Lone Star Rising
The American rebellion has failed.
George Washington is dead. The few surviving revolutionaries, led by Andrew
Jackson, have fled to Spanish territories and the wasteland called Texas. But
Jackson is not content to be a Spanish subject. He dreams large. Texas must be
free and independent from the corrupt old empires of Europe. But with no army
other than the Texas Rangers, and no navy, Texas has no hope of opposing the
mighty forces of Spain. No hope, that is, until David Crockett meets an
unemployed, sardonic naval officer named John Paul Jones II on the wharves at
Baltimore. Together they buy and refit a broken down warship to become the first
ship of the Texas Navy. With a handful of Crockett's men, the blessing of a voodoo
queen, and a dubious crew of French pirates, they set sail to seize Spanish
treasure and remake history in a ship called the Wasp.
British forces spread across the
rebellious colonies, crushing all resistance now that George Washington is dead
and the American army is dispersed. But defeat is merely a reckoning postponed. A
few die-hards flee west into the Tennessee and the unsettled wilderness beyond the
frontiers of British control, where after many years a leader arises among them,
Andrew Jackson. Yet the British cannot ignore these upstarts, and Banastre
Tarleton eventually arrives to crush them as well. Those who survive, lead by
Jackson, escape into the Spanish Empire — to Texas. Still, even within the Empire
the fugitives are not safe and free, for Spanish tyranny bears upon them. So
Jackson and his friends pool their resources to buy a warship. Renamed the
T.S. Wasp, they dispatch her to acquire guns for the Texas Army. On the
way, Wasp finds more than they expected.
Vail, Philip, (1914-1988) [pseud.
Noel B. Gerson]
The Sea Panther : a novel about the Commander of
the U.S.S. Constitution. Dodd, Mead,
1962. 302 pages
William Bainbridge's exploits, from 1797
his capture of the JAVA in 1812, interpreted in fiction of dubious
accuracy. Bainbridge is given the capabilities of a comic book
superhero -- regularly besting Royal Navy warships with a merchantman.
Additionally, all American frigates are 44s -- including PHILADELPHIA,
ESSEX, and CONSTELLATION -- and the Royal Navy frigate JAVA is
transformed into a 64-gun ship of the line.
Van der Post, Laurens
The Hunter and the Whale : a tale of Africa.
W. Morrow, 1967. 350 pages
Big game hunter and whaling captain
pot shots at an elephant and a whale.
Van der Rol, Greta
Die a Dry Death.
Dragon International Independent Arts, 2010.
June 1629. Laden with treasure and the
riches of Europe, the merchantman Batavia, flagship of the Dutch East India
Company, sails on her maiden voyage from Amsterdam bound for the East Indies. But
thirty miles off the coast of Terra Incognita Australis-the unknown south land-she
smashes into an uncharted reef. The survivors-women and children, sailors,
soldiers and merchants-are washed ashore on a pair of uninhabited, hostile
islands, with little food or fresh water. Desperately seeking help, the ship's
officers set out in an open boat to make a two-thousand-mile journey to the
nearest trading post. While they are gone, from the struggle for survival on the
islands, there emerges a tyrant whose brutal lust for power is even deadlier than
the reef which wrecked the Batavia.
Van Zwienen, John
Pivot. Jove, 1980. 246 pages
Germans mount an effort to hit the
Empire State Building
with a V-2 launched from a U-Boat. The expedition experiences
difficulties due to production bottlenecks, denial of reality by the
senior leaders in 1944-45, cronyism, and mysticism -- a combination
which makes allied forces trivial by comparison.
Paradise, 1983. 319 pages
Potboiler set in the 1840s-1860s
centering on the
exploits of an American seafaring and shipbuilding family, a renegade
Englishman, and a nymphomaniac who starts out the novel as the wife of
a clipper captain, then becomes acting captain when her husband falls
ill. Between bedroom scenes, the story has lots of seagoing action
examining the impact of the introduction of the clipper and the
steamship in commercial shipping.
Foreign spies : Doctor Doom and the ghost
submarine, an international spy story. Whitman, 1939. 424 pages
A Better Little Book: half text, half
1877 and the Russo-Turkish War is
reaching its climax. A Russian victory will pose a threat for Britain's strategic
interests. To protect them an ambitious British naval officer, Nicholas Dawlish,
is assigned to the Ottoman Navy to ravage Russian supply-lines in the Black Sea.
