Skip to main content

Nautical Fiction Index

Authors R - Rh

Raban, Jonathan

Foreign Land. Viking, 1985. 352 pages

Modern cruise around UK.


The Oxford Book of the Sea. Oxford University Press, 1992. 524 pages

Editor. An anthology of short prose and poetry about the sea, as well as excerpts from longer works.



Raddall, Thomas Head (1903-1994)

His Majesty's Yankees. Doubleday, Doran, 1942. 409 pages

Deals with the part played during the American Revolution by the Yankees of Nova Scotia. An adventure story, rather a tame romance and a spot of history all thrown together. Told in the first person by David Strang it concerns his efforts to join Nova Scotia to the rest of America! A bit turgid by modern standards, could you trust a book that finished "... this rocky homeland on the sea's edge, where life is a struggle that demands a man's utmost and will take no less, where beauty alone is bountiful, and only death comes easy; where courage springs from the eternal rock like the clear singing rivers, like the deep rooted forest itself." Plenty of shipboard action, although the story is not essentially set on the sea, rather by it!. Much of the story involves smaller boats.


Roger Sudden. McClelland & Stewart, 1944. 358 pages

French and British seamen fight to claim Nova Scotia.


Pride's Fancy. Doubleday, 1946. 348 pages

French privateers from Nova Scotia cruise the Caribbean in 1798.


Tidefall. Little, Brown, 1953. 300 pages

Unscrupulous Nova Scotian retired rumrunner returns to his boyhood village and takes over a bankrupt shipping company. Some editions have title Give and Take.


The Rover : the story of a Canadian privateer. Macmillan, 1959. 156 pages

For young readers.


The Governor's Lady. Doubleday, 1960. 474 pages

Nautical adventures and political maneuvering in Nova Scotia. John and Frances Wentworth are the main characters.


Hangman's Beach. Doubleday, 1966. 421 pages

An historical novel set in Halifax during the Napoleonic Wars. "The reader enjoys a tale of high adventure and daring. He experiences the shock of battle at sea, the torment of conflicting loyalities, and the searing heat of love in an unforgettable picture of men and women caught in the sweep of events in a tumultuous era." [from bookjacket blurb]



Raine, Norman Reilly (1895-1971)

Tugboat Annie. Minton, Balch, 1934. 313 pages

The humorous Adventures of the tug NARCISSUS and her colorful captain in and around Puget Sound. Based on the real-life experiences of Thea Christiansen Foss (1857-1927).


Captain Kidd. World, 1945. 191 pages

A novelization of the screen play ; from an original story by Robert N. Lee ; illustrated with scenes from the Benedict Bogeaus film, released through United Artists.



Ralphson, G. Harvey (1879-1940)

Boy Scouts in the North Sea, or, "Mystery of U-13". M.A. Donohue & Co., 1915. 252 pages



Ransome, Arthur (1884-1967)

Swallows and Amazons series:

  1. Swallows and Amazons. J. Cape, 1930. 374 pages

    The Walker children get permission to sail and camp on Wild Cat Island where they are attacked by the AMAZON pirates. After some wild sailing adventures, the war is won and an alliance concluded. Together they manage to capture a retired pirate and find his stolen treasure!

  2. Peter Duck. J. Cape, 1932. 431 pages

    Written after Swallowdale but chronologically before. A story of buried treasure leads to an eventful sail down the Channel and across the Atlantic to seek for the treasure of Crab Island. They are pursued by the evil Black Jake and the VIPER. Despite the attempts of Black Jake and his crew and the worst that weather can do, they get back successfully.

  3. Swallowdale. J. Cape, 1931. 453 pages

    A near disaster to the SWALLOW causes the Walkers to camp up on the fells away from the lake. There they experience some aspects of Lakeland life, foil a surprise pirate attack from the strangely constrained AMAZONs and climb Kanchenjunga. The story ends with a classic sailing race between the SWALLOW and AMAZON.

  4. Winter Holiday. J. Cape, 1933. 359 pages

    The "Ds" on a winter holiday in the Lakes meet the SWALLOWs and AMAZONs after signalling to Mars. They all become involved in Arctic exploration during an unexpectedly prolonged holiday. The climax is a dash to the North Pole followed up by several rescue expeditions.

  5. Coot Club. J. Cape, 1934. 351 pages

    The "Ds" go to the Norfolk Broads hoping to learn to sail. They meet the Bird Preservation Society members, one of whom gets into trouble with the "Hullabaloos" and has to go into hiding. The "Ds" do learn to sail and go on a cruise through the Broads. They are nearly caught by the "Hullabaloos" but instead the "Death and Glories" have an opportunity to gain a reward.

