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Nautical Fiction Index

Authors P - Per

Packard, Winthrop (1862-1943)

The Young Ice Whalers. Houghton, Mifflin, 1903. 397 pages



Padfield, Peter

Salt and Steel. Century, 1985. 629 pages

The story of a family growing up in Hampstead before 1914. Two of the boys follow their father into the RN and serve in WW II. "The periods of action, whether in the family yacht, PEACOCK, or later in battle cruisers or on the Somme, set a stunning pace."



Paine, Ralph Delahaye

Midshipman Wickham. Houghton Mifflin, 1923. 220 pages

Life of a midshipman at the Naval Academy, including football and action at sea. For young readers.



Palliser, Marcus (1949-2002)

Matthew Loftus series:

  1. Matthew's Prize. Heinemann, 1999. 293 pages

    Swept away to the Spanish Main, Matthew Stalbone is plunged into a bloody life of pillage and prize money.

  2. Devil of a Fix. Heinemann, 2000. 352 pages

    Voted captain by his crew to keep the vessel legal by seeking profitable, honest trade, Matthew is determinedly against allowing the Cornelius to be used for piracy and plunder. However, his crew lusts after the spoils that their fast, well-armed ship can win, and when Matthew fails to obtain the promised gold for their goods, discontent begins to rumble.

  3. To The Bitter End. Heinemann, 2001. 252 pages

    Now a successful fur trader sailing the Newfoundland coast, Matthew Loftus wants to put his skirmishes with privateers and pirates behind him. That is until the English Navy sails into the colony of Esperantia and puts it under their protection. Forced by the Navy to embark on a rescue mission to Hudson’s Bay, Matthew discovers that the true agenda is to foil the French.



Palmiotti, Anthony

First Voyage. Fireship, 2017. 213 pages

In 1938, when the old tramp freighter Arrow arrives in Hamburg, the Nazi movement is making life difficult for those who don’t fit the mold of the new Germany. One of the crew wants to get his family out, but he has to rely on his crew mates. Will they rise to the challenge and bond together in order to outwit the pursuing Nazis?



Pangborn, Edgar (1909-1976)

Wilderness of Spring. Rinehart and Company, 1958. 374 pages

Two orphaned brothers in New England in the early 1700s. The elder ends up on a misbegotten piracy adventure while the younger copes with his homosexuality.



Paretti, Sandra

The Magic Ship. St. Marin's, 1979. 342 pages

Translation of Das Zauberschiff. Novel is based on the true story of the huge German 4-stack liner CECILE steaming into Frenchman Bay at Bar Harbor, Maine, and the effect she and her crew had on the town during that dreamlike summer at the dawn of WW I.



Parker, Richard (1915- )

A Moor of Spain : the story of a Rogue. Penguin, 1953. 152 pages

Moorish lad survives the siege of Malaga, converts to Christianity, participates in the siege of Granada, joins Columbus on his first voyage to the New World and becomes a Native American prince.



Parker, Thomas Drayton (1871-1950)

The spy on the submarine; or, Over and under the sea. W.A. Wilde, 1918. 298 pages



Parkinson, C. Northcote (1909-1993)

Richard Delancey series:

  1. The Guernseyman. J. Murray, 1982. 175 pages

    1775-1782. Parkinson's hero, Delancey, is caught up in riots and "volunteers" for the navy. Follows his early career throught the American War of Independence, culminating at the Siege of Gibraltar.

  2. Devil to Pay. Houghton Mifflin, 1973. 273 pages

    1794-1796. Lieutenant Delancey is sent on impossible mission involving smugglers and international intrigue off the French coast.

  3. The Fireship. Houghton Mifflin, 1975. 187 pages

    1796-1798. This is really two short novels back to back. In the first, Delancey is the second Lt. and acting first Lt. of the GRATTON during the Battle of Camperdown. The Dutch are defeated and every first Lt. is promoted to Master and Commander, except Delancey, whose captain has the discretion to allow the now recovered original first Lt. to take the promotion. In the second half Delancey is given command of a fireship. He makes the best of bad situation. Being of a scientific and methodical turn of mind, he researchs the previous use of fireships and finds that they are not frequently used, and are not particularly useful, but on those occasions when they have been used in the past, the commander has received a promotion. Delancey's command is one of the smaller vessels used to patrol the coast of Ireland, and intercepting a French expeditionary force he is able to put his fireship to its intended purpose, thus assuring himself of the promotion he lost out on in the first half of the novel.