In the depths of a savage winter, as Turkish forces face defeat on all fronts,
Dawlish confronts enemy ironclads, Cossack lances and merciless Kurdish irregulars
and finds himself a pawn in the rivalry of the Sultan's half-brothers for control
of the collapsing empire.
In 1880, on a broad river in the heart
of South America, a flotilla of paddle steamers thrashes slowly upstream, laden
with troops, horses and artillery, intent on conquest and revenge. Ahead lies a
commercial empire that was wrested from a British consortium in a bloody
revolution. Now the investors are determined to recoup their losses and are
funding a vicious war to do so. Nicholas Dawlish, an ambitious British naval
officer, is playing a leading role in the expedition. And Dawlish finds himself
forced to make a terrible ethical choice if he is to return to Britain with some
shreds of integrity remaining
A personal tragedy has drawn Dawlish yet
closer to his beloved wife Florence and in its aftermath they welcome the
opportunity to combine his duty to observe trials of a new weapon in the Adriatic
with an idyllic holiday together. Neither suspects that they are about to be drawn
into a nightmare. Daring and initiative have already bought Dawlish rapid
advancement in the Royal Navy and he hungers for more. But can the price be too
high, not just for himself but for the woman he loves?
A new balance of power is emerging in
the Far East. Imperial China, weak and corrupt, is challenged by a rapidly
modernising Japan, while Russia threatens from the north. They all need to control
Korea, a kingdom frozen in time and reluctant to emerge from centuries of
Dawlish finds himself a critical player in a complex political powder keg. He must
take account of a weak Korean king and his shrewd queen, of murderous palace
intrigue, of a powerbroker who seems more American than Chinese and a Japanese
naval captain whom he will come to despise and admire in equal measure.
An unexpected incident brings Florence
Dawlish into brutal contact with the squalid underside of complacent Victorian
society. With her personal loyalties challenged to the limit, and conscious that
her persistence in seeking justice may damage her ambitious husband’s career, not
to mention the possibility of prison for herself, Florence is drawn ever deeper
into a maelstrom of corruption and violence. The enemies she faces are merciless
and vicious, their identities protected by guile, power and
1884 - a fanatical Islamist revolt is
sweeping all before it in the vast wastes of the Sudan and establishing a rule of
persecution and terror. Only the city of Khartoum holds out, its defence
masterminded by a British national hero, General Charles Gordon. His position is
weakening by the day and a relief force, crawling up the Nile from Egypt, may not
reach him in time to avert disaster. But there is one other way of reaching
Vaughan, Carter A. (1914-1988)
[pseud. Noel B. Gerson]
The Yankee Brig.
Doubleday, 1960. 258 pages
Seven Years War adventure. Boston
skipper takes a
brig to sea as a privateer fighting the French while facing the
opposition of the Royal Navy commodore in command in
Doubleday, 1964. 248 pages
Probably written earlier. A band of
rebels led by Captain Jonathan Sherwood, strike at the British from
their secret base in Dragon Cove. Among other adventures, they blow up
a British 74 in port, steal a merchantman, use that as springboard to
steal a British sloop-of-war, then take to the seas around Providence
to give the British grief.
Vercel, Roger (1894-1957)
Tides of Mont St.-Michel.
Random House, 1938. 305 pages
Translation of "Sous le pied de
Verne, Jules (1828-1905)
Jules Verne's Twenty thousand leagues under the sea
: the definitive unabridged edition based on the original French texts.
Naval Institute Press, 1993. 392
A new translation which corrects the
many errors, mistranslations, and
bogus additions of the English versions previously available and restores
nearly a quarter of Verne's original text that was cut from that version
of the adventures of Captain Nemo and his marvelous submarine NAUTILUS.
The Mysterious Island.
Modern Library, 2001. 629
A new translation. Five Union prisoners
escaping in a balloon from the siege of Richmond set down on the shores of an
Captain Grant's Children or, In search of the
castaways. Gloria Mundi, 2009.
Lord Glenarvan, Scots aristocrat,
owner of the big steam/sail yacht DUNCAN, finds in the sea a bottle
with a document telling about a shipwreck that mentions the name of the
ship's captain - Grant. Unfortunately, part of information related to
the location of shipwreck was destroyed by the sea water and Glenarvan
only could get the latitude: 37 degrees and some minutes. He also knew
that it was the Southern Hemisphere. He gets familiar with the two
children of the captain and decides to search their father, having many
adventures on the way, including meeting a character who later plays a
part in Verne's The Mysterious Island.
