbell McMurray, Maritime Wales


Reviews of ‘Britannia’s Dragon: A Naval History of Wales’


‘You will want to give this book to your favourite armchair seadog’ – James Srodes in The Washington Times

‘This superb book…not only an impressive technical publication to satisfy the dedicated researcher, it is also a jolly good read for the enthusiast’ – The Nautical Magazine

‘[A] magnificent and superbly illustrated volume’ – Professor Eric Grove in Navy News

‘This superb book…well written…beautifully illustrated throughout…this outstanding book is also very good value for money. Highly recommended’ – Marine News

‘Outstanding analysis’ – The Oxford Times

‘This great vade mecum…the research embodied in this work is excellent…no student of the late seventeenth century navy can afford to be without this admirable compilation’ – Professor David Loades in The Mariner’s Mirror

‘A book which should be in the bookcase of every student of Royal  Naval history…the author deserves huge congratulations for the expertise and knowledge so well recorded in this superb book’ – David Clement in South West Soundings

‘Fantastically detailed and comprehensive…an absolute must for anyone with an interest in the sailing navy’ – Janet Dempsey in Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine

Reviews of ‘Pepys’s Navy: Ships, Men and Warfare 1649-89’


Great naval fiction…Hornblower, Aubrey and Quinton – a pantheon of the best adventures at sea – Conn Iggulden

Exciting, emotive and utterly convincing, the Quinton Journals lead the field in naval historical fiction – Sam Willis, TV presenter and author of Fighting Ships, The Fighting Temeraire, The Admiral Benbow & The Glorious First of June

Finely shaded characters, excellent plotting, gut-clenching action and immaculate attention to period naval detail…these are superb books – Angus Donald, author of ‘The Outlaw Chronicles’

A splendid addition to nautical adventure, and a grand story, to boot!—Dewey Lambdin, author of the Alan Lewrie series of novels

J D Davies’s depiction of Restoration England and the British navy is impeccable, his characters truly live and breathe, and the plot kept me in suspense. Gentleman Captain is one of the rare books that I have read with a smile on my face from cover to cover. I could not recommend it more. — Edward Chupack, author of Silver: My Own Tale as Written by Me with a Goodly Amount of Murder

A beautifully written and masterfully told story…an excellent book, well researched, well written and thoroughly enjoyable…terrific characters, a thrilling adventure, and a wonderful sense of time and place…a delightful tale… a naval adventure that goes well beyond the usual outlines of the genre to paint a lively portrait of England in the 1600s…these are superb books…the best series of historical fiction I’ve ever read – From various reviews of the series

Reviews of ‘The Journals of Matthew Quinton’

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,804 other followers

%d bloggers like this: