Recent Posts

Cry God for Charlie, England, and Saint James!

25/07/2016

Today, 25 July 2016, is Saint James’ day in the Church of England’s liturgical calendar, and exactly 350 years ago, the relatively little known Saint James’ day battle took place in the waters of the southern North Sea. This was a sequel to the huge Four Days’ Battle that had been fought at the beginning […]

Angel Delight

05/07/2016

Cue drum roll… Yes, here’s proof that the next Quinton novel, Death’s Bright Angel, really is on the way – the advance proof copy from Old Street Publishing! I’m currently working through this to eliminate any remaining typos, etc, but everything is on course for the book to come out as scheduled in August. As you […]

Piece of Skill!

20/06/2016

I don’t usually advertise or publicise other people’s work in this blog, and I don’t usually stray beyond my usual naval and historical themes; but today, I’m making an exception. Regular readers will know that Michael Berliner, the son of my ‘significant other’ Wendy (the ‘LadyQJ’ of my Twitter feed), is a film producer, and […]

Dead Admirals Society in the Highlands

13/06/2016

Sometimes, one comes across dead admirals in unexpected ways and unexpected places. This was definitely the case during our recent road trip back from Orkney, where we’d been during the Jutland commemorations. On our journey north, my ‘significant other’ – the ‘LadyQJ’ of my Twitter feed – spotted a sign for a pottery whose products […]

The 350th Anniversary of the Four Days Battle, 1666

01/06/2016

The posting of this blog coincides with the exact 350th anniversary of the start of the Four Days’ Battle in 1666. Perfectly understandably, all of the media and social media attention focused on naval history this week has centred on the centenary of the Battle of Jutland, so this is my attempt to redress the […]

Highways and Byways of the 17th Century: the Naval Engagement at Swansea, 1660- The Last Shots of the British Civil Wars?

27/05/2016

This week, I’m cross-posting a blog that I first published earlier in the week on my Welsh naval history site, britanniasdragon.com. The restoration of the monarch in 1660 was an astonishingly rapid development, one which could hardly have been foreseen at all until just before it actually took place. Inevitably, this led to much confusion, […]

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, 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’
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