  4. Touch and Go. Houghton Mifflin, 1977. 230 pages

    1798-1801. Delancey gets command of the 18 gun sloop MERLIN and cruises the Mediterranean on convoy duty.

  5. So Near, So Far. John Murray, 1981. 227 pages

    1801-1804. During the Peace of Amiens Richard Delancey is ashore, but still manages to get in trouble. He forms an attachment to the pretty actress Fiona that threatens his career, and mixes with men of the Opposition Party. When war with France breaks out again Napoleon's first move is to plan an invasion of England, and rumours circulate of steam-driven ships and a warcraft that can travel under the water. Delancey's courage and skill are called upon for the most audacious adventure of his career.

  6. Dead Reckoning. Houghton Mifflin, 1978. 276 pages

    1805-1811. Now a post captain, Delancey and the 32 gun frigate LAURA are off to the East Indies to battle two French frigates.


The Life and Times of Horatio Hornblower. Joseph, 1970. 304 pages

Hilarious send-up of military biography and a great overview of Hornblower. Parkinson includes detailed appendices with delicious information such as that HH's great-grandson commanded the BELLEROPHON at Jutland, and that a great-great-grandson was a sub-lieutenant on the ACHILLES during the Battle of the River Plate. How can you not love that? Also includes a letter from Horatio himself explaining what really happened aboard HMS RENOWN.



Parkinson, Dan

Patrick Dalton series:

  1. The Fox and the Faith. Kensington, 1989. 350 pages

    In 1777, finding himself falsely accused of treason, Royal Navy Lt. Patrick Dalton steals a British prize and attempts an escape through a gauntlet of privateers and British and Colonial warships.

  2. The Fox and the Fury. Kensington, 1989. 351 pages

    A fugitive Patrick Dalton refits a derelict ship in the Chesapeake wilderness and makes a deal to smuggle cannon to the Carolinas.

  3. The Fox and the Flag. Kensington, 1990. 351 pages

    Patrick Dalton may have come up with a plan to clear his name, but he needs the luck of the Irish to avoid capture by both sides long enough to see it through.

  4. The Fox and the Fortune. Pinnacle, 1992. 256 pages

    In the spring of 1778, the opposing British and US navies are supporting their armies in the north, leaving the southern US coast wide open to pirates. After eluding a long British search, Patrick Dalton and his crew find their fates increasingly entangled with a particularly cutthroat pirate.



Patchin, Frank Gee (1861-1925)

Battleship Boys series:

  1. The Battleship Boys at sea : or, Two apprentices in Uncle Sam's navy. Altemus, 1910. 249 pages

  2. The Battleship Boys' First Step Upward : or, Winning their grades as petty officers. Altemus, 1911. 254 pages

    The boys, Sam Hickey and Dan Davis, serve aboard the battleship LONG ISLAND and gain their petty officer ratings. For young readers.

  3. The Battleship Boys in Foreign Service : or, Earning new ratings in European seas. Altemus, 1911. 212 pages

    Sam and Dave are on the loose in Paris, Egypt and European ports between.

  4. The Battleship Boys in the tropics : or, Upholding the American flag in a Hoduras revolution. Altemus, 1912. 252 pages

  5. The Battleship Boys under fire : or, The dash for the besieged Kam Shau mission. Altemus, 1916. 256 pages

  6. The battleship boys on the Sky Patrol : or, Fighting the Hun above the clouds. Altemus, 1918. 255 pages

  7. The battleship boys with the Adriatic chasers : or, Blocking the trail of the undersea raiders. Altemus, 1918. 255 pages

  8. The Battleship Boys in the Wardroom : or, Winning their commissions as line officers on the eve of the great war. Altemus, 1918. 213 pages



Patrick, Joseph [pseud. Joseph Patrick Walsh]

King's Arrow. Lippincott, 1951. 380 pages

English gentleman gets 'pressed into a Royal Navy warship (in peacetime!!), escapes to the American colonies and becomes a shipper and ocassional smuggler, all while trying to win the love of the girl he left behind in Britain, who has also come to America. Set in the late 1760s-early 1770s. Good read, despite some inaccuracies and anachronisms.



