Merry Christmas from the Restoration Navy!

A festive re-post from the very first Christmas of this blog, namely 2012… *** Henry Teonge, a Warwickshire clergyman, was fifty-five when he first went to sea as a naval chaplain, presumably forced into the job by the extent of his debts. In 1675 he joined the Fourth Rate Assistance, commanded by William Houlding, which […]

The Sandwich of Xanadu

Last week, I went along to the Historical Writers’ Association Christmas bash. This is always great fun – it’s good to touch base with one’s fellow practitioners, especially because our line of work is, by definition, pretty solitary. Above all, it’s always reassuring to find that author A has exactly the same issues that you […]

Authentic Headless Women Revisited, Now With Extra Tortured Cats

The middle of August, so lots going on, almost none of it seriously work-related – lawns to mow, places to visit, etc. As an ex-teacher of many years’ drudgery service, I still have the mindset that August is pretty sacrosanct, even though that imperative doesn’t really work for writers. Even so, I suspect that many […]

How Not to Write a Tudor Novel

A few months ago, I announced my exciting new project – three linked naval fiction stories, set in the Tudor period, which will eventually combine together to be published as one ‘traditional’ book by the splendid new imprint, Endeavour Ink. Since then, in addition to finishing off other projects, I’ve slowly been getting my research […]

Books. Beer. What’s Not to Like?

It is a truth not universally acknowledged that Jane Austen brewed her own beer, so I have absolutely no doubt that, as she looks down upon all the events marking the bicentenary of her death, the great author would thoroughly approve of Open Book, the first ever literary festival in Hitchin. The strapline, ‘Books, Beer and […]

The Devil Upon the Wave – Teaser Trailer

To mark the publication by Endeavour Press of the new Quinton title, The Devil Upon the Wave, I’m delighted to provide a treat for my loyal readers and followers of this blog – namely, the first few pages of the book. *** Here, Painter, let thine art describe a story, Shaming our warlike island’s ancient glory: A […]

Amsterdam Good Time, Part 1

And so it continued. Not content with fireworks, rowing contests, schoolchildren’s chain-making competitions, and exhibitions galore, it was finally time for the historians to have their four-penn’orth about the 350th anniversary of the Battle of Medway, which was why I spent last weekend in Amsterdam, attending a conference jointly organised by the Naval Dockyards Society […]

I’m a Doctor – Why Can’t I have a Tardis?

What, you mean doctorates in History don’t count? But a Tardis would have been very useful over the weekend, when I was in Portsmouth for the AGM of the Society for Nautical Research, followed by a splendid dinner on the lower gundeck of HMS Victory, but I’d also have loved to be in Chatham for ‘Medway […]

And So It Begins

It’s a little known fact that ‘June’ is derived from a Latin word which means ‘don’t even think of trying to cram anything else into your diary’. That’s certainly the case for me this month, as I embark on the exciting round of events to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Dutch attack on the […]

At Last It Can Be Told!

Cue fanfare from massed ranks of trumpeters, plus assorted Welsh male voice choirs… I can finally reveal the really exciting news that I’ve had to keep under wraps for several months. My e-book publisher, the fantastic Endeavour Press, is launching a new traditional publishing imprint, Endeavour Ink…and I’m one of the authors on their launch […]