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Nautical Fiction Index

Authors Woo - Wy

Wood, James (1918-1984)

The Rain Islands. Duckworth, 1957. 198 pages

A Novel Set in the Faeroe Islands.


The Sealer. Hutchinson, 1959. 224 pages

World War 2 novel about the pursuit of a German sea-raider, the fictitious steamship SEEADLER. Wood’s narrator is Scotsman James Fraser, a trawler fisherman turned merchant seaman, who, after surviving the sinking of his freighter out of a North Atlantic convoy, is recruited by the Royal Navy for a bit of espionage. In due course he finds himself in the wilds of South America’s Tierra del Fuego and the Straits of Magellan, the German raider’s probable home base.


The Lisa Bastian. Hutchinson, 1960. 191 pages

Adventures of James Fraser (from The Sealer), maverick trawler skipper, continue from Bergen where Fraser and his crew (including the token black, the cod intellectual, the rough Polish mate) agree to take a couple of girls and an (unrelated) Hungarian political refugee from Norway to Shetland with a little fishing on the wrong side of the territorial limit en route. The Russians want the Hungarian, the mate wants one girl, the other girl wants the Captain. The real baddies get shot, their sidekicks merely winged.


Be Thou My Judge. Hutchinson, 1966. 192 pages

U.S. title: Voyage into Nowhere. A Navy Lieutenant is falsely jailed for heroin possession, then is sprung by a gang who wants his services. A basic sea thriller.


The Friday Run. Hutchinson, 1967. 190 pages

Skipper James Fraser decides to go to sea on a Friday run during which an unmarked and frightening canister surfaces with a load of fish shortly after a large plane has crashed.


Three Blind Mice. Hutchinson, 1969. 208 pages

Mystery/thriller, North Sea fishing vessel, Cold War intrigue.



Woodland, Geoff

Ice King. MDW, 2010. 481 pages

In 1804, Liverpool was the largest slave trading port in Great Britain, yet her influential traders felt threatened by the success, in Parliament, of the anti-slavery movement. Few, in Liverpool, condemned the 'Trade'. William King, son of a Liverpool trader, is sickened by what he experiences aboard a Spanish slaver, and dares to speak out against the Trade.



Woodman, Richard (1944- )

Drinkwater series:

  1. An Eye of the Fleet. J. Murray, 1981. 185 pages

    Drinkwater as a midshipman on frigate CYCLOPS at Admiral Rodney's "Moonlight Battle" against the Spanish in 1780 and during the American Revolution. 1780-1783.

  2. A King's Cutter. J. Murray, 1982. 170 pages

    Drinkwater as master's mate and acting lieutenant on cutter KESTREL at the Nore Mutiny and the Battle of Camperdown against the Dutch in the opening phase of the War of the French Revolution. 1792-1798.

  3. A Brig of War. J. Murray, 1983. 233 pages

    Drinkwater as lieutenant on brig HELLEBORE in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean following French invasion of Egypt, 1798-1799.

  4. Bomb Vessel. J. Murray, 1984. 215 pages

    Drinkwater as Commander of bomb ketch VIRAGO at Battle of Copenhagen, 1801.

  5. The Corvette. J. Murray, 1985. 224 pages

    Arctic Treachery in US, Drinkwater as "job captain" -- temporary captain -- on a sloop of war assigned to protect the British whaling fleet, 1801-1802.

  6. 1805. J. Murray, 1985. 209 pages

    Decision at Trafalgar in the US. Drinkwater as Captain of the frigate ANTIGONE brings about the battle of Trafalgar. 1805.

  7. Baltic Mission. J. Murray, 1986. 224 pages

    Drinkwater as captain of frigate ANTIGONE in the Baltic during events surrounding the Treaty of Tilsit spies on a meeting between Napoleon and Alexander, 1806.

  8. In Distant Waters. J. Murray, 1988. 246 pages

    Drinkwater and the new frigate PATRICIAN are sent to the California coast on mission involving diplomatic skullduggery with the Spanish and Russians, 1807- 1808.

  9. A Private Revenge. J. Murray, 1989. 247 pages

    Drinkwater and PATRICIAN in the Far East. Plot revolves around multiple revenges between Drinkwater, Tregembo (Drinkwater's coxswain) and Morris a former navy officer who made Drinkwater's life a misery in books #1 and #3, 1808.

  10. Under False Colours. J. Murray, 1991. 247 pages

    Drinkwater disguised as merchant shipmaster on a secret mission to Denmark, 1809.

  11. The Flying Squadron. J. Murray, 1992. 250 pages

    Drinkwater in Chesapeake Bay in events leading up to War of 1812, 1811.

  12. Beneath the Aurora. J. Murray, 1995. 247 pages

    Drinkwater, now head of the RN's Secret department, goes on secret mission to Scandinavia in 1813. Woodman used the name of his own boat for Drinkwater's frigate

  13. The Shadow of the Eagle. J. Murray, 1997. 260 pages

    With Napoleon about to abdicate, Drinkwater learns of a plot, possibly Russian sponsored, to free Napoleon from the planned prison in the Azores, and take him to America to be the United States's new war leader. Drinkwater sails in the ANDROMEDA to forstall the effort.

  14. Ebb Tide. J. Murray, 1999. 230 pages

    In 1843 Captain Sir Nathaniel Drinkwater, now 81, is on an inspection tour of lighthouses on the west coast of England aboard the paddle-steamer VESTAL when tragedy strikes, and he is suddenly confronted with the spectre of his past. The author uses flashbacks to 1781 and 1815 to tidy up some details of the hero's life.


William Kite Trilogy:

  1. The Guineaman. Severn House, 2000. 260 pages

    When William Kite runs away to sea to escape a charge of muder, he finds himself aboard the Enterprize, a Liverpool Guineaman, or slave ship, destined for the Guinea coast of West Africa. Having loaded the slaves the ship then prepares to cross the Atlantic, bound for the sugar plantations of the West Indies.

  2. The Privateersman. Severn House, 2000. 250 pages

    The Seven Years War is over, and William Kite is now a successful ship-owner in Liverpool. But when deception and tragedy strikes, Kite finds himself back at sea and enmeshed with the beginning of the American Revolution.

  3. The East Indiaman. Severn House, 2001. 295 pages

    The American Revolutionary War is in full swing, with Yankee privateers swarming in British waters. For ship-owners like Captain William Kite of Liverpool, ruin was only a gunshot away. When providence strikes the embattled Kite yet again, he is desperate to restore his fortune and travels to London to tray a final throw of the dice.


James Dunbar series:

  1. Waterfront. Little, Brown, 1995. 315 pages

    Brought up in Edwardian Britain James goes to sea in search of romantic adventure. He falls in love with a waterfront prostitute. A meeting with the Madame of the brothel reveals an event of terrifying brutality and makes him the agent of retribution. These events not only alter his perception of life, but lead him to discover in himself a powerful artistic talent.

  2. Under Sail. Little, Brown, 1998. 374 pages

    The sea is James Dunbar's vocation but also it is his destiny. Securing a berth in a sailing ship bound for Australia he strives to build the character essential for a successful career. With the outbreak of the First World War comes a desperate confrontation amid the wilds of the South Atlantic Ocean but Dunbar's sense of purpose remains undimmed.


Voyage East : a cargo ship in the 1960s. Murray, 1988. 220 pages

Not strictly speaking a work of fiction, it is more a fictionalised account of a voyage to the Far East and back in a Blue Funnel cargo liner in the early sixties. It is based on a number of voyages that the author made as a junior officer on these vessels. It is a vivid representation of the last days of the cargo liner - containers were just making their first appearance. Reprinted as The Antigone and Blue Funnel: Voyage East.


The Darkening Sea. Macdonald, 1991. 352 pages

Account of Martin family -- a British seafaring family from WW I to the 1980s. Action during both peacetime and wartime.


Endangered Species. Little, Brown, 1992. 323 pages

The MATTHEW FLINDERS, an old out-dated cargo liner is bound for the breakers yard, with her captain heading for retirement. They symbolize the irreversible, quiet decline of the British Merchant Navy. The MATTHEW FLINDERS steams into a hurricane, and the crew of the MATTHEW FLINDERS are fighting for their lives. The title refers to both the ships and men of the British Merchant Navy. Who are a dying breed - there are fewer and fewer of them, and those that are left are sailing on ships with flags of convience flying at the back end. Look for a Lieutenant Drinkwater in a small role.


Wager. Murray, 1990. 272 pages

Tea clippers race from China to England without rules.


Act of Terror. Severn House, 1996. 313 pages

As the luxury cruise liner Adventurer sails from a United States port, a world-wide spate of terrorist bombings breaks out. It soon becomes apparent that the liner and the bombings are linked, and that its passengers are in great danger.


Captain of the Caryatid. Severn House, 1997. 216 pages

Captain Septimus Macready, commander of the lighthouse tender Caryatid finds his tranquility disturbed when ambitious Harbour Master, James St. John Stanier comes to town.


The Cruise of the Commissioner. Severn House, 1998. 218 pages

Captain James St. John Stainer, formerly Porth Ardr's ambitious Harbor Master, has been elected a Commissioner of Celtic Lighthouses. And from this elevated position he is determined to get even with Septimus Macready, captain of the lighthouse tender, Caryatid. As tension builds and old loyalties are put to the test, both sides anticipate stormy seas ahead.


The disastrous voyage of the Santa Margarita. Severn House, 2008. 267 pages

Don Iago Fernandez barely survives a shipwreck that leaves him a prisoner in a remote area of China. Eventually, he escapes to the Philippines and negotiates passage on the Santa Margarita, a New Spain-bound ship carrying 300 passengers, among them soldiers, priests, prostitutes, merchants, and seamen. As a seafarer with years of experience, Don Iago knows the ship is overcrowded and overloaded, so he's prepared for problems, but even he can't predict the 40 typhoons and hurricanes that will batter the boat and force it to spend more than six months covering less than a quarter of its intended journey.


Kit Faulkner series:

  1. A Ship for the King. Severn House, 2011. 218 pages

    Kit Faulkner is a young vagrant orphan, but his life changes forever when two gentlemen spot his potential and he is taken aboard their merchant ship, the Swallow, to be trained for a life at sea. As he rises through the ranks, he risks all in encounters with pirates and French corsairs. Meanwhile, England edges ever closer to civil war, and very soon Kit must chose which side he will fight for.

  2. For King of Commonwealth. Severn House, 2012. 224 pages

    England has been torn asunder by a civil war that has pitted Parliamentarians against Royalists. Captain Kit Faulkner, bound to the Royalist cause, has been living in exile for the past four years. Faulkner must now support himself with the tiny rump of the Royal Navy that remains loyal. But his loyalties are torn, partly by the desire of his old patron, Sir Henry Mainwaring, who wishes to return home, and partly by the predatory nature of Prince Charles, who has his eyes on the beautiful Katherine Villiers.

  3. The King's Chameleon. Severn House, 2013. 272 pages

    Captain Kit Faulkner's house is prospering; his eldest son, Nathaniel, has recently returned from a profitable trip to Jamaica in the good ship Faithful, and his daughter, Hannah, has made a suitable match with a young sailor. But the resignation of the Lord Protector, Richard Cromwell, throws England into uncertainty. Will the republic flourish, or will a King return to the throne? Kit is content to let matters take their natural course, but his younger son, Henry, is an idealist with political ambitions. It soon becomes clear that Henry is in much deeper than Kit first realised, and Henry's actions may threaten everything that Kit holds dear.



Woodrooffe, Cdr. Thomas (1899-1978)

Naval Odyssey. J. Cape, 1936. 287 pages

Toby Warren, in the fictitious British cruiser HMS CASSIOPEIA, participates in the events in Turkey during the 1920s, and the Royal Navy's involvement in the crises there.


River of Golden Sand. Faber & Faber, 1936. 325 pages

Toby Warren, a young lieutenant in HMS BEETLE, a Yangtze gunboat, paints a lively picture of Navy ways and days in China at a very interesting period.


Best Stories of the Sea. Faber & Faber, 1945. 415 pages

Contents: Shalimar / Easting down -- Conrad, Joseph / The brute -- Hyne, Cutcliffe / Fortunes adrift -- Martyr, Weston / An abolition of armaments -- Henry, O / The admiral -- Lubbock, Basil / China clippers -- Hanley, James / Jacob (from Half an eye: sea stories)--Roberts, Morley / The overcrowded iceberg -- Jacobs, W.W / The lady of the barge -- Shaw, F.H / Tramp odyssey -- Jones, Philip / A sea fight at Pantalarea (from Hakluyt)-- Roberts, Morley / Jack-all-alone -- Teonge, Henry / Adventures of a naval chaplain -- Kipling, Rudyard / The ship that found herself -- Scott, David / "E l'Egitto!"--Scott, David / The Egypt's gold -- "Sea-Wrack." The net -- Woodrooffe, T / Bligh's open-boat voyage (after Barrow)--Melville, H / The death of the white whale -- Tomlinson, H.M / The sinking of the Titanic -- Bradford, William / Sailing of the Pilgrim fathers -- "Bartimeus." Sea brooms -- Ommanney, F.D / North Cape -- Bullen, F.T / The cruise of the Cachalot.



Woods, Stuart (1938- )

Blue Water, Green Skipper. Norton, 1977. 190 pages

Young man inherits a sailing yacht and has to bring it across the Atlantic.


Run Before the Wind. Norton, 1983. 337 pages

A big sailing yacht, political intrigue, and the IRA.


Deep Lie. Signet, 1986. 340 pages

Sifting through reams of seemingly unrelated intelligence, CIA analyst Katherine Rule discovers a chilling pattern: an ultrasecret Baltic submarine base ... a crafty Russian spy-master in command ... a carefully planned invasion about to be launched from dark waters. Her suspicions, however, are dismissed by those higher up; her theory, they say, is too crazy to be true. But to Katherine, it's just crazy enough to succeed - unless she can stop it. If she''s right, an attack sub has already penetrated friendly waters. Worse yet, the enemy has penetrated deep into her own life, so deep she can touch him. And in this game, one wrong touch can mean Armageddon.


White Cargo. Simon and Schuster, 1988. 350 pages

Our hero takes off on a world cruise on a Swan. Picks up a "helpful" college student who turns out to be a hijacker who with friends who show up on another boat, kills the guy and his family (they think). The guy survives and learns to fly to distract himself from his grief. A couple years later he gets a phone call from his (he thought) dead daughter and he realizes it was the female accomplice he saw dead. The rest of the book has him flying to South America and investigating the cocaine trade in the hopes of locating the girl.



Worrall, Jay (1943- )

Charles Edgemont series

  1. Sails on the Horizon : a novel of the Napoleonic Wars. Random House, 2005. 284 pages

    In 1797, at the height of the Napoleonic Wars, a small group of English ships, including the HMS Argonaut, plays a key role in preventing a fleet of twenty-seven Spanish ships from linking up with the French at Brest. Unusual in that the lead character is married to a Quaker.

  2. Any Approaching Enemy : a novel of the Napoleonic Wars. Random House, 2006. 276 pages

    In 1798, Captain Charles Edgemont leads the Louisa and its companion brig Pylades on a voyage across the Mediterranean in a race against time to bring Admiral Horatio Nelson vital information that is needed to stop the French off the coast of Alexandria. Jack Aubrey makes a cameo. Original title: Aboukir Bay.

