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Qu arte rd eck

Author Interviews:
Julian Stockwin William H. White
March/April 2009

March/April 2009

3 Scuttlebutt
The latest in news about authors and forthcoming titles in nautical and historical fiction.

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By George!
Sweetwater Heritage.


When Fortune Frowns by William H. White.

6 Julian Stockwin
English author Julian Stockwin follows Nelson’s footsteps in as he prepares to write his new Thomas Paine Kydd novel, Victory.

11 William H. White
American novelist and maritime historian William H. White discusses When Fortune Frowns, his latest work of fiction.

War for All the Oceans by Roy and Lesley Adkins Nelson’s Trafalgar by Roy Adkins Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell

For Queen and Country Waterloo

Prices are subject to change without notice.

Cover photo of Julian Stockwin at the starboard bow of HMS Victory by Kathy Stockwin.

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2009 - 2010
US (United States) UK (United Kingdom) PB (Paperback) TPB (Trade Paperback) HC (Hardcover)

When Fortune Frowns (USHC) by William H. White HMS Cockerel (USTPB) by Dewey Lambdin
Her Royal Highness Princess Anne was recently shown a model of the little brig-sloop HMS Teazer, Thomas Kydd’s first command, by English novelist Julian Stockwin (right) during a visit to the Ivybridge Library in Devon. Teazer was built over the course of 2008 by British master modeller John Thompson, who presented it to Julian and Kathy Stockwin. The model was on loan to the library. (Photo by Kathy Stockwin)

The Frigate Surprise (USHC) by Geoff Hunt and Brian Lavery The Tide of War (UKHC) by Seth Hunter The Hawk (UKPB) by Peter Smalley Captains Contentious (USHC) by Louis Arthur Norton

LOUIS ARTHUR NORTON Captains Contentious - The Dysfunctional Sons of the Brine (right) by American naval historian Louis Norton offers original insights into a quirky quintet of naval heroes of the American Revolution. The book is scheduled for publication on May 31, 2009. A native of the old seaport of Gloucester, Massachusetts, Norton is a professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut. Among his previous books is Joshua Barney - Hero of the Revolution and 1812. ALEXANDER KENT English novelist Alexander Kent’s new Adam Bolitho novel, In the King’s Name, is now scheduled to be published in 2010 in the UK. It follows Heart of Oak in the Bolitho series. WILLIAM C. HAMMOND Publication of For Love of Country by William C. Hammond, the second title in the Cutler Family Chronicles following A Matter of Honor, has been delayed. A new launch date has not been announced.

The Glory Boys (UKPB) by Douglas Reeman

The Gathering Storm (UKHC) by Peter Smalley Ship of Rome (UKPB) by John Stack

Invasion (USHC) by Julian Stockwin

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Sweetwater Heritage
shipped to European fashion houses. Growing up near the shorelines of the Great Lakes and studying maritime history, I gained a great respect for the legacy left behind by generations of courageous mariners. My great-grandfather, Captain George Jepson, was the skipper of a small, two-masted schooner in the late 1800s, sailing out of Manistee, Michigan, a maritime community that a few years earlier had consisted of three sawmills servicing the burgeoning lumber industry. Manistee was typical of the many towns and villages that flourished at the mouths of rivers running into the Great Lakes, which had been founded and began to grow because of trade carried on under sail and, later, steamers. Not surprising, most of them were involved in building boats and ships. Now, to the uninitiated, the Great Lakes are woefully misnamed. These inland seas are not anything like the placid lakes many believe them to be. They’re notoriously unpredictable, and South Haven Pier Light on Lake Michigan ... threatening to vessels of all sizes, including freighters like the Edmund Fitzgerald. delivering goods from port to port, as Several years ago, I crewed aboard a maritime communities along the shore30-foot sloop sailing south from lines began to prosper. Travel under sail was easier and more economical in a time Charlevoix, Michigan, to Holland on the western shore of the state’s lower peninsuwhen railroads had yet to expand their la. After clearing the Charlevoix piers, we lines to small towns and villages, and had a lovely sail as the sun set across the “highways” were often little more than lake in Wisconsin. We overnighted in mud tracks. Leland, and sailed to Pentwater the folLong before the schooners, Native lowing day. A front moved into the Americans paddled and sailed the same region, and we were weathered-in for two waters in birchbark canoes. And then came the French-Canadian voyageurs, who days. Believing the forecast that the worst was over, we embarked once again, hopcarried furs from the northwestern frontier through well-travelled routes on the Lakes to Montreal, where they were CONTINUED ON PAGE 18 ailing our wooden cat-ketch Jane Ann along the sugar-sand beaches and dunes on Lake Michigan’s eastern shoreline, it’s not difficult to imagine the same waters a century and more ago, when white sails were common sights on the horizon. During the 1800s, schooners were the dominant vessels sailing the Great Lakes, 4
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When Fortune Frowns
By William H. White “... great historical fiction – a fascinating (and true) story, scrupulously researched and fleshed-out with characters who have the ring of authenticity.”
James L. Nelson


