Happy New Year to all! 2015 already, though…? I’m increasingly convinced that I fell through a worm hole in the space-time continuum in about 1976 and have largely lost track of things ever since. But then, I have a sneaking feeling that many of my friends, and my ex-students in particular, have suspected that all […]

Mea Maxima Culpa

Like most people, I don’t particularly enjoy being proved wrong. But in the particular instance I’m blogging about this week, I’m absolutely delighted to admit that I’ve been well and truly in the wrong – and hope that I’ll be proved even more wrong in the future! In the conclusion of Britannia’s Dragon, I bemoaned the […]

Remembering War During War: Recalling the Anglo-Dutch Wars During the First World War (Part 1)

I’m typing this blog on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, during a period when the centenary commemorations of the First World War are already well under way. Moreover, we’re only a year away from the anniversaries of Agincourt and Waterloo. Regular readers might remember that I’ve already made a plea for the 350th anniversaries of […]

The Fleets at the Battle of Beachy Head, 1690: Part 1

I’m delighted to welcome Frank Fox as my guest blogger, both this week and next! Frank’s name will be well known to many students and readers of naval history. A former Supply Officer in the US Navy, he is the author of two of the most important books about late 17th century naval history, Great Ships: […]

The Birth, Death and Rebirth of a Royal Dockyard

(Cross-posted on my Welsh naval history site , britanniasdragon.com) I spent the weekend in Pembroke Dock, attending the launch events for the bicentenary of the foundation of the Royal Dockyard in 1814. The yard was established to take advantage of the tremendous deep water harbour of Milford Haven, and was intended to be exclusively a […]

Labels in History, or Why Historians don’t Complete Arguments with ‘QED’

When this post goes ‘live’, I’ll be heading north to spend a week shut away on my own, brainstorming the plot of ‘Quinton 6’. (The first draft of book 5, The Battle of All The Ages, is currently out with its critical readers, and after I’ve made the inevitable revisions and redrafts, it should be on […]

Reclaiming the Past

Last Saturday, I attended the annual conference of Morol, the Institute of Welsh Maritime Historical Studies, in Cardiff’s glorious Pierhead building. This proved to be a stimulating and highly convivial affair, although the afternoon session was conducted against the backdrop of an almighty storm which caused flash flooding throughout Cardiff; indeed, the downpour was so […]

Launching the Dragon

You are in an oak-panelled library, or, perhaps, a fine old bookshop, full of musty antiquarian tomes. All around you is a hubbub of lively, erudite conversation. You’ve tried to play ‘spot the celebrity’, but there are just too many – Huw over there, Jeremy in the corner talking to Melvyn and Polly. You sip […]

The Cruel Sea

I spent last week in my home town of Llanelli in west Wales, visiting family, taking in some rugby, and meeting with the project team at Llanelly House. I had an update on progress – the plans for the house, which will open this summer, are really exciting – and provided them with some information from […]