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Nautical Fiction Index

Authors Maf - Mar

Maffeo, Steven E.

The Perfect Wreck - Old Ironsides and HMS Java: A Story of 1812. Fireship Press, 2011. 382 pages

HMS Java and the USS Constitution (the famous "Old Ironsides") face off in the War of 1812's most spectacular blue-water frigate action. Their separate stories begin in August 1812-one in England and the other in New England. Then, the tension and suspense rise, week-by-week, as the ships cruise the Atlantic, slowly and inevitably coming together for the final life-and-death climax.




Maitland, Alan (Editor)

Favourite Sea Stories from Seaside Al. Viking, 1996. 322 pages

In this delightful anthology of maritime stories, we meet mermen and maids, Nova Scotia fishermen, and Stevenson's bottle imp. We visit the isle of Inishmoor, the cliffs of Connemara, and the Queen Charlotte Islands. We travel aboard a cargo ship bound for Bombay, feel the ocean spray in our faces,and discover a manuscript in a bottle. The waves (dawn) / Virginia Woolf -- Three villages / Emily Carr -- Coqueville on the spree / Emile Zola -- Port after port, the same baggage / Janette Turner Hospital -- The ocean spray / Malcolm Lowry -- The feeding of the emigrants / Lawrence Houseman -- The waves (early morning) / Virginia Woolf -- The lighthouse of Les Sanguinaires / Alphonse Daudet -- The boat / Jane Urquhart -- The fisherman and his soul / Oscar Wilde -- Far enough island / Lesley Choyce -- On the sea / Ivan Turgenev -- The waves (early afternoon) / Virginia Woolf -- Ebb tide / L. Rossiter -- The wreck / Guy de Maupassant -- The Aran Islands: fist visit / J.M. Synge -- The deep waters / E. Pauline Johnson -- The waves (dusk) / Virginia Woolf -- The little mermaid / Hans Christian Andersen -- The bottle imp / Robert Lous Stevenson -- Soaked in seaweed / Stephen Leacock.



Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Joseph Percival W.) (1908-1980)

Extraordinary Seaman. Macgibbon & Kee, 1957. 179 pages

This fictionalised account of the life and career of Captain Lord Cochrane, tenth Earl of Dundonald, is divided into ten chapters and covers the SPEEDY and the EL GAMO sea fight to his service against Spain in the Chilean and Peruvian Wars of Independence.




Very Ordinary Seaman. Gollancz, 1944. 278 pages

Written during WW II; vividly describes in fictionalised style the life on the lower deck, from joining the Royal Navy and through to service aboard a destroyer on Murmansk convoy protection duties. One of the best books of its genre.





Mandel, Paul (1929-1965)

Mainside. Random House, 1962. 373 pages

A closeted Navy officer has his comfortable existence overturned when he is arbitrarily ordered to find out why a socially prominent aviator killed himself.




The Black Ship. Random House, 1968. 371 pages

US PT boat stalks German destroyer run by the SS in the English Channel during WW II. Paul Mandel's unfinished manuscript was completed by his wife Sheila.






Mangione, Jerre Gerlando (1909-1998)

The Ship and the Flame. Current Books, 1948. 311 pages

A novel about some refugees, mostly political, who escape from Europe at the beginning of the Second World War. They are stopped by a U-boat, which arrests several but one, Joseph Renner, prefers to commit suicide. When the ship lands in Mexico, their visas are found to be fraudulent and they are denied entry. Stiano Argento, a liberal professor, more actively anti-fascist since Renner's death, attempts to raise money for the bond which will enable them to land, but fails. None seem to realize the seriousness of their plight as the Captain, a Nazi sympathizer, decides to go to Casablanca where they will face death or imprisonment.



Mann, Paul

The Britannia Contract. Carroll & Graf, 1993. 443 pages

Arabs hijack the royal yacht BRITANNIA with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip aboard during a royal visit to Saudi Arabia. The ransom demands are outrageous, so special forces attempt a spectacular rescue.





Manning, Charles

48 South. Inner Circle, 1990. 285 pages

Seven ex-Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm officers are recruited, with the British Governments approval, by Argentina to help train the Special Air Attack Group. The Group is a top secret project conceived as a means to eliminate the British Navy when it arrives in the South Atlantic in response to the Argentines proposed invasion of the Falkland Islands. In this innovative story, the Group, which incidentally has a significant proportion of women pilots, will use large numbers of locally produced, deadly, but low tech Corsair fighter-bombers to swamp the fleets defence systems. Once they have eliminated the small number of very high tech Harriers that make up the Royal Navy's air defence they would use the same tactics to destroy enough warships to force the British to relinquish their claim to the Islands. Interestingly different!



Margerison, John Strong (1887-1925)

The Navy's Way. Duckworth, 1916. 187 pages

Action! : Stories from the Modern Navy. Hodder & Stoughton, 1917. 288 pages

Turret and Torpedo : Tales of the Navy Trade. C. Arthur Pearson, 1917. 120 pages

Periscope and Propeller : More Tales of the Navy Trade. C. Arthur Pearson, 1917. 118 pages

Destroyer Trilogy:

  1. Destroyer Doings. C. Arthur Pearson, 1918. 114 pages

  2. The Hungry Hundred (Royal Navy Reserve). C. Arthur Pearson, 1918. 189 pages

  3. Hunters of the U-Boat. C. Arthur Pearson, 1918. 108 pages

Petrol Patrols. Hodder & Stoughton, 1918. 250 pages

Torpedo Versus Gun: The Story of a Nevy Bet. C. Arthur Pearson, 1919. 115 pages

Midshipman Rex Carew, V.C. T. Nelson & Sons, 1919. 346 pages


Marmur, Jacland (1901-1970)

Ecola! Doubleday, Doran, 1928. 260 pages






Wind Driven. Eveleigh Nash & Grayson, 1930. 282 pages

Sailors become entangled in a South American revolution.





The Sea and the Shore. Henry Holt, 1941. 328 pages

Life and marriage of a boy who grows to manhood as a seaman





Sea Duty and Other Stories of Naval Action. Henry Holt, 1944. 168 pages

Band of brothers -- The skipper's flag -- Fisherman's luck -- The admiral's deck -- Dutch treat -- The star of Sarunagi -- Double play -- Sea duty -- Problem at sea -- The duel -- Oh, Susanna! -- The seed of greatness -- Victory at Jutland.




Andromeda. Henry Holt, 1947. 279 pages

This is the story of the gunless cargo steamer, Andromeda, her Captain and crew of old timers who survived the last war and reminisce back to it, the hopeless crossing she is to make from Singapore to Frisco after war has been declared. They carry two passengers, Nancy Paget, who is young, lovely, arrogant, and Alexander Bane, an older man; and to Nancy the war first becomes a reality when the quartermaster is shot from the mast. She falls in love with John Flemming, the chief mate, and admits her involvement only when the Andromeda is spotted by a submarine, and her sinking seems a surety, though Bane, Japanese agent, attempts to save the ship and his own life.


The Ransom of Peter Drake. Saturday Evening Post, January 3, 1948

Short story. The story about a radio operator who panicked and did not get a distress call out when his ship sank, causing the crew to spend weeks in a lifeboat before being rescued. He signs on another ship as an ordinary seaman. Well you guessed it, the ship starts sinking and he has a chance to redeem himself.




The Edge of Chaos. Hale, 1969. 258 pages








Marryat, Frederick (1792-1848)

The Naval Officer: or Scenes and Adventures in the Life of Frank Mildmay. Henry Colburn, 1829. 3 volumes

Marryat's first novel. A delightful read. The adventures of Frank Mildmay during his service in the Royal Navy during the late Napoleonic Wars. Many of the incidents were based on Marryat's experiences during his early service, so the novel was often confused with an autobiography. However, to create a more interesting tale, Marryat made Mildmay a rake, with the disconcerting -- for Marryat -- result that everyone assumed that everything attributed to Mildmay was really the good captain's character. Created the Hornblower-Aubrey mold so often copied.

The King's Own. H. Colburn and R. Bentley, 1830. 3 volumes

The hero, not knowing himself to be the grandson of a noble admiral, rises in the navy through his own abilities, but is murdered when on the brink of coming into his own. Has many stirring sea episodes, based on Marryat's wide experience.

Newton Foster; or The Merchant Service. J. Cochrane, 1832. 3 volumes

Master of a coastal brig, pressed, against the rules, into the Royal Navy, our hero ends up in an East Indaman and goes into action with the Bombay Marine, rising to the command of an Indiaman, he rescues a noble French family, and marries their daughter.

Peter Simple. Allen & Ticknor, 1833. 154 pages

Peter Simple, fool younger son of a younger son is packed off to the Navy, where his mentor, the Corkman O'Brien, Master's Mate of the DIOMEDE decides that Simple may not be a fool. Based on the exploits of Lord Cochrane when he commanded frigates Marryat served in.