t is autumn 1790 when Captain Edward Edwards takes command of HMS Pandora, a 24-gun Royal Navy Porcupine-class frigate bound for the South Seas. Her mission: locate and capture the mutineers who seized His Majesty’s Armed Vessel Bounty, set Captain William Bligh and eighteen loyal officers and seamen adrift, and recover the lost vessel. In When Fortune Frowns, William H. White skillfully tells the story of HMS Pandora through the eyes of Lieutenant Edward Ballantyne, a fictional character, who joins the ship’s company under Captain Edwards in Portsmouth Harbour as she is about to sail. Ballantyne’s Englishdialect voice adds an authenticity to his narrative, which White says came “from spending a great deal of time with British people in Cayman – learning phrasing and expressions that they used, and that an American would likely not.” Although technically a novel, When Fortune Frowns sticks to documented facts concerning Pandora, Captain Edwards, and the actual historical figures who took part in the Bounty mutiny and the ensuing events over a period of five years.

Weaving fact with fiction has produced a wonderfully engaging yarn of the sea and the era of wooden sailing vessels. Early on, as Ballantyne strolls through the Georgian-period Royal Dockyard in Portsmouth in search of Pandora, the aroma of Stockholm tar and canvas wafts off the pages. “It’s all coming back,” the young lieutenant says to himself. “... the smells, the language, the hustle and bustle of a busy yard. Like coming home again!” And indeed it is for readers of the sea. White’s research travels unfurled from England to Australia to Tahiti, as he collected historical minutiae with which to color his story. The Royal Dockyard scene had been written prior to his visit there to read Pandora’s original log in the Naval Archives. “After I walked through those huge wooden gates and toured the yard,” White recalls, “I realized I had to rewrite the whole scene to ‘get it right,’ thus stirring the memory of people who had also visited.” The events surrounding the Bounty mutiny continue to resonate well over two centuries after Fletcher Christian and his band of mutineers disappeared with the ship in the Great South Seas. William White’s detailed and vivid account of HMS Pandora’s adventures is a delightful addition to the Bounty’s literature and legend. GDJ
HARDCOVER | 343 PAGES | $29.95

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In Nelson’s Footsteps
Thomas Kydd’s creator journeys back in time aboard HMS Victory and in the Historic Dockyard at Portsmouth, England.
SINCE THE THOMAS PAINE KYDD sea stories were launched nearly a decade ago, English novelist Julian Stockwin has journeyed to far corners of the world in which the Royal Navy sailed during the French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars. Stockwin and his wife and literary partner Kathy have visited Gilbraltar, the Caribbean, Brittany, Malta, the Channel Islands, and the former smuggling village of Polperro in Devon, as they have sought to create the fabric of Kydd’s life. The new Kydd sea story, Invasion, which follows The Privateer’s Revenge (Treachery in the UK), will be published simultaneously in America and the United Kingdom in October 2009. In October 2010, a new novel – with the working title Victory – will be published in the US and UK. Soon after the manuscript for Invasion was sent to their publishers, the Stockwins embarked on another research expedition, this time to Portsmouth, following in Nelson’s footsteps as he prepared for the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. During 10 days in Portsmouth, Julian was allowed complete access to HMS Victory, and the Historic Dockyard and environs, from which Nelson embarked for the last time. As the new novel develops in the coming months, Trafalgar will play a significant role. While in Portsmouth, the Stockwins Julian Stockwin (left) aboard HMS Victory with Keeper and Curator of HMS Victory Peter Goodwin (Photo by Kathy Stockwin). also met with Ken Yalden, past president 6
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of the International Guild of Knot Tyers, in Julian’s ongoing quest for authenticity in his books. The author recently chatted with Quarterdeck about his time in Portsmouth, researching his new novel. Julian, how were you able to arrange for such intimate access to HMS Victory ? I have known Peter Goodwin, Keeper and Curator of HMS Victory for a number of years. We both served in the [Royal] Navy at about the same time, although in different areas of the Service (Peter was a nuclear submariner). A few months back, I rang Peter to see whether it might be possible to obtain special access to Victory, and he very kindly arranged this for my location research visit to Portsmouth in early December, 2008. Although I did know the ship pretty well after many visits over the years I was amazed at how much more work Peter has done to bring this iconic ship back to how she was in Nelson’s day. To give just one example he has reeved nearly all the running rigging. Most display ships from that era around today only have standing rigging – i.e. the stays, shrouds etc., holding up the masts. The main reason for this is that rigging for the standing rigging is tarred and preserved, and lasts a long time. Running rigging – the operating machinery of the ship – used for braces, sheets, etc., is not tarred and as such is costly to maintain. It also makes the ship look extremely complex. With what Peter has done for all intents and purposes you could bend on sail on Victory and go. Along these lines I was impressed with what he has done with one of Victory’s boats, which sits on the dock alongside. It is rigged with full fore and main yardarm stay tackles for launching exactly as it was in Nelson’s day (there are no davits for the big boats on the skid beams amidships, and up to two hundred men would be needed in swaying up and out the four-ton boat and crew). Did ghosts from the ship’s past “speak” to you as you walked her decks in ways that will enhance the surviving iron foundries to cast real shot and finding a master rigger to ensure the breeching for the massive 32-pounders is not only left-hand lay [direction in which its strands are twisted], but also properly doubled with a cut splice [weaving the ends of two lines] around the cascable [aft end of the gun, with an opening in the line passing around the button]. Did you make new discoveries during your time aboard Victory , compared to previous visits? The 2005 [bicentennial] anniversary of Trafalgar concentrated minds wonderfully on this precious piece of heritage, and since then Peter, as curator, has been encouraged to research and discover all kinds of fascinating detail about life aboard and how the “machinery,” simple and complex, all came together in the most powerful expression of naval might for three generations. He will not accept things merely because a book says so – he’ll go to the specific fitting and test and work it until he has it understood. In another field, I suppose he’d be recognised as an experimental archaeologist. Was there anything different about this time aboard Victory than your previous visits? If any reader and lover of the great age of fighting sail has not visited this historic ship in the last five years or so, I urge you to do so. She is now in as handsome a condition as at any time in the last two centuries, and must now be close to when she sailed against the 7