  3. A Sea Unto Itself : a novel of the Napoleonic Wars. Fireship Press, 2013. 319 pages

    Charles Edgemont, newly appointed Captain of the Frigate Cassandra, 32, is ordered on what he initially considers a fool's errand to the foot of the Red Sea. He finds an under-strength crew on the point of mutiny, and an unresolved murder. Near the entrance to the Red Sea, Charles reports to Admiral Sir John Blankett. Blankett is openly contemptuous of any notion that the French would make any other attempt to invade the subcontinent. Admiral Blankett is wrong.



Wouk, Herman (1915- )

The Caine Mutiny, a novel of World War II. Doubleday, 1951. 494 pages

Officers take over minesweeper from crazed captain during WW II.


Don't Stop the Carnival. Doubleday, 1965. 395 pages

Comic novel about the coming of middle age and the "realities" of living on an island in the sun.


World War Two Duology

  1. Winds of War. Little, Brown, 1971. 885 pages

    The story revolves around a mixture of real and fictional characters, all connected in some way to the extended family of Victor "Pug" Henry, a middle-aged Naval Officer and confidant of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The story begins six months before Germany's invasion of Poland, which launched the European portion of the war, and ends shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, when the United States and, by extension, the Henry family, enters the war as well.<

  2. War and Remembrance. Little, Brown, 1978. 1042 pages

    Continues the story of the extended Henry family and the Jastrow family starting on 15 December 1941 and ending on 6 August 1945.



Wright, William Talboy

Churchill's Gold. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1980. 218 pages

With nothing to lose, falsely accused fugitive Mark Masters agrees to take a wooden barkentine to the South Seas on a search for sunken treasure to bail out the British treasury during WW II.



Wyeth, N. C. (1882-1945) (Editor)

Great Stories of the Sea & Ships. David McKay, 1940. 431 pages

About three dozen short sea stories and excerpts, fiction and factual, by some of the great nautical authors. Illustrated by Peter Hurd.



Wylie, Philip (1902-1971)

The Big Ones Get Away! Farrar & Rinehart, 1940. 271 pages

Crunch and Des fishing tales.


Salt Water Daffy. Farrar & Rinehart, 1941. 299 pages

More Crunch and Des fun.


Fish and Tin Fish; Crunch and Des strike back. Farrar & Rinehart, 1944. 300 pages

Crunch and Des fishing stories.


Crunch and Des; stories of Florida fishing. Rinehart, 1948. 250 pages

Contents: Bait for McGillicudy -- A diet of fish -- Fire on the beach -- The snarling Santa Claus -- Three time winner -- The shipwreck of Crunch and Des -- Fair-caught -- Eve and the sea serpent -- Key jinx.


The Best of Crunch and Des. Rinehart, 1954. 404 pages

Collection of short stories first published in the SATURDAY EVENING POST about the lighthearted adventures of charter fishermen Crunch and Des, fishing out of the Gulf Stream Dock in Miami: Widow Voyage; Hooky Line and Sinker; The Old Crawdad; The Reelistic Viewpoint; The Visiting Fire-eater; Crunch Catches One; Light tackle; Fifty-Four, Forty and Fight; Crazy Over Horse Mackerel; The man Who Had Been Around.


Treasure Cruise, and Other Crunch and Des Stories. Rinehart, 1956. 336 pages

Contents: Treasure cruise -- Danger at Coral Key -- Planedown -- Hurricanearea -- The affair of the ardent Amazon -- Smuggler's cove -- The man who loved a joke.



Wynd, Oswald (1913-1998)

The Forty Days. Collins, 1972. 254 pages

Allied POWs from Singapore suffer a hellish voyage aboard the OSHIMA MARU, bound for Japan in the fall of 1943.