Jacob Faithful; or The Story of a Waterman. Saunders and Otley, 1834. 3 volumes

Faithful spends his first decade on his father's Thames lighter and only steps foot on shore when his mother spontaneously combusts and his father drowns after leaping from the cabin in panic at the sight. That's a brave enough start to a life and a novel. And there's more. The mother, penniless in life, drew crowds as a pile of ashes and was eventually bought by a surgeon. Proceeds from show and sale set our man up with a 47 pounds for a good start in life. With such a start, and despite opportunities for education and clerking, Faithful continues on the river, apprenticed first to a bargeman and then a wherryman. Finally, over three quarters of the way through the book, our man is pressed into the Royal navy. A picaresque account of river life, with plentiful villains and much yarning from those who have seen service in the Navy or the Greenland Fishery and a liberal splattering of nautical metaphor. So if you can accept the doldrum pace of young Tom's laboured puns, you have a fine tale of early 19th century London when the Thames was a bustling thoroughfare.

Japhet in Search of a Father. E.L. Carey and A. Hart, 1835. 2 volumes

The Pacha of Many Tales. Saunders and Otley, 1835. 3 volumes

Mr. Midshipman Easy. Saunders and Otley, 1836. 3 volumes

His best known work. The coming-of-age story of a naive but intelligent and courageous midshipman during the Age of Sail. Easy is said to have been inspired by the adventures of Cochrane when he was a young midshipman.

The Pirate and The Three Cutters. Longmans, 1836. 315 pages

Two short novels, sharing a brisk light-hearted style.
"The Pirate": Twin brothers are separated in infancy. One grows up a member of a pirate gang, the other becomes a naval officer. The pirate brother eschews the pirates' evil ways (as in THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE), the brothers meet, are reconciled, defeat the pirate leader, and find his treasure.
"The Three Cutters": A noble yachtsman foolishly tries to assist a revenue cutter in seizing a smuggler. The gentlemanly smuggler hijacks the yacht, assumes the identity of the yachtsman, lands his cargo, and wins the heart of a fair (and rich) widow who is a guest on the yacht. Must be one of the earliest fictional accounts of yachting.

Snarleyyow; or The Dog Fiend. H. Colburn, 1837. 3 volumes

Smuggling and Jacobites in 1699, " a purely literary sense [his] real masterpiece..." [The Oxford Companion...].

The Phantom Ship. H. Colburn, 1839. 122 pages

The "Flying Dutchman."

Poor Jack. Longmans, 1840. 384 pages

Set in and around the Greenwich naval pensioners' hospital. Contains the oldest recorded lyrics to SPANISH LADIES.

Olla Podrida. Longmans, 1840. 3 volumes

A collection.

Joseph Rushbrook ; or, the Poacher. Longmans, 1841. 3 volumes

Masterman Ready; or, The Wreck of the Pacific. Longmans, 1841. 3 volumes

A tale of shipwreck and castaways for young readers.

Percival Keene. H. Colburn, 1842. 3 volumes

Napoleonic naval warfare.

The Privateersman, or One Hundred Years Ago. Longmans, 1846. 2 volumes




Mars, Alastair (1915-1985)

Arctic Submarine. Elek, 1955. 191 pages






Submarine at Bay. Elek, 1956. 164 pages






Atomic Submarine : a story of tomorrow. Elek, 1957. 192 pages

U.S. title: Fire in Anger.





Submarine Attack. Horwitz, 1959. 175 pages






Mediterranean Wolfpack. Horwitz, 1960. 159 pages






Deep Escape. Horwitz, 1960. 161 pages








Marshall, Darlene

Sea Change. Amber Quill, 2011. 341 pages

American privateer Captain David Fletcher needs a surgeon for his wounded brother. But when he captures a British merchantman in the Caribbean, what he gets is Charley Alcott, an apprentice physician barely old enough to shave. Needs take priority over skill, and Captain Fletcher whisks the prisoner aboard his ship with orders to do his best or he'll be walking the plank. Charley Alcott's medical skills are being put to the test in a life--or--death situation--Charley's life as well as the patient's. Even if Charley can save the captain's brother, there will still be hell to pay, and maybe a plank to walk, when Captain Fletcher learns Charley is really Charlotte Alcott.