“If any reader and lover of the great age of fighting sail has not visited this historic ship in the last five years or so, I urge you to do so ...”
writing of your new novel? Of course! From Nelson and the captain, Hardy, right down to the powder monkeys. I stepped out where they all would have worked and lived, even to inspecting the heads in Captain Hardy’s cabin. The work Peter Goodwin has done has really brought the ship alive in a way that is hugely atmospheric – his attention to detail includes locating

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Combined Fleet in 1805. It will be the scale of the old battleship that will take the breath away – with all the rigging in place now you can see blocks so big they need four men to lift them, ropes as thick as a man’s leg, and cleats fully the size of an adult! Do tarry until dusk and take in the breath-taking view of the great black tops and soaring rigging lined against the sky – the very picture of arrogant grace and fighting splendour! And then into night when the admiral’s lanthorn is lit (she is still the flagship of Commander-in-Chief, Home Command) and the ship’s floodlit with a blaze of light upwards which brings out her warlike beauty to perfection. What did you learn from knot expert Ken Yalden that will be helpful as the new Kydd novel evolves? A chief boatswain’s mate of the old school, Ken meets up with fellow old salts to actively promote the arts of the seaman around the world, and specifically the knots and splices that were so essential to keeping the seas in Kydd’s day. Ken scolded me for having Teazer’s seamen tricing up their hammocks with half hitches when the marline hitch was more preferred for the regulation seven turns. This is because due to the lay of the rope the marline hitch does not dig into the shoulders when carrying a hammock. Ken presented my wife with some ingeniously worked tiny rosebud knot earrings, and for me there was a puzzle – a stout stopper knot joining two lengths of rope. But this one joined a three stranded right-hand lay hawser-laid rope over three inches in 8 circumference with a four stranded equivalent, the place of join concealed under whipping, so I can drive myself witless wondering how it was done. Did the artist William Wyllie’s panorama of the Battle of Trafalgar in the Royal Naval Museum provide new insights into the action? Not really new insights, but his splendid panorama does give you an excellent overview of the battle. Wyllie chose to set the scene at 2:00 Tell us about your thoughts as you viewed the new Nelson bust in the Nelson wardroom. First, it was a trip down memory lane, for as a naval officer I had stayed at the Royal Navy base at Portsmouth, Hampshire, HMS Nelson, on numerous occasions when I was working on a software project for NATO. The bust itself, let me tell you, is a splendid rendition of my great hero. It has pride of place in the wardroom, and was commissioned by an anonymous donor to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Nelson. The bust is apparently based on a life mask of Nelson produced in Vienna in 1800. It seemed such an appropriate setting, and after we had admired it we were taken to lunch in the historic mess with mighty paintings and Nelson memorabilia on all four walls, a wonderful place for a naval officer to dine, believe me. You also visited the Mary Rose, the Royal Marines Museum and the Historic Dockyard. What did you learn that will be helpful in your writing? These other venues were largely to do with research-checking material for my non-fiction book project, Stockwin’s Maritime Miscellany, which covers the Golden Age of Sail from the voyages of discovery in the fifteenth century through the Napoleonic wars to the era of the clipper ship. However, I also took away various facts and anecdotes from the Royal Marines Museum and the Dockyard to salt away for future Kydd books. I am never without my little dictaphone, and I can

