Dead Admirals Society Memorabilia Edition

My most recent post, a revised version of my elegy for the ‘naval pub’, mentioned the issue of memorabilia and wider heritage which is lost for ever if such a pub is insensitively refurbished or simply closed for good. Over the years on this blog, I’ve also run an occasional series called ‘Dead Admirals Society’, […]

Revisiting The Death of the Naval Pub

Holiday time, i.e. minimal opportunity to think about blogging, but in any case, I thought it was high time I re-posted one of the most popular posts ever on this site – I can’t quite believe I first published this here almost five years ago! The content stands up pretty well, I think, although alas, […]

Money for Nothing; or, Why I Am Not on TV

A few years ago, I briefly threatened to become a TV historian – say, a cross between a more male and more Welsh version of Lucy Worsley, and a taller and less annoying version of David Starkey. A Dutch TV company was talking to me about a project related to what were then the forthcoming […]

Talk About It, and They Will Come

268. Two hundred and sixty eight. I know football and rugby teams who’d be pleased with that sort of attendance. 268 people would comfortably fill a decent-sized airliner, or man a large destroyer. And, let’s face it, 268 MPs changing their minds would deliver Theresa May’s Brexit deal by a landslide. Why, then, did this […]


When this post goes live, I’ll be hacking my way up the A1 ahead of giving a talk this evening to the maritime history seminar of the University of Hull. Then, on Thursday, I’m talking at an open event in aid of the Lenox project at Saint Nicholas church, Deptford – full details can be […]

Tidal Wave

At long last, I’m thrilled to be able to confirm that the first book in my new Tudor naval fiction trilogy will be published by Canelo this summer, currently as an e-book only. And the title is… Cue drumroll! Cue trumpets!! Cue my hometown male voice choir singing the Welsh national anthem!!! DESTINY’S TIDE Followers of […]

The Fastest Duck in the City and the Immaculately Housetrained Rabbits

I don’t usually have film reviews in this blog, but then, they don’t usually make films about my historical period, i.e. the ‘Stuart age’. But the arrival in cinemas of The Favourite, the much-hyped film of Queen Anne’s relationships with Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, and Sarah’s cousin Abigail Masham, was an opportunity that couldn’t be […]

America! America!

Attention, good people of the United States of America. I know these are strange and testing times in your wonderful land. I am told, for example, that Franklin Delano Roosevelt might no longer be your President, that your government has been shut down since 1789 last month, that I Love Lucy is no longer the mainstay of […]

Season’s Greetings

A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all readers of this blog, and of my books! Here, demonstrating that family arguments and excessive consumption of the hard stuff have been Christmas ‘traditions’ for ever and a day, is Samuel Pepys on 25 December 1661… In the morning to church, where at the door of […]

Prize Season

I’ve had to keep this under my hat for the last couple of months, but now that the decision has been ratified, I’m finally able to announce that I’ve been awarded the Society for Nautical Research’s Anderson Prize for the best maritime history book of 2017, for Kings of the Sea: Charles II, James II and […]