Patrick, William (editor)

Mysterious Sea Stories. Salem House, 1985. 247 pages

Strange horrors at sea, Contents: Ms. found in a bottle / Edgar Allan Poe -- The legend of the bell rock / Captain Frederick Marryat -- Hood's isle and the hermit Oberlus / Herman Melville -- A bewitched ship / W. Clark Russell -- J. Habakuk Jephson's statement / Sir Arthur Conan Doyle -- The benevolent ghost and Captain Lowrie / Richard Sale -- Make westing / Jack London -- The black mate / Joseph Conrad -- A matter of fact / Rudyard Kipling -- The finding of the Graiken / William Hope Hodgson -- Davy Jones's gift / John Masefield -- In the abyss / H.G. Wells -- Undersea guardians / Ray Bradbury -- The turning of the tide / C.S. Forester.



Pattinson, James (1915-2009)

Soldier, Sail North. Geroge G. Harrap, 1954. 224 pages

The gunners on the Golden Ray were a strangely assorted bunch. The seamen were more of a type, but the soldiers seconded to the job could hardly have differed more from one another. There was the professional, Sergeant Willis, in love with his job, Vernon the intellectual, and Miller the tragic communistic misfit who found his Russian Mecca not quite what he expected. The background and past of each character in the book are woven into the narrative of the ordeal at sea in both directions, and experiences on Russian soil at Murmansk.


Last in Convoy. Geroge G. Harrap, 1957. 254 pages

A convoy of forty-five ships try to make it from Halifax to England. The convoy becomes the butt of enemy submarine torpedoes. Terror strikes the crews who see their comrades drowning or becoming human torches amid the burning oil spilling from the ships. Attention focuses on the s.s. Regal Gesture, whose engines fail and is therefore left behind, undefended. Can the s.s. Regal Gesture make port with a fire in her hold, an unexploded bomb in her forecastle, with no wireless and a half- crazed man for a skipper?


On Desperate Seas. Geroge G. Harrap, 1961. 224 pages

None of the crew is particularly gratified when the British tanker is chosen to carry a cargo of industrial alcohol from Philadelphia to Russia. And when six American seamen are earmarked to take passage to Archangel there is a concocted human mixture as explosive as the liquid swilling in the tanks.



Paulsen, Gary

The Voyage of the Frog. Orchard, 1989. 141 pages

When David goes out on his sailboat to scatter his recently deceased uncle's ashes to the wind, he is caught in a fierce storm and must survive many days on his own as he works out his feelings about life and his uncle. For young readers.



Paylin, Jolie, [pseud.Nancy Alice Judy Behrend] (1913-1993)

The Gill Netters. Hillsdale Educational, 1979. 146 pages

Commercial fishing in Wisconsin and Northern Michigan after the Civil War. The story of how the Danish Johannsen family emigrate to the shores of Lake Michigan, to build a new settlement and life as commercial fishermen.



Peacock, B. N.

A Tainted Dawn : The Great War (1792-1815). Fireship Press, 2012. 352 pages

England and Spain are on the brink of war. France, allied by treaty with Spain, readies her warships. Three youths - the son of an English carpenter, the son of a naval captain, and the son of a French court tailor - meet in London, a chance encounter that entwines their lives ever after. The English boys find themselves on the same frigate bound for the Caribbean. The Frenchman sails to Trinidad, where he meets an even more zealous Spanish revolutionary. As diplomats in Europe race to avoid conflict, war threatens to explode in the Caribbean, with the three youths pitted against each other. Book one of a proposed series.



Pearson, Ridley

Blood of the Albatross. St. Martin's, 1986. 307 pages

A good old-fashioned page-turner of a mystery, set in Seattle, with enough plot twists and sleazy characters to keep things moving at an exhilarating pace. Jay Becker, sailing instructor by day, rock star by night, takes the beautiful German woman Marlene as a student and becomes involved in brutal deaths and treason that seem to stem from her shadowy employer, known only as the "Albatross".