“... take in the breath-taking view of the great black tops and soaring rigging lined against the sky – the very picture of arrogant grace...”
PM on the afternoon of 21 October 1805, at the height of the battle when the British had broken the line of the combined French and Spanish fleets. The Royal Naval Museum has now incorporated the Wyllie Panorama into “Trafalgar!” – a multi-media presentation where you can stand on the gundeck of a mano’-war and feel what it must have been like in battle. I highly recommend a visit. Wyllie was nearly 80 when he started this monumental work!

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quickly note down material to be transcribed later into my historical/sea relational database, which is quite sizeable now, and which is constantly referenced when I am writing. Is there anything else you would like to share about your time in Portsmouth? Kathy and I were delighted to renew a number of naval friendships. Admiral Paul Boissier kindly took time out of his very busy schedule to talk to us in his office at Whale Island, with its view of Portsmouth Harbour overlooking the very spot mentioned in the new Kydd book coming out this year (Invasion). We also looked up Commander Richard Morris, who had invited us to spend time aboard his destroyer previously, sailing from Plymouth to Portsmouth. We stayed at Gunwharf Quays, a vibrant commercial/residential complex right on the harbour. The site was established as a naval ordnance yard in the late seventeenth century. Gunwharf (previously known as HMS Vernon) was the home of the Royal Navy’s Mine Countermeasures training facilities. The present site is a sympathetic mix of twentieth century buildings and older ones from Kydd’s day, including the Vulcan Building, where we stayed. It has been converted into loft-style apartments. Ironically, it is, as well, where I studied for promotion to lieutenant quite some years ago, and initially I felt quite disoriented to be within what I remember as a proper Royal Navy shore base. Of course Portsmouth has a long tradition of the Navy and the sea. But not everyone always thought highly of the town – Jack Tar could be quite boisterous on the ran-tan ashore! Nelson himself is on record for once calling it “a horrid place.” However, visits to Portsmouth punctuated Nelson’s career, and the town saw him develop from an awkward midshipman to a great national hero. It was from Portsmouth that he first went to sea to join his uncle Captain Suckling aboard Raisonnable in 1771, and it was at Portsmouth that he took his last steps on English soil in 1805. Helen’s Roads, not far from Spithead, and at 11:30 AM hoisted Nelson’s flag. News had quickly gone around Portsmouth that the sea hero had arrived in town and great crowds gathered in front of the George. Nelson decided to leave by the back entrance of the hotel, in Penny Street, to avoid the huge press of people. He walked along the north side of Governor’s Green, by the King’s Bastion to Spur Redoubt, and then down to a little shingle beach away from Sally Port, the usual place that naval officers embarked. Crowds flocked all along the route, and Nelson had to push his way through the throng. He greeted them with great good humour and said he wished he had two arms so he could shake more hands. Perhaps the people had some sense of the future as there was no cheering, but a respectful quiet. Men doffed their hats and women were seen to be in tears. A fortune teller in the West Indies had once told Nelson that she could see no further than his forty-seventh birthday, and at this stage this birthday was only a few weeks away. After Nelson embarked in his barge, men and women ran knee deep into the water. Then came the cheers, as he was rowed out to Victory. Nelson, touched, said to Hardy in the barge, “I had their huzzas before, I have their hearts now.” Victory sailed at 8:00 AM on Sunday, 15 September 1805, and Horatio Nelson met his death at one bell in the first dog watch, 21 October. Visit Julian Stockwin online at

“After Nelson embarked in his barge, men and women ran knee deep into the water. Then came the cheers as he was rowed out to Victory ...”
One of the most poignant aspects of our visit was reconstructing that last walk of Nelson. Although the hotel in which he stayed, George Inn, was bombed during the Second World War, it is possible to find the location of the hotel and trace his steps, as we did. Nelson arrived at the George at 6:00 AM on the morning of 14 September 1805, had breakfast, and then paid a call on the Dockyard Commissioner. Meanwhile Victory had gone to single anchor in St.