The extraordinary journeys : the adventures of
Captain Hatteras. Oxford University
Press, 2005. 402 pages
The novel, set in 1861, described
adventures of British expedition led by Captain John Hatteras to the North Pole.
Hatteras is convinced that the sea around the pole is not frozen and his obsession
is to reach the place no matter what. Mutiny by the crew results in destruction of
their ship but Hatteras, with a few men, continues on the expedition. On the shore
of the island of "New America" he discovers the remains of a ship used by the
previous expedition from the United States.
The Blockade Runners.
Sampson Low, Marston & Co, 1891. 120
The exploits of James Playfair who must
break the Union blockade of the harbour of Charleston in South Carolina to trade
supplies for cotton and, later in the book, to rescue the father of a young girl
held prisoner by the Confederates. Verne's tale was inspired by reality as many
ships were actually lost while acting as blockade runners in and around Charleston
in the early eighteen sixties.
Verrill, Alpheus Hyatt (1871-1954)
The Deep Sea Hunters.
D. Appleton, 1922. 241 pages
The old derelict sailing ship HECTOR is
repaired and fitted out for a voyage to South Shetlands to obtain
sea-elephant oil for the WW I war effort.
The Deep Sea Hunters in the frozen seas.
D. Appleton, 1923. 262 pages
The Deep Sea Hunters in the South Seas.
D. Appleton, 1924. 265 pages
Vidal, Gore (1925-2012)
E.P. Dutton, 1946. 222 pages
Storm in the Aleutian islands takes a
tremendous physical and mental toll on a ship's company.
The Normandie affair.
Doubleday, 1982. 319 pages
Life at sea on a 1935 sailing from New
York to Southampton aboard the Normandie, most glamorous of the luxury liners.
Villiers, Alan (1903-1982)
Whalers of the Midnight Sun : a story of modern
whaling in the Antarctic. Charles
Scribner's Sons, 1934. 285 pages
Great Sea Stories: A Seaman's Selection of Great
Sea Stories. Dell, 1959. 255
Contents: Youth / Joseph Conrad --
The reluctant hero / William Mcfee --
"Seventy-two days without a port" / Joshua Slocum --
Easting down / F.C. Hendry --
The captain of the Ullswater / Morley Roberts --
Ordeal / Angus Macdonald --
The boat journey / Sir Ernest Shackleton --The captains from Ilhavo / Alan
A frigid reception / Sir James Bisset --
Christmas day on the high seas / Felix Riesenberg --
Skipper next to God /Jan de Hartog --
The advantages of seafaring / Kenneth Hardman --
First deck landing / Hugh Popham --
The character of the foe / Joseph Conrad.
Dick Burgess of Bosham.
I. Harrap, 1976. 144 pages
Young Dick works for his father who
a bit of smuggling in with his fishing. They are ambushed by Custom
officers but Dick manages to evade capture. French agents assisted by
some locals are preparing for Napoleon's imminent invasion and Dick,
at great risk, is able to help in unmasking traitors amongst the
local community in 1803.
A Prisoner of Portchester.
I. Harrap, 1977. 127 pages
Two French POWs escape from
Portchester Castle (situated at the north end of Portsmouth Harbour)
in 1808 and hope to use the long established escape route to return
to France. Two young lads become involved when they discover a
wounded man near their home.
I. Harrap, 1984. 95 pages
A naval adventure set in 1814 with
local interest thrown in - a young lad has no future ashore in
Portsmouth and finds himself aboard a Royal Navy schooner, Dick
Burgess (from the first novel) is a leading hand, and they are
involved in an action against an American schooner off Ireland.
Vollmann, William T. (1959- )
Viking, 1994. 411 pages
Fictionalized recreation of the
disastrous last voyage of Sir John Franklin with the bomb ketches EREBUS and
TERROR in 1845 searching
for the Northwest Passage. Volume six of the author's series "Seven Dreams:
A Book of North American Landscapes" about the settlement of North America and the
conflicts between natives and settlers.
H. Regnery, 1967. 220 pages
Done up in a series of reports,
articles, tapes, letters and editorials, it traces the events leading to the
impeachment of the President of the U.S. It all starts with a message from the
S.S. Nathan Hale, a submarine with enough bombs aboard to make it the sixth
nuclear power. Captain Hawk of the Hale, demands that all nations with atomic
weapons turn them over to the control of an international committee and he
emphasizes his point by launching first a bomb into a relatively unpopulated area
in the U.S. hinterlands, then ditto into Russia. The hot lines sizzle as the world
tries to track down the renegade sub.