Art

Time for some culture, although I can’t help thinking of a quote I first came across when teaching Mussolini’s Italy to schoolchildren some 30 years ago: ‘when I hear the word “culture”, I reach for my gun,’ said, yes, Mussolini’s Minister of Culture. Seriously, though, this is a particularly good time to be a lover […]

“One Year of the Sea! There’s Only One Year of the Sea!”

A version of this post would have been my first of the year, and would have been published some weeks ago, had not more pressing matters intervened. *** So it’s 2018, the Wales Year of the Sea. Or so the marketing gurus who came up with the concept tell us. Now, those of us who […]

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 […]

Dead Admirals Society Dons a Kilt

Apologies for the ‘radio silence’ last week. Regular followers of this blog will know that I sometimes take myself off to Landmark Trust cottages to brainstorm new novels or just to chill, and I spent last week at the tiny but perfectly formed Glenmalloch Lodge in Galloway. The upside of this was that even by […]

Dead Admirals Society Goes Danish

In last week’s two posts, I talked about the lovely Swedish city of Karlskrona, and the international conference on dockyards that I attended there. I bookended the trip with stays in Copenhagen, which I’d never visited before – a shocking admission, especially as my grandfather was there as long ago as 1965, arranging the deal […]

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 […]

Scandinavia or Bust

A quick post this week, as I’m busy tidying up loose ends and packing before heading off to Scandinavia! I’m speaking at a conference in the Swedish Naval Museum, Karlskrona, and am ‘bookending’ the trip with overnight stays in Copenhagen, which I’ve never actually visited before. (There’s a possibility that I might never visit it […]

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 […]