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By Julian Stockwin


The Time of Terror
By Seth Hunter

Julian Stockwin

1 - Kydd $15.00 | Trade Paperback 2 - Artemis $15.00 | Trade Paperback 3 - Seaflower $15.00 | Trade Paperback 4 - Mutiny $14.00 | Trade Paperback 5 - Quarterdeck $16.00 | Trade Paperback 6 - Tenacious $14.00 | Trade Paperback 7 - Command $14.00 | Trade Paperback 8 - The Admiral’s Daughter $16.00 | Trade Paperback 9 - The Privateer’s Revenge $24.00 | Hardcover 10

This is the first in a trilogy featuring Nathan Peake, British naval officer and spy during the war with Revolutionary France. It is 1793, and Peake, commander of the brig-sloop Nereus, based at Rye in East Sussex, is patrolling the south coast of England in the war against smugglers. Unhappy with his commission and desperate for real action, he gets his chance when Revolutionary France declares war on England. The French have killed their king and are about to embark on that violent period of bloodletting known as the Terror. Peake is entrusted with a vital mission to wreck the French economy by smuggling millions of French banknotes across the Channel and into the heart of Paris. As he embarks on his mission, opposition to the Terror mounts, and he is soon forced to leave Paris and find the storm-tossed British squadrons in the Atlantic. Trade Paperback | 439 pages | $17.95

Seth Hunter is the pseudonym of the author of a number of highly acclaimed novels. He has written and and directed many historical dramas for television, radio, and the theatre, and has adapted and directed films by playwrights such as Arthur Miller and Mikhail Bulgakov.

Coming in the May/June issue of Quarterdeck ... Marine artist Geoff Hunt Historians Roy and Lesley Adkins

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After the Bounty
“I have long held an interest in the Bounty mutiny and marveled at how many of the accounts of it, along with the movies, got it wrong.”
ILLIAM H. WHITE – American novelist and maritime historian best known for his naval fiction set during the War of 1812 and the Barbary Wars – sails on a new tack in his new book When Fortune Frowns. The story of the 1789 Bounty mutiny has long intrigued historians, novelists, and readers of sea adventures, including White. The author’s latest work of fictionalized history recounts the story of HMS Pandora, dispatched by the Admiralty to apprehend the mutineers and recover the Bounty. White discusses When Fortune Frowns and his journey to get the story right in this interview with Quarterdeck. What motivated you to write about the Bounty mutiny? I have long held an interest in the Bounty mutiny and marveled at how many of the accounts of it, along with the movies, got it wrong. The worst movie, of course, was the first, with Clark Gable as Fletcher Christian. There was little right about the story, being totally Hollywoodized, with complete disregard for the history. But that’s Hollywood, and the subsequent films were almost as bad. In fairness, the most recent, with Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins, was the best. But none of them gave the follow-up.


William H. White

What drew you to write about the mission of HMS Pandora?
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When I read Caroline Alexander’s fine effort on the Bounty story [The Bounty], I discovered in her prologue, the story of England’s efforts to capture the mutineers. Without taking anything away from her brilliant book, well-researched and wellwritten, I realized that here was a great tale which no one had written. So, while all of my books to date have been on the American Navy (and of a somewhat later period), I decided that people might be interested in hearing the conclusion to the well-known story of the Bounty and the mutineers. I was, and continue to be, of the impression that most people think all the mutineers went to Pitcairn Island, while in fact, there were only nine, including Fletcher Christian, who sailed off to find an out-of-the-way-place to hide, leaving sixteen men in Tahiti. Why did you decide to fictionalize the story of HMS Pandora, rather than write a straight history of the events? All of my stories have been fictionalized, while remaining true to the history about which I write. I find that more people enjoy reading fiction than non-fiction and, as an added bonus, they also learn something. An additional benefit of writing fiction is that I can add some interesting characters and dialogue which, of course, one can not do with non-fiction. Basically, it just makes the book more fun to read, and allows the reader, by personalizing the story, to place him or herself into the action. How did you research When Fortune Frowns? 12 The research was great fun. Due to my compulsion about using primary sources for research, I had to travel to where the information resided. That included Portsmouth, England, where I held and read the original log of Pandora, the captain’s notes and the record of his courtmartial, along with related documents concerning the wreck and events that occurred along the way. Since the wreck was discovered in places I have not seen, I traveled to Tahiti for a look at Matavai Beach, the mountains surrounding it, and the neighboring islands. I was lucky enough to be asked to lecture on one of the Star Clippers sailing through the islands about the Bounty/Pandora story, and so, combined the two quite neatly! While time-consuming, the research was most rewarding! Did you uncover any surprises in your research? Well, I guess I would say my discoveries about Captain Edwards’ tyrannical behavior and the dichotomy that existed between him and Bligh would be high on the list. Also the number of mutineers that survived the wreck and the open boat voyage to Indonesia was a bit of a surprise. Reviewing both Pandora Surgeon Hamilton’s and Bounty mutineer James Morrison’s differing accounts provided a few interesting contrasts, as well. And finally, the fact that nary a soul in the British Admiralty ever said a documented word about Edwards regarding his treatment of his prisoners, but allowed Bligh’s permanently besmirched reputation to go unchallenged, seemed a trifle surprising to me. What was your greatest challenge in researching and writing the book? The amount of time required for the research and, of course, while “getting there is half the fun,” it was also a significant challenge. Another difficulty I experienced was keeping true to the facts of the events while adding a few interesting fictional events to further involve the reader.

