Don’t Mention the Cold War, Part 2

In this week’s first post, I gave my impressions of the dockyard town of Karlskrona and its terrific naval museum. Now on to the reason why I was there, an international conference on International Approaches to Naval Cities and Dockyards, held in the museum. From the moment it started, it was clear there was a […]

Don’t Mention the Cold War, Part 1

Last week, I was in Karlskrona, Sweden, attending and speaking at a conference on dockyards and port cities organised by the Swedish Naval Museum. It was my first ever visit to the town, and shamefully, that’s also true of Copenhagen, where I stopped over en route in both directions. So this week, there’s two for […]

The Top Ten

I’m not tweeting very much at the moment, as I’m largely keeping my head down and working on my new Tudor project, but the other day, I had a bit of a brainwave, and tweeted a ‘top ten’ of the most popular posts ever (in terms of visitor numbers) on this blog. This seemed to […]

Come in Number Thirteen, Your Time Has Come

Last week saw the official publication of my new non-fiction book, Kings of the Sea: Charles II, James II and the Royal Navy, from the wonderful people at Seaforth Publishing. By my reckoning, this is my thirteenth complete book, and my fifth non-fiction title, to add to eight novels to date. But even I’m losing track […]

Gentlemen and Players: Further Thoughts from the State of Maritime Historical Research Conference 2017

One of the issues floating around at the fringes of the Greenwich conference on 9 September, the thrust of which can be found in my previous blogpost, was that of the perceived division in maritime history between ‘professional’ and ‘amateur’ practitioners. This came up in one form or another in some of the papers, but […]

A Very Palpable Hit: the State of Maritime Historical Research Conference 2017

Greenwich, 0900, Saturday 9 September: will anybody actually come? will the speakers be any good? will the technology work? is this, the first conference that the Society for Nautical Research has ever staged under its own auspices, going to be a success? Greenwich, 1745, Saturday 9 September: yes, they did; yes, they were; yes, it […]

The Submarine and the Bus Stop

Number two in my short series of posts based on last week’s holiday in Shetland… Unst is an absolute must for visitors. As Britain’s most northerly inhabited island, it racks up the superlatives literally every few hundred yards, the further north you go – the most northerly roads, the most northerly shop (splendidly named ‘The […]

Ancient Wreck

To Wales for the weekend for my ‘big birthday’ (clue: I won’t see my twenties again – or several other decades, either). While there, we went for a bracing walk along Cefn Sidan beach, one of the relatively lesser known treasures of the Welsh coastline. By any measure, the beach is stunning in its own […]

Sea, the Conference

This blog has often touched on the subject of ‘sea blindness’ in modern Britain, notably here, and I also took that as the theme of the keynote lecture I delivered to last year’s conference for new researchers in maritime history. One important element of this discussion is the state of maritime history research in the […]

The Barbary Corsair Raid on Iceland, 1627

This week, I’m delighted to welcome Professor Adam Nichols as my guest blogger. Adam is the co-author of a new book which provides a first-hand account of one of a remarkable but very little known event, the Barbary Corsair raid on Iceland in 1627. Having done quite a lot of work over the years on aspects […]