  6. Pigeon Post. J. Cape, 1936. 383 pages

    The SWALLOWs, AMAZONs and "Ds" seek gold on High Topps and have dangerous adventures in the disused mines while trying to foil the claim jumper Squashy Hat. Gold is found but it isn't what it seems. The pigeons save the day by getting a message for help through at a dangerous moment.

  7. We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea. J. Cape, 1937. 351 pages

    A short cruise in the estuary turns into a frightening adventure when Jim Brading disappears. The SWALLOWs manage to do the right thing even though they have to break a promise and prove they are deep water sailors.

  8. Secret Water. J. Cape, 1939. 380 pages

    A mapping expedition leads to war with the EELs and a near fatal encounter with the tides. Bridget becomes a human sacrifice but the map looks incomplete. However, last minute voyages mean that the expedition is crowned with success.

  9. The Big Six. J. Cape, 1940. 399 pages

    There is more trouble on the Broads and the "Death and Glories" are accused due to their unexplained wealth and presence at the scene of the crimes. Together with Tom Dudgeon and the "Ds" they manage to track down the real villain by using the methods of the "Big Five" of Scotland Yard. In a dramatic climax the wrong doers are caught in a flash.

  10. Missee Lee. J. Cape, 1941. 336 pages

    Captured by Chinese pirates, the SWALLOWs and AMAZONs manage to win over the Cambridge-educated pirate leader in an unusual but unwelcome way. They seem doomed to stay prisoners for ever. However, the rest of the pirates think beheading is a better solution and so they have to dance their way to freedom.

  11. The Picts and the Martyrs: or Not Welcome At All. J. Cape, 1943. 340 pages

    The "Ds" come to stay with the AMAZONs but have to leave and set up house on their own when an unwelcome visitor arrives to take charge. The AMAZON pirates have to become well behaved martyrs while the "Ds" are well hidden "Picts". Despite the problems the "Ds" learn to guddle fish, sail, burgle and even skin a rabbit while the "Martyrs" manage to escape from their imprisonment occasionally. The "Martyrs" sacrifice is worth it in the end.

  12. Great Northern? J. Cape, 1947. 351 pages

    Are they or aren't they? Unfortunately the one man who can confirm Dick's sighting of the Great Northern Divers wants them dead. The SWALLOWs, AMAZONs and "Ds" on a cruise in the Hebrides make a unique discovery and have to foil the owner of the PTERODACTYL while proving Dick's discovery is genuine. The savage Gaels complicate matters but help out in the end. Myles North, an admirer of Ransome, provided much of the basic plot of the book.

  13. Coots in the North. Cape, 1988. 144 pages

    Unfinished fragments edited by Hugh Brogan. The "Death and Glories" stow away on a boat transport to the Lakes. There they meet the AMAZONs in an unpropitious manner. The rest of the book is only an unfinished outline of their adventures together.



Rappaport, A. S. (Angelo Solomon) (1871-1950)

Superstitions of sailors. Stanley Paul, 1928. 287 pages

Later published as The Sea: Myths and Legends. Folk tales, superstitions, myths and legends.



Rascovich, Mark (1917-1976)

The Bedford Incident. Atheneum, 1963. 337 pages

US destroyer plays nuclear chicken with a Soviet sub in the Denmark Strait.



Ratigan, William

Soo Canal! W.B. Eerdmans, 1955. 186 pages

Fictionalized account of the building of the canal linking Superior with the rest of the Great Lakes in the 1850s.


The Adventures of Captain McCargo. Random House, 1956. 245 pages

Picturesque saga of Captain "Thunder Bay" McCargo of the schooner MINONG -- Great Lakes skipper, lover, and adventurer par excellence.



Rawlings, Charles

Jarge Makes In. Saturday Evening Post, October 3, 1936.

Short story. Doryman adrift off Newfoundland but survives. Collected in The Saturday evening post reader of sea stories


Cargo of Gold. Saturday Evening Post, April 8, 1961.

Short story. Gold laden sloop found adrift off Florida.



Rayner, Denys Arthur (1908-1967)

The Enemy Below. Collins, 1956. 191 pages

A solitary British destroyer fights a German U-boat in the remote expanses of the South Atlantic in WW II.


The Long Fight. Holt, 1958. 181 ppages

Fictionalised account of an actual three-day Indian Ocean frigate battle in 1808 in which HMS SAN FIORENZO defeated and captured the French PIEMONTAISE. Well written in spare, spartan terms.


The Long Haul. McGraw-Hill, 1960. 194 pages

British Destroyer captain towing a disabled tanker tangles with a U-boat in a deadly game of cat and mouse to the death.



Reed, Don C.

The Kraken. Boyds Mills Press, Caroline House, 1995. 217 pages

Boy from 19th century Newfoundland fishing village battles giant squid. For young readers.