“All of my stories have been fictionalized, while remaining true to the history about which I write. I find that more people enjoy reading fiction than non-fiction and, as an added bonus, they also learn something.”
1979 and artifacts recovered from it, I then went to Australia, where Peter Gesner, chief archeologist, diver, and curator of the exhibit relating to Pandora at the wonderful Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville, Australia spent a great amount of time discussing the recovery, the story, and, most importantly, correcting some of the assumptions I had made relative to the incident. He gave me a behindthe-scenes look at artifacts not on display, as well. Then, since a large part of the story takes place in Tahiti and I find it difficult to describe

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Determining, by researching the scant material on the real individuals in the story, actions they might have done or words they would have been likely to say presented a different kind of challenge. I hope I have been true to them and presented an accurate image of the players. As you researched the history, did you sympathize with either the mutineers or Bligh and the party with whom he had been set adrift? Given the treatment the mutineers received once captured, I would have to say my sympathies, though somewhat limited, lay with the mutineers. Not because of any mistreatment they received from Bligh, but primarily because, given the limited space in Bligh’s boat, not all of the men who stayed in Tahiti were a part to the mutiny; they had little choice but to remain with the ship after Christian had taken it over. But of course, Edwards had no way of knowing who was and who was not a real mutineer, so all were treated as criminals. This was based on his orders, which were quite explicit. Did the extensive Bounty art by marine artist Paul Garnett assist in visualizing the story? Paul is a Bounty connoisseur. His collection of Bounty memorabilia, both relative to the original story and the reproduction of Bligh’s ship on which he served as shipwright for seven years, is extensive, and he is a veritable mine of information about both Bounty and Pandora. His artwork is accurate to a fault and is based on his own research, much of which paralleled my own. He paint-


Oliver Baldwin Novels
By William H. White

1 - The Greater the Honor
The year is 1803, and young Oliver Baldwin arrives in Boston to take his berth aboard the newly launched United States brig Argus, commanded by Stephen Decatur. Argus is bound for the Mediterranean to join Commodore Preble’s squadron to protect America’s trade against the Barbary Pirates, the North African corsairs who made their livelihood preying upon merchant vessels sailing in the western Mediterranean. Baldwin and his shipmates are in for a rollicking adventure. Under Decatur’s careful eye, the young men in his command learn to hand, reef, steer and fight!
Trade Paperback | 288 pages | $16.95

2 - In Pursuit of Glory
Midshipman Oliver Baldwin, recently back from the Barbary Wars, is serving in the frigate USS Chesapeake as she leaves Hampton Roads, Virginia, on patrol as she is confronted by the fifty-gun HMS Leopard outside the Virginia Capes. The British vessel is seeking Royal Navy deserters, and when Commodore James Barron refuses the British captain’s orders to produce them, fires into the ill-prepared American frigate with disastrous results. The incident was a major contributor to the War of 1812, which started five years later. Following a court martial, Stephen Decatur takes command of Chesapeake to enforce the Jeffersonian Embargoes on the Atlantic seaboard with Oliver, Henry Allen, and others from White’s The Greater The Honor.
Trade Paperback | 352 pages | $16.95

William H. White is a former United States naval officer, with combat , service. He is also an avid, life-long sailor. As a maritime historian, he specializes in Age of Sail events in which the United States was a key player, and lectures frequently on the impact of these events on America’s history. He lives in New Jersey with his wife. 13