Castaway Dreams. Amber Quill, 2012. 342 pages

After a lifetime in the Royal Navy, surgeon Alexander Murray knows one cannot exist without a brain, yet Daphne Farnham may be the exception. Her head contains nothing but rainbows, shoes, bonnets, pink frills and butterflies. Even her fluffy dog is useless. But the war with Napoleon is finally over and Alexander is sure he can put up with the cloth- headed Miss Farnham only for a couple of months until they reach England. But when their ship goes down, the dour doctor (after a fashion), the dizzy damsel (more or less) and the darling (and potentially delicious) doggy are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime as unlikely companions, castaway on a desert island.




Marshall, Edison (1894-1967)

The Great Smith. Farrar & Rinehart, 1943. 438 pages

Fictionalized biography of Captain John Smith





Yankee Pasha : The adventures of Jason Starbuck. Farrar, Straus, 1947. 439 pages

A doughty Adirondack frontiersman of the 1790s who loses his family in a Indian raid, finds a great love while working the coastal fisheries of New England, and pursues her across the Atlantic and most of the known world. Swashbuckling adventure on land and sea, with much of it laid among the Barbary corsairs where Starbuck more or less goes native. Probably the only historical novel ever to include both a ship duel in the Bight of Benin and scenes at the court of the Cham of Tartary.



The Viking. Farrar, Straus & Young, 1951. 380 pages

The sea is secondary - maybe tertiary - to this story of a young viking's rise to power. The movie of the same name with Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis was loosely based on this excellent novel.




American Captain. Farrar, Straus & Young, 1954. 407 pages

An epic tale, circa early 1800's, of Homer Whitman, Maine seaman, a captain of an American merchantman captured by Barbary pirates, sold into captivity, etc.




West with the Vikings. Doubleday, 1961. 444 pages

Lief Ericson goes exploring, discovers the new world. Written before Viking discovery of America was generally regarded as truth rather than myth.






Martel, Yann (1963- )

Life of Pi. Harcourt, 2001. 401 pages

Pi is alone in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. When they finally reach land, the tiger flees. The authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them the truth. Pi then tells a second story, much more conventional-but is it more true?





Martin, Geroge R. R. (1948- )

Fevre Dream. Poseidon Press, 1982. 350 pages

Vampire novel which takes place on a Mississippi River sidewheeler. Struggling riverboat captain Abner Marsh receives an offer of partnership from a wealthy aristocrat,the hauntingly pale, steely-eyed Joshua York.





Martin, Larry Jay

Rush to Destiny. Bantam, 1992. 390 pages

Biographical novel of Edward F. Beale "naval hero, soldier, adventurer..."






Martin, William (1950- )

Annapolis. Warner, 1996. 685 pages

A Naval family's saga spanning two centuries. They take part in all the major historical events, from fighting Barbary Coast pirates to Confederate raiders, from the Battle of Midway to the Riverine Force in Vietnam.





Martinek, Frank V. (1895-1971)

Commander Don Winslow series:

  1. Don Winslow, USN, in Ceylon With Kwang, celebrated Chinese detective. Rosenow, 1934. 258 pages






  3. Don Winslow USN. Whitman, 1935. 427 pages






  5. Don Winslow of the Navy vs. the Scorpian Gang. Whitman, 1938. 1 volumes






  7. Don Winslow of the U.S. Navy and the Missing Admiral. Whitman, 1938. 32 pages






  9. Don Winslow of the Navy. Grosset & Dunlap, 1940. 214 pages


    The famous adventures of Commander Don Winslow, hero of countless American teenagers during WW II.




  11. Don Winslow Face to Face With the Scorpion. Grosset & Dunlap, 1940. 215 pages






  13. Don Winslow of the Navy and the Great War Plot. Whitman, 1940. 424 pages






  15. Don Winslow Breaks the Spy Net. Grosset & Dunlap, 1941. 211 pages






  17. Don Winslow Saves the Secret Formula. Grosset & Dunlap, 1941. 218 pages






  19. Don Winslow. Navy Intelligence Ace. Whitman, 1942. 1 volume






  21. Don Winslow of the Navy and the Secret Enemy Base. Whitman, 1943. 345 pages






  23. Don Winslow and the Giant Girl Spy. Whitman, 1946. 348 pages






  25. Don Winslow and the Scorpion's Stronghold. Whitman, 1956. 228 pages








Martyr, Weston (1885-1966)

The £200 Millionaire. W. Blackwood, 1931. 307 pages

Idyllic portraits of cruising in Europe before WWII.




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