Pease, Howard (1894-1974)

The Tattooed Man: a tale of strange adventures, befalling Tod Moran, mess boy of the tramp steamer ARABY, upon his first voyage from San Francisco to Genoa, via the Panama Canal. Doubleday, Page, 1926. 332 pages

Teenaged Tod goes in search of his missing older brother. He takes a job as a cabin boy, and later stoker on a freighter out of San Francisco bound for Genoa. An interesting story because of the vividly realistic portrayal of life aboard tramp freighters in the inter-war years. Also interesting is the treatment of drug addiction in the days when it wasn't so painfully common.


The Jinx Ship: the dark adventure that befell Tod Moran when he shipped as fireman aboard the tramp steamer CONGO, bound out of New York for Caribbean ports. Doubleday, Page, 1927. 324 pages

Tod Moran, stranded and jobless, signs onto the CONGO, a ship with a bad rep, and he's in the middle of several mysteries.


Shanghai Passage: being a tale of mystery and adventure on the high seas in which Stuart Ormsby is shanghaied aboard the tramp steamer NANKING bound for ports on the China coast. Doubleday, 1929. 301 pages


Secret Cargo: the story of Larry Matthews and his dog Sambo, forecastle mates on the tramp steamer CREOLE TRADER, New Orleans to the South Seas. Doubleday, Doran, 1931. 272 pages

What was that strange chest buried in the coal scuttle? What's being smuggled? Or who?


The Ship Without a Crew: the strange adventures of Tod Moran, third mate of the tramp steamer ARABY. Doubleday, Doran, 1934. 304 pages

Aboard ARABY in the South Pacific, Tod finds an unmanned schooner, loses it in a gale, and has to find answers in the Tahitian jungle.


Wind in the Rigging: an adventurous voyage of Tod Moran on the tramp steamer SUMATRA, New York to North Africa. Doubleday, Doran, 1935. 333 pages

Story based in part on a discusssion in the 1930s about whether munitions makers were a cause of war.


Hurricane Weather: how Stan Ridley met adventure on the trading schooner "Wind-rider". Doubleday, Doran, 1936. 296 pages

Who would think a simple vacation visit and short cruise with an old friend in the South Pacific would involve pirates, cannibals, a devastating cyclone?


Fog Horns: a story of the San Francisco water front. Doubleday, Doran, 1937. 295 pages

A young man buys a seaman's certificate to work on the Araby and is plunged into intrigue, with a strong working-man's point of view.


Jungle River. Doubleday, Doran, 1938. 295 pages

An American boy searches for his lost father in the New Guinea jungle; praos and dugouts, Papuans and, on the eve of war, Japanese.


Captain Binnacle. Dodd, Mead, 1938. 160 pages

Captain Binnacle sails his ancient river boat on dry land, stuck in a field near Stockton; repelling pirates and savages with the help of three children. For younder readers


The Black Tanker: the adventures of a landlubber on the ill-fated last voyage of the oil tank steamer "Zambora". Doubleday, Doran, 1941. 312 pages

A Stanford student gets word that his father, a doctor working in China, has been seriously injured in a Japanese bombing raid. The only way he can get to China is to sign on as an engine wiper on a tanker, whose mate is Tod Moran, carrying oil to the Japanese bases in China. There is a murder on board, a storm at sea, and some adventures with the Japanese and Chinese after they arrive. The book has an American neutrality political viewpoint, flavored with a strong distaste for Japanese imperialism.


Night Boat, and other Tod Moran mysteries. Doubleday, Doran, 1942. 267 pages

Contents: Night boat -- Passengers for Panama -- The trader of Noa Noa -- The ship bound North -- The silver outrigger -- Journey by night -- Toll bridge -- Black-out.


Heart of Danger: a tale of adventure on land and sea with Tod Moran, third mate of the tramp steamer ARABY. Doubleday, 1946. 336 pages

he chief figure is a brilliant young Jewish violinist, with a great career ahead, who gives it all up to become a spy in wartime Germany. Tod Moran, third mate of the tramp steamer ARABY is involved in helping smuggle the young spy into the continent, and somewhat in the difficulties of his decision.


Bound for Singapore: being a true and faithful account of the making of an adventurer. Doubleday, 1948. 243 pages

An autobiographical glimpse of Pease's beginnings: how young "Chet" (Howard himself) first became a writer, how he and friends selected his first stories, and why he first shipped out, bound for "Singapore" (Anywhere), to gain experience.