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ed the scenes depicted in the log and other primary writings, while I wrote them. I can only say in some cases, his art provided me with a bit of a shortcut to my telling the tale and describing some of the major events. And the cover painting, done expressly for the book, gives the reader a graphic look at the shipwreck in case my words don’t conjure up a suitable image on their own. What more is there for historians to learn about the Bounty mutiny and the aftermath? There is a host of details which I chose not to include in my book, because they added little, in my opinion, to the story I was telling. But there are many interesting facts relative to the mutineers’ lives in Tahiti, their relationships with the islanders, and the follow-on regarding what happened to the families they started while there, which, to my knowledge, no one has yet told. Are you presently working on a new writing project? My next project, barely off the ground, deals with the Merchant Marine in World War II. I know, this is a huge departure from my usual topics, but I am co-writing this one with my youngest son, who is an historian and teacher. His area of expertise is centered on the twentieth century, and so I suspect he will be most helpful with historical details about which I know little. It will be, once again, a novel, but will be based on true events, many of which we have gleaned from interviews with participants. This is cer14 tainly a different approach for me, as all the participants in my previous stories have been long dead! Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers? I can only hope they will read this story and enjoy it. It closes out a significant event in maritime history, and sheds light on a final chapter, which has been neglected by writers, both in the fiction as well as in the non-fiction genres for far too long. Visit William H. White online at


War of 1812 Trilogy
By William H. White

1 - A Press of Canvas
American Isaac Biggs is pressed into service on a Royal Navy ship. His new life is hard, with strange rules. Then the United States declares war on England and Isaac finds himself faced with the possibility of fighting his own countrymen.
Trade Paperback | 256 pages | $14.95

2 - A Fine Tops’l Breeze
Isaac Biggs and the General Washington play a big role in securing the freedom of American survivors of the Chesapeake/Shannon battle, including two of his friends.
Trade Paperback | 256 pages | $14.95

3 - The Evening Gun
Isaac Biggs and friends find berths with Joshua Barney's Gunboat Flotilla on the Chesapeake Bay. Romance mixes in with the adventure of fighting in defense of Washington and Baltimore.
Trade Paperback | 256 pages | $14.95

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Naval HISTORY Historical Fiction

War for All the Oceans
By Roy and Lesley Adkins

4 - Sword Song
By Bernard Cornwell

As he did with his much lauded Nelson’s Trafalgar (see below), Roy Adkins (now writing with wife Lesley) thrusts readers into the perils and thrills of early nineteenth century warfare. This is an adventure story – a superb account of the naval war that lasted from Napoleon’s seizure of power in 1798 to the War of 1812 with the United States. The Adkins provide a ringside seat to the decisive battles, as well as detailed and vivid portraits of sailors and commanders, press-gangs, prostitutes, and spies.
Trade Paperback | 534 pages | $17.00

Nelson’s Trafalgar
By Roy Adkins

In the tradition of Antony Beevor’s Stalingrad, Nelson’s Trafalgar presents the definitive blow-by-blow account of the world’s most famous naval battle, when the British Royal Navy under Lord Horatio Nelson dealt a decisive blow to the forces of Napoleon. The Battle of Trafalgar comes boldly to life in this definitive work that re-creates those five momentous, earsplitting hours with unrivaled detail and intensity.
Trade Paperback | 392 pages | $16.00

The year is 885, and England is at peace, divided between the Danish kingdom to the north and the Saxon kingdom of Wessex in the south. Uhtred, the dispossessed son of a Northumbrian lord – warrior by instinct, Viking by nature – has finally settled down. He has land, a wife, and two children, and a duty given to him by King Alfred to hold the frontier on the Thames. But then trouble stirs: a dead man has risen, and new Vikings have arrived to occupy the decayed Roman city of London. Their dream is to conquer Wessex, and to do it they need Uhtred's help. Alfred has other ideas. He wants Uhtred to expel the Viking raiders from London. Uhtred must weigh his oath to the king against the dangerous turning tide of shifting allegiances and deadly power struggles. And other storm clouds are gathering: Ætheleflæd – Alfred’s daughter – is newly married, but by a cruel twist of fate, her very existence now threatens Alfred’s kingdom. It is Uhtred – half-Saxon, half-Dane – whose uncertain loyalties must now decide England's future.
Trade paperback | 342 pages | $13.95

Also available in The Saxon Chronicles ...

1 - The Last Kingdom
Trade Paperback | 336 pages | $14.95

2 - The Pale Horseman
Trade Paperback | 368 pages | $13.95

3 - Lords of the North
Trade Paperback | 336 pages | $13.95

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For Queen & Country Waterloo

1 - Man of Honour
This is the first book in an exciting new series. 1704 ... Lieutenant Jack Steel leads the finest infantry in Queen Anne’s army. Admired for his courage, strength, and loyalty, Steel is asked by the Duke of Marlborough to rescue a letter whose controversial contents could destroy the Duke. Through the Battle of Blenheim, Steel risks death and destruction in the fight for another man’s honour. All the while, he is threatened by the malevolent Colonel Jennings, intent on destroying him and all he stands for.
Trade Paperback | 356 pages | $19.95