Reeman, Douglas (Alexander Kent) (1924-2017)

A Prayer For The Ship. Jarrolds, 1958. 254 pages

WW II adventure on British MTBs in the English Channel.


High Water. Jarrolds, 1959. 255 pages

RNVR veteran, finding it hard to make ends meet in postwar Britain, gets tangled up in smuggling and other criminal activities in an effort to pay off the debts on the boat he purchased for a charter service. Reeman's second novel.


Send a Gunboat. Jarrolds, 1960. 255 pages

Antiquated Royal Navy river gunboat and her disgraced captain are sent to evacuate British citizens from an island off the Chinese coast threatened by invasion by the Communist Chinese.


Dive in the Sun. Jarrolds, 1961. 257 pages

British midget submarine in action against the Germans in the Adriatic during WW I.


The Hostile Shore. Jarrolds, 1962. 223 pages

Early in WW II an old passenger launch is used in the flight from Singapore before the Japanese invasion and disappears. Rupert Blair's family were among the passengers. Twenty years later Blair, now rich and famous, has never forgotten or abandoned his obsessive need to find out exactly what had happened. He hires an old, beat up schooner with assorted misfits for a crew and hangers-on and finds his answers in the New Hebrides Islands. Not bad, but not up to Reeman's war novels.


The Last Raider. Jarrolds, 1963. 381 pages

A WW I German surface raider, and the relationship between the raider's captain and a female British captive.


With Blood And Iron. Jarrolds, 1964. 288 pages

The son of Captain Von Steiger of The Last Raider commands a small U-boat squadron based in a quiet French town on the Bay of Biscay in 1944, when Germany was losing "The War of the Atlantic".


H.M.S. Saracen. Jarrolds, 1965. 320 pages

WW I and WW II adventures of a Royal Navy monitor and the man who served on her as a midshipman in WW I, and captain in WW II.


Path of the Storm. Hutchinson, 1966. 320 pages

Superannuated USN subchaser is ordered to a desolate island group in South China Sea to prepare them for use as a naval base in 1965.


The Deep Silence. Hutchinson, 1967. 303 pages

A Royal Navy nuclear attack submarine is rushed through its trials and hastily ordered to the Far East for a geopolitical confrontation with the Chinese.


The Pride And The Anguish. Hutchinson, 1968. 320 pages

HMS PORCUPINE, a gunboat, in action against the Japanese invading the Malay penninsula from December '41 through February '42 -- including an escape to the Dutch East Indies during the fall of Singapore.


To Risks Unknown. Hutchinson, 1969. 320 pages

A British corvette's 1943 actions against the Nazis in the Adriaic Sea.


The Greatest Enemy. Hutchinson, 1970. 320 pages

A strong-willed captain takes a clapped-out WW II-era corvette into action against the Communist Chinese. The story takes place in the South China Sea in 1970.


Rendezvous - South Atlantic. Hutchinson, 1972. 320 pages

A British Armored Merchant Cruiser in action in WW II. The story ends in a climactic battle against a German heavy cruiser in the South Atlantic.


Go In and Sink! Hutchinson, 1973. 400 pages

US title: His Majesty's U-boat. German U-Boat, captured by the British, is pressed into service against her former owners.


The Destroyers. Hutchinson, 1974. 317 pages

A flotilla of eight V-class and W-class British destroyers in action in 1943 as the group is transferred to Special Operations.


Winged Escort. Hutchinson, 1976. 286 pages

British escort carrier group fights the Germans and Japanese in WW II.


Surface with Daring. Hutchinson, 1976. 272 pages

X-craft raid on Norway in 1944.


Strike From The Sea. Hutchinson, 1978. 255 pages

British seize and use a formerly French submarine that is a sister of the SURCOUF (8" gun turret) as a raider against the Japanese.


A Ship Must Die. Hutchinson, 1979. 285 pages

A British light cruiser seeks a German surface raider in the Indian and Pacific Oceans in 1944.


Torpedo Run. Hutchinson, 1981. 290 pages

A flotilla of British MTBs is transferred to the Black Sea in 1943 to assist the Soviets fight the Germans.


The Volunteers. Hutchinson, 1985. 280 pages

Special Operations units carrying out raids on enemy coasts and shipping in 1943-44.


The Iron Pirate. Putnam, 1986. 295 pages

Aboard the Kriegsmarine heavy cruiser PRINZ LUITPOLD in action against the Allies in the summer of 1944 as it prowls the Atlantic Ocean.


In Danger's Hour. Putnam, 1988. 319 pages

HM Minesweeper ROB ROY in action in the Mediterranean and English Channel during the last half of WW II.