Captain of the Araby: the story of a voyage. Doubleday, 1953. 247 pages

This is also a Tod Moran book, and the captain of the title is a man he sails with in most of the books. He is the "Tattooed Man" as well.


Shipwreck: the strange adventures of Renny Mitchum, mess boy of the trading schooner SAMARANG. Doubleday, 1957. 257 pages

Renny ships out with no allies in a probably vain attempt to discover what has happened to his father, apparently shipwrecked and lost on a vague island in the least known part of the South Pacific. Pease deals with racism head-on, when Renny has to take instruction from a Filipino cook.



Peffer, Randall S.

The Seahawk Trilogy:

  1. Southern Seahawk : a novel of the Civil War at sea. Bleak House, 2008. 318 pages

    The true story of Commander Raphael Semmes' rise to infamy, becoming the Union's "Public Enemy Number One." In June, 1861, Semmes' Confederate cruiser Sumter makes a daring escape through the Federal Blockade of the Mississippi. So begins the commander's career as the Southern Seahawk. With a hand-picked crew of Southern officers and mercenary seamen, Semmes seizes eight enemy ships in four days, a record never surpassed by any other captain of a warship.

  2. Seahawk Hunting : a novel of the Civil War at sea. Bleak House, 2010. 247 pages

    Raphael Semmes abandons his broken raider, the Sumter, which is penned in by the Federals near Gibraltar. In the meantime, he has the Brits build him a new ship in Liverpool. Called the 290, it is the fastest commercial raider designed for its time, and it is waiting for Semmes in the Azores. After taking command of the ship he sets out seizing and burning whalers at the rate of one a day, sails back across the North Atlantic against the gulf stream where he picks off another dozen merchant ships headed to Europe.

  3. Seahawk Burning : a third novel of the Civil War at sea. Tyrus, 2012. 320 pages

    As Raphael Semmes rises to mythic stature, he becomes Lincoln's public enemy number one. Seizing and burning scores of Yankee ships in the Caribbean Sea, the south Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and the South China Sea before heading to France for sanctuary, Semmes heads for final showdown off Cherbourg, when he decides to take the Alabama into battle against the U.S.S. Kearsarge, captained by his old friend John A. Winslow



Perkins, Wilder (1921-1999)

Hoare series:

  1. Hoare and the Portsmouth Atrocities. Thomas Dunne, 1998. 217 pages

    A 19th century mystery featuring a whispering detective. He is Bartholomew Hoare of the Royal Navy whose larynx was crushed by a musket ball. The case involves the murder of the captain of a navy ship.

  2. Hoare and the Headless Captains. St. Martin's Minotaur, 2000. 247 pages

    After being struck in the throat by a musket ball, Bartholomew Hoare can't manage more than a whisper, but he finds himself in charge of a ship again, off to investigate the murder of two Navy captains, brothers, whose bodies, or parts of them, were found in the forest.

  3. Hoare and the Matter of Treason. Thomas Dunne, 2001. 215 pages

    A newly married Bartholomew Hoare combs the back streets of London to uncover a conspiracy against the Crown.



Perrault, Ernest G.

The Twelfth Mile. Doubleday, 1974. 256 pages

Oceangoing tug, North Pacific, storms, salvage, tidal waves.



Perrow, Angeli (1954- )

Captain's Castaway. Down East Books, 1998. 1 volume

Based on the true story of Seaboy, a friendly seafaring dog. When his vessel is wrecked in a storm he crawls ashore on nearby Great Duck Island and is found, barely alive, by Sarah, the lighthouse-keeper's daughter. Two years pass, and the dog settles in happily with his new family. Then, a ship's captain arrives, home from distant seas. It is Seaboy's owner, delighted to find his old friend. A grief-stricken Sarah must reconcile herself to the loss of a loyal companion, but in the end the castaway himself decides where he really belongs.



Perry, David C.

Not Self but Country: A New Nation Forges a New Navy. Griz Independent Publishing, 2014. 228 pages

This is a story of the men who sailed into battle against the mighty British Navy in their smaller, often obsolete vessels converted from merchant ships of the day — men with names such as John Barry, Richard Dale, and John Paul Jones.