Four Days in June
June, 1815 ... Five men fighting for three armies on the fields of Waterloo; two great leaders, Napoleon and Wellington, in direct confrontation for the first time. As the battle develops over the four days, it is seen through the very different positions and characters of the front men. Wars are won by the men who lead them, and from the eve of the battle to its bloody conclusion, there is defiance, desperation and great courage on both sides.
Trade Paperback | 372 pages | $19.95

Historical Fiction

2 - Rules of War
Ramilles 1706. One of the greatest victories of the British army. But to Captain Steel, sinking into the swampy ground, it was hard to see Lord Marlborough's grand stratagem . . . The Allies had thought that they were liberating the people of the Low Countries from the French, but some turned out to prefer their previous masters. Far from the battle lines he relishes, Jack Steel is sent undercover to discover and deal the traitors.
UK Hardcover | 332 pages | $34.95

Night of Flames
By Douglas Jacobson

In 1939 the Germans invade Poland. For Anna and Jan Kopernik the loss is unimaginable. She is an assistant university professor in Krakow; he, an officer in the Polish cavalry. Separated by the war, they must find their own way. Anna flees to Belgium where she joins the Resistance, and Jan escapes to Britain. When British intelligence asks him to return to Poland in an undercover mission to contact the Resistance, he seizes the chance.
Trade Paperback | 383 pages | $16.95


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ing to make Holland in one run. As we tacked south out of Pentwater, we were beating into a southerly that was kicking up the waters in the Manitou Passage, making life aboard uncomfortable. By mid-afternoon, after tacking farther out into the lake, the sky turned a yellowish pea green – at least that’s my memory of it – and the winds increased to thirty miles per hours. Suddenly, there was a loud snapping sound, and our boom was swinging wildly after breaking loose from the mast. The gooseneck fitting had failed. There was nothing to do but drop the mainsail. Motoring was an option, but in the building seas we were making minimal headway. The jib (or foresail) was left flying in an effort to stablize the motion of the boat. As the light dimished at dusk, we were in seas that towered over us. The boat climbed the crest of one wave and then rapidly slid down into the trough. By midnight, the wind had shifted to the north, and we were sledding southward with a somewhat easier motion. At about 4:00 AM, the light on the pierhead at Muskegon was visible off our port bow, and within minutes we were motoring into the calm harbor. Although this adventure occurred over 30 years ago, I can still feel the movement of the boat and the power of Mother Nature. So on a sunny summer day, standing on a bluff in South Haven, Michigan, overlooking one of the Great Lakes once called “sweetwater seas” by those who sailed them, I can envision a horizon dotted with white sails. Down below, on the Black River which flows into Lake Michigan, the wharves of 125 years ago would have been loaded with lumber, waiting to be shifted aboard the schooners tied up alongside. An inward-bound passenger steamer might have slipped past the piers extending into the lake, belching black smoke, and announcing its arrival with a throaty whistle. On the shore, a scow schooner, with a square bow and stern, might be on the stocks, with a crew of shipwrights working to finish the vessel as quickly as possible. South Haven then was a thriving maritime town, along with many others that populated the shores of the Lakes. Today, the small city is a tourist mecca, with beautiful beaches, well-appointed marinas, and quaint shops. But the maritime legacy created by courageous sailors – a great many of them imigrants from Scandinavian countries – over a century ago has all but vanished. As the railroads and motor transportation evolved in 18

the twentieth century, Americans looked inland, away from the Lakes. Schooners that had survived the elements slowly rotted away in backwaters, their bleached bones disappearing under shifting sands. In places like the Manitou Passage, Thunder Bay off Alpena, Michigan, and the Shipwreck Coast along the southern shore of Lake Superior, the lake bottoms are the final resting places for thousands of wrecked vessels, victims of violent storms, shoals, and sometimes bad luck. These days, a small dedicated band of historians and archeologists work to document middle America’s maritime heritage. Since the early 1960s, C. Patrick Labadie, historian at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Refuge has collected rare photographs and the histories of ships and boats dating back to the nineteenth century. Pat’s collection, which now belongs to the Marine Sanctuary, can be viewed online at It’s a window back in time to an era when the Great Lakes were seaways for commerce in America’s heartland. So when we raise Jane Ann’s sails in the South Haven channel, and tack northward or southward just beyond the barn-red lighthouse on our port side, we journey back to another time. The only sounds are the pop of a setting sail, the creak of a wooden spars, wind in the rigging, the cries of gulls, and the gurgle of sweetwater along the hull.

George Jepson

ID Booth Building 520 North Meadow Street Ithaca, NY 14850

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