The White Guns. Heinemann, 1989. 325 pages

It is May 1945. The Germans have just surrendered. But as a small flotilla of British light craft begin occupation duty in Kiel Harbor, they discover that enemies exist even in peacetime.


Killing Ground. Heinemann, 1991. 312 pages

Battle of the Atlantic as seen from the bridge of the destroyer HMS GLADIATOR on convoy escort duty.<


Sunset. Heinemann, 1994. 276 pages

LCDR Brooks, aboard HMS SERPENT in Hong Kong just prior to Japanese attack in 1941, refuses to admit defeat.


A Dawn Like Thunder. Heinemann, 1996. 258 pages

The human torpedo is the ultimate weapon in a high-risk war, and only men of extreme courage or recklessness volunteer for the Special Operations requiring its use.


Battlecruiser. Heinemann, 1997. 274 pages

Follows the fictitious HMS RELIANT, a battlecruiser from WW I, on convoy duty in the Atlantic during WW II.


For Valour. Heinemann, 2000. 292 pages

Odds are long for the British destroyers assigned to escort vital northern convoys through the bitter Arctic Sea in the bloodiest days of WWII. Commander Graham Martineau, still haunted by the loss of his ship and crew to Nazi destroyers, must take on a new command: the Tribal Class destroyer Hakka.


Twelve Seconds to Live. Heinemann, 2002. 310 pages

The mine is an impartial killer, and a lethal challenge to the men of the Royal Navy's special countermeasures. Lt-Commander David Masters, haunted by a glimpse of the mine that destroyed his first and only command. Lt Chris Foley, mine-laying off the enemy coast rolls on an uneasy sea with a live mine jammed by a broken release bracket. And Sub-Lt Michael Lincoln, hailed as a hero, but dreading exposure as a coward even more than the gentle whirr of the activated fuse which signals the last twelve seconds of his life.


The Glory Boys. Arrow, 2008. 312 pages

They are called The Glory Boys, by those who regard their exploits with envy or contempt. Bob Kearton is one of them. Already a veteran and survivor of the close action in the English Channel and North Sea, in January of 1943, he is ordered to the Mediterranean and beleagured Malta, a mere sixty miles from occupied Sicily.


Blackwood - Royal Marines series:

  1. Badge of Glory. Hutchinson, 1982. 336 pages

    Captain Phillip Blackwood, Royal Marines, and his marine contingent in action battling slavers off the coast of West Africa, from the 90 gun HMS AUDACIOUS, and his further adventures in the Crimea during the 1840s.

  2. The First to Land. Hutchinson, 1984. 294 pages

    Captain David Blackwood, Royal Marines, takes his men into action during the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900.

  3. The Horizon. Heinemann, 1993. 289 pages

    The novel covers the Gallipoli campaign and the story of the Naval Division in Flanders during WW I.

  4. Dust on the Sea. Heinemann, 1999. 304 pages

    The Mediterranean, 1943: At long last the British Army has won a victory, and Rommel's Afrika Korps is in retreat. Into this new phase of the war comes Captain Mike Blackwood, Royal Marine Commando.

  5. Knife Edge. Heinemann, 2004. 279 pages

    Set in fifties Malaya and Singapore, at the height of the new terrorist attempts to subvert the creation of the new federation. The Royal Marines, the Commandoes, were used in jungle operations at a time when it was said that the post-war promise of a stable Malaya was on a knife-edge.



Reid, Captain Mayne (1818-1883)

The Boy Tar, or A Voyage in the Dark. Ticknor and Fields, 1860. 356 pages

Young Philip Forster runs away and tries to join the ship INCA, bound for Peru, but the captain and crew just laugh at the wee lad, but he manages to stow away in the hold. He falls asleep and awakes to find that he's been trapped in the pitch dark hold! A horrifying ordeal follows, as he tries to escape to daylight.


The Ocean Waifs, A Story of Adventure on Land and Sea. Ticknor and Fields, 1865. 366 pages

A tale of adventure and shipwreck, for the juvenile reader.



Reit, Seymour

Ironclad! : A true story of the Civil War. Dodd, Mead, 1977. 92 pages

Presents the historic Civil War battle between two ironclad ships, the MERRIMAC and the MONITOR, from the viewpoint of a youth serving aboard the MONITOR.



Reynolds, Howard

The Defector. Viking, 1986. 327 pages

A Soviet physicist defects to the West with a devise capable of crippling Russian submarines



Rhinehart, Luke [pseud. George Cockcroft] (1932- )

Long Voyage Back. Delacorte, 1983. 395 pages

Family and friends are sailing Chesapeake Bay in a trimaran on a pleasure cruise when WW III breaks out, and are forced to use the sea to survive the ensuing holocaust.