Recent Posts

Come the Revolution, At Least the Pubs will be Open on Sundays

04/05/2015

In an election week, it’s difficult to maintain my principle of completely excluding politics from this blog. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been interested in politics (and, indeed, taught it for many years): indeed, I suspect I’m also a member of one of the most exclusive clubs in the whole of British politics. There […]

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

28/04/2015

I recently assumed the chairmanship of the Research and Programmes committee of the Society for Nautical Research. I was very proud to do so, and as my colleague Lorna Campbell, who’s just taken up the chair of the society’s Publications Committee, blogged about her new role last week, I thought I’d follow suit! I’ve been […]

Building Site!

26/04/2015

Eagle-eyed regular visitors to this site will notice that the format has changed somewhat! This is a temporary move ahead of a full relaunch of my website, also integrating it fully with this blog, which will then become jddavies.com at some point this week. I’m hoping that the process will be relatively seamless and that […]

The Return of That Other Guy

20/04/2015

Conference season again. Last week – ‘Statesmen and Seapower’ at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth. This week – Naval Dockyards Society conference at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Next week – hitting my head slowly and repetitively against a wall in yet another attempt to remind myself that agreeing to give papers […]

Repository Bingo, Part 2

13/04/2015

Originally posted on J D Davies:
? Last week’s first part of this thread got a big response and clearly struck some chords with people. I wrote then that I intended to use this week’s post to provide my ‘top five’ of UK non-national repositories, i.e. county record offices and the like; at the last…

Richard III, Game of Thrones, and Invading France

30/03/2015

Pretty much everybody else on the interweb-thingy has had their fourpenn’orth about last week’s reburial of King Richard III, and I suppose it was only fitting that the events divided opinion just as sharply as the Marmite Monarch himself – depending on your point of view and which bloggers and tweeters you read, either a […]

Reviews

SHORTLISTED FOR THE MOUNTBATTEN MARITIME LITERARY AWARD, 2014

…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’

WINNER OF THE SAMUEL PEPYS PRIZE AND LATHAM MEDAL, 2009

‘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′

PRAISE FOR ‘THE JOURNALS OF MATTHEW QUINTON’

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, author of Fighting Ships & the ‘Hearts of Oak’ trilogy (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… – From various reviews of the series

Reviews of ‘The Journals of Matthew Quinton’
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