The Sailors’ (and Soldiers’) Graves

Last week’s post about naval and maritime graves in west Wales got a very positive response, so I thought I’d return to a similar theme this time. I spent the second half of last week further north, on the shores of Cardigan Bay, dodging torrential downpours, visiting a few places of naval interest (both expected […]

Blasts from the Past

I’ve been exploring the loft. To be exact, I’ve been exploring ‘my’ loft, i.e. the one above my workplace, ‘the Lair’. (As regular readers will know, this is a converted garage in the garden; probably the only garage in Britain with a bay window. Don’t ask, the previous owners had some very strange ideas…) The […]

The Comfort Zone

One of the challenges and delights of working on my new non-fiction book, Britannia’s Dragon: A Naval History of Wales, is that it’s taking me into all sorts of uncharted territory and, in some cases, territory I’m revisiting after many years. The book is meant to cover the entire time period from the Romans (AD 60, to […]

Aristocrats

When this post goes ‘live’ I’ll actually be beavering away in the search room of Anglesey Archives in Llangefni, where I hope to obtain some useful material for Britannia’s Dragon. I’ll report back on my North Wales research trip next week, but in the meantime I thought I’d explore a theme that connects my current […]

1665: The Second Blast

In the summer of 1665, while plague was beginning to spread in London, one of the greatest battles of the sailing era took place. The Battle of Lowestoft ‘was one of the most blue-blooded battles of the age of sail. The British fleet was commanded in person by James, Duke of York, Lord High Admiral, heir […]

1665: The First Blast

The new Quinton novel, The Blast That Tears The Skies, is set against the dramatic events of the year 1665. This is one of the few dates in British history that most schoolchildren allegedly still know, but its prominence is due principally to the dreadful outbreak of plague that swept through London that summer – and from […]

The Princes, the Removal Men and the Big Hole in the Ground

It’s been a busy week! On Saturday I chaired the Naval Dockyards Society AGM at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, before joining a party of society members on a walking tour of the site of the old Deptford royal dockyard. This is currently the location of a huge and ongoing archaeological dig preparatory to redevelopment […]

By Any Other Name…

I’m back in full writing harness after a few days away in the Weald of Kent, visiting the likes of Hever Castle and Chartwell as well as making the obligatory jaunt over to Calais to pick up some cheese and one of those nice French apple tarts (and, yes, possibly the odd bottle of wine […]

The Art of Male Multi-Tasking

It’s a very odd and hectic time at the moment. I’m simultaneously completing the final edits of ‘Quinton 3’, The Blast That Tears The Skies, ahead of its UK publication on 17 April, while also writing number 4, The Lion of Midnight, keeping a weather eye on the US publication of The Mountain of Gold […]

A Broadside More

Cheating this week, I’m afraid…a fairly major work crisis, so no time to write a proper blog! But it’s all for a good cause, and there’ll be some exciting news about the ‘Quinton Journals’ coming soon. In the meantime, here’s a little ditty published in 1665. In fact, this serves a double purpose rather neatly […]