A New Era

At long last, after having to keep things under wraps for some time, I’m finally able to reveal some really exciting news!

Firstly, great news for all Quinton fans – the series continues! Next year, the 350th anniversary of the Dutch attack on the Medway, will see the publication by Endeavour Press of the seventh book in the chronological Journals of Matthew Quinton, set against the backdrop of the astonishing national humiliation which many regard as the worst defeat in British history. And I can now reveal that the title of the new book will be…

Random picture to increase tension - the Dutch in the Medway, by William Schellinks

Random picture to increase tension – the Dutch in the Medway, by William Schellinks

…wait for it…

The Devil Upon the Wave.

(The title is derived from one of the most famous ‘one-liners’ in Pepys’s Diary, namely his colleague Sir William Batten’s scatological comment on 19 July 1667 – ‘By God, says he, I think the Devil shits Dutchmen’.)

It’s very early days in the process of writing the story, but Matthew will certainly be at the heart of the drama in the Medway, and also engaged in action in the open sea, albeit not quite in the way one might expect. There’ll also be an encounter with one of the most famous figures in the whole of naval history!

As an aside, this might be a good time to mention the fact that a lot of exciting events will be happening in the summer of next year to mark the anniversary of the Dutch attack, many of them, naturally, in the Medway area. I’m involved in a number of events, including a major conference in Amsterdam which I’m helping to organise, so expect many more updates on all of this in due course.

Returning to the Quinton series, though…

Long-time readers of this blog and fans of the series will know that I’ve also written a book set at the end of the reign of Elizabeth I, with Matthew’s eponymous grandfather as its central character. I’ve not said anything about The Rage of Fortune for some time, because a number of editorial and contractual issues arose with it, and these have delayed publication far beyond its intended appearance in 2015. But I’m delighted to be able to announce that these issues have finally been resolved, and that Endeavour Press will be publishing The Rage of Fortune in both e-book and print-on-demand formats in the near future. I hope to provide a more detailed ‘taster’ of the book on this site soon!

Finally, Endeavour will also be publishing a second, shorter, Quinton ‘e-story’, following on from the series prequel Ensign Royal (which, as I indicated a couple of weeks ago, is now available again). Provisionally titled Quinton and the Princess, this, too, is set before Gentleman Captain, the first book in the main series. Which Princess, you ask? Well, fans of the recent TV series Versailles might have an idea! We’re hoping that this story will come out well before the end of next year, and regular updates will be provided on this website.

And even more good news…I know that readers have been struggling to get hold of copies of the fourth Quinton book, The Lion of Midnight, and that copies of this have been turning up on Amazon, etc, for absolutely ridiculous prices. (Rumours to the effect that all of these copies seem to be being sold by a shifty Welshman living in Bedfordshire are, of course, entirely unfounded.) Fortunately, Endeavour have just released the new e-book edition, while Old Street are reprinting the print version, so The Lion should be readily available again very soon.

So all in all, these are exciting times here at Quinton Towers, so it’s undoubtedly a good time to thank all those of you who’ve read the books. It’s great to receive feedback, and most of the comments I get from readers are hugely positive, giving me a very powerful incentive to carry on writing!


  1. R Landzaat says:

    Dear Jd, Happy new year and thank u for your continued blogs.I’m responding to this ad subject is more appealing to me,actually I would prefer
    a non-fictional stab at subject.It’s been almost 50 years since P.G.Rogers book.A valuable resource to be sure ,he was professional writer ,but you could do much ,much better.Frankly he new nothing of ships and he wouldn’t know a cannon of seven from a Vodka and seven! If he did he would of
    Mentioned the 16 guns taken at Sheerness were the much vaunted 42 lb. Gun.Seaman Barlow mentioned they were brass,another clue is mention last gun crew that held out,(gallant seven).Mostly there was some sort of night operation the night of June 13 as Royal Oak ,London an James burned.Pepsi diary makestrel note on June 14″last night all the ships were burned” also mentioned Upnor fire slackening during that day.Page 110-111quotes London Gazette Friday (14th) “were seen 24 sail”,after expending 5 fireships the day prior,makes 29 ships at Mussle bank!Rogers 5-6 at most.Capt.E.DuBois is mentioned add Maas boat “Wapen Van Utrecht”36/149 Frank Fox appendix”
    I”.Winfield mentions “Old James “”burned but salved.Had to have been night of 13th/23.Rogers pg.34 Evelyn partial sketch.I had that enlarged Rawlinson M.S A.195 f.78,curious about entire sketch.
    James Norman pg 154-155 is a whitewash sham but does mention £900 damage upperworks of 16 ships scuttled Wednesday 12 June.Incidently,never seen a definative list of those 16 ships.Do you know there names?Rogers lists Pg107,Katherine(by new dockyard),St.George and Victory but these 2 are not on Evelyn drawing!suspect they were at Old dockyard which held the ropeyard?
    Could you obtain rest of Rawlinson doc. and share with us?
    Finally (for know),Willem Schellinks drawings shows a distinct fire which seem to be new dockyard.Rogers never mentioned.

    Ronald Landzaat


    • J D Davies says:

      Thanks Ronald! I’m going to have to stick to the fictional treatment of Chatham, I’m afraid, although I do have an essay about it coming out later this year in a new book on ‘famous battles and their myths’. I’ll also be speaking on aspects of the subject at the big conference in Amsterdam in June, which I’ll be mentioning on my blog next week. Meanwhile, I think Frank Fox has probably already responded to your specific points – I’ve just seen his email with Evelyn’s drawing from Rawlinson. Best, David


  2. R Landzaat says:

    Devil singular.If there was one devil it was King Chuck!


  3. Richard Blake says:

    blockquote, div.yahoo_quoted { margin-left: 0 !important; border-left:1px #715FFA solid !important; padding-left:1ex !important; background-color:white !important; } This is indeed excellent news! I await Rage of Fortune with anticipation. Glad you are continuing the series. May I ask do you hope to cover Quinton’s whole career? There are some fascinating naval events occurring in the 1680s, the 1690s and of course the War of Spanish Succession. One battle after the War of the Spanish Succession which I feel is never fully explained was Cape Passaro in 1718 when we trounced the Spanish even though we were then at peace Wishing you all the very best for ChristmasRegardsRichard Richard Blake

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad


    • J D Davies says:

      Hello Richard, that’s a very good question! I certainly plan to go up to the 1690s if possible, but beyond that point, Matthew (born 1640) would realistically be too old and too senior to go to sea. However, there are some discussions happening with my publisher at the moment which tie in closely with the points you raise. I can’t say more at this stage, but watch this space. A Merry Christmas to you and yours, too! David

      Liked by 1 person

  4. jsmjf2 says:

    Wow, you are a busy bee! Good news all round.


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