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Nautical Fiction Index

Authors Mas - Mea

Masefield, John (1878-1967)

Salt-Water Ballads. G. Richards, 1902. 122 pages






A Mainsail Haul. Elkin Mathews, 1905. 128 pages

18 nautical short stories from the master, covering this world and the next. Some spooky, some pirates, and a treasure hunt.




A Tarpaulin Muster. E.G. Richards, 1907. 227 pages

24 short stories.





Captain Margaret. G. Richards, 1908. 405 pages

In about 1685 Our hero sails from Salcombe in the West Country to Virginia to pick up primo: some tobbacco trade and secundo: some men with whom to attempt a colonial adventure in Darien. On the way out of Salcombe Margaret picks up his former sweetheart and her villainous husband, knowing the villain to be wanted for forgery. The book deals mainly with the consequences of Margaret's reluctance to tell the lady that her feller is a bad one. The Darien enterprise fails magnificently as one of Margaret's privateer colleagues turns nasty, looking for short term booty on a raid and eventually turning on his leader. Simple enough adventure stuff although the sexual machinations are quite advanced for a work of 1908. "Masefield is at his best with the descriptions of the sea and ships from one who really knew them. The eventual loss of London grime from the grooves of the main-brace falls struck a chord with me." [SA]

Jim Davis. Wells Gardner, Darton & Co, 1911. 242 pages

Novel about British smuggling in the dying days of the Napoleonic Wars as seen from the point of view of a young boy who gets caught up in smugglers' activities. Told first person years after the events related.




The Bird of Dawning : or, The fortune of the sea. Macmillan, 1933. 230 pages

"Cruiser" Tewksbury is a young junior mate in the tea clipper REDGAUNTLET, whose ambitious captain is in a very nervy state from overwork. He also dislikes Cruiser and despises him for having served in steamships. Several days out during the "race" to England, the REDGAUNTLET is run down by another ship and sunk. Cruiser and 5-6 of the crew find themselves in an open boat with scant food and water. A couple of the men are sea lawyers and general no-goods, and things look bad until the boat comes upon the clipper BIRD OF DAWNING mysteriously abandoned in mid-ocean. He attempts to sail her back home to England with his short-handed crew. There's a slight "Boys Own Stories" feel to the novel, but the characterizations are good and the various ships are described most lovingly.


The Taking of the Gry. Macmillan, 1934. 193 pages

During a revolution in the tiny Latin American country of Santa Ana, two foolhardy, desperate try to "kidnap" an ammuntion ship, the GRY, from a harbor held by their enemies. An entertaining yarn by a good storyteller.




Victorious Troy, or The Hurrying Angel. Macmillan, 1935. 308 pages

The square-rigger THE HURRYING ANGEL is tested by a storm in the southern ocean.




The Sea Poems. Heinemann, 1978. 116 pages







Masiel, David

2182 kHz. Random House, 2002. 294 pages

Henry Sein catches a fading distress call--a scientist is trapped alone on a melting ice floe. Assembling a motley rescue team, he heads farther north than he's ever gone, determined to save the scientist. It doesn't take long for his plans to go horribly wrong.





Mason, Arthur (1876-1955)

The Flying Bo’sun : A Mystery of the Sea. Henry Holt, 1920. 224 pages

Recounts the voyage of the Wampa, a schooner that sails from Puget Sound to the Fiji Islands with a load of lumber in December of 1898. The “flying bo’sun” of the title is a snow-white tropical bird whom sailors believe to be the embodiment of the souls of drowned sailors.




The Cook and the Captain Bold. Atlantic Monthly, 1924. 182 pages

Nautical tales.





The Ship that Waited. T. Fisher Unwin, 1926. 283 pages

A cruel clipper ship captain suffers from series of disasters on a voyage and returns to port (and his sweetheart) a wiser and more pious person.





Salt Horse : from fo'c'sle to bridge, the story of an ocean boyhood. J.H. Sears, 1927. 297 pages





Swansea Dan. Cosmopolitan, 1929. 249 pages






Mason, F. van Wyck (1901-1978)

Captain Nemesis. Putnam's, 1931. 295 pages

In 1772, Lieutenant Nathaniel Andrews, a colonial in the Royal Navy, is framed and sentenced to be transported to Australia. He escapes, establishes himself as a pirate, and plans his revenge.




American Revolution series:

  1. Three Harbours. Lippincott, 1938. 694 pages

    Revolutionary War naval action.




  3. Stars on the Sea. Lippincott, 1940. 720 pages

    Early American revolutionary war adventure.





  5. Rivers of Glory. Lippincott, 1942. 572 pages

    Novel about a US Navy spy during Siege of Savannah during the Revolutionary War.





  7. Eagle in the Sky. Lippincott, 1948. 500 pages

    Adventures of three doctors in the American Revolution, with a focus on Peter Burnham, who serves as surgeon on an American privateer.





The Cutlass Empire. Doubleday, 1949. 396 pages

Fictionalized biography of Henry Morgan





Civil War series:

  1. Proud New Flags. Lippincott, 1951. 493 pages

    American Civil War (Confederate) naval adventure. Detailed picture of the efforts of the South to build a navy, efforts which were blocked by bungling self-seekers, incompetent politicians and the struggle for separate commands. Brunton, Scottish shipbuilder, Sam Seymour of the U.S.N. who resigns his commission to serve his native South, his austere elder brother, an engineer, who goes to Richmond to make his contribution,- these three live in the intricate story of the Navy's birth and death.



  3. Blue Hurricane. Lippincott, 1957. 307 pages

    Union Navy in action against the Confederacy on the western rivers -- sequel to Proud New Flags.





  5. Our Valiant Few. Little, Brown, 1956. 436 pages

    The Confederate Navy's attempts to break the blockade of Charleston during the American Civil War using torpedo boats and primitive submarines. Lots of action on shore, but minimal naval action.




  7. Armored Giants: a novel of the Civil War. Little, Brown, 1980. 339 pages

    The battle between the Monitor and Merrimack. This is the 5th novel in his Civil War series; The 4th novel - Trumpets Sound No More - has no maritime action.





Golden Admiral. Doubleday, 1953. 340 pages

Fictionalized adventures of Sir Francis Drake and his defeat of the Spanish Armada.




The Manila Galleon. Little, Brown, 1961. 495 pages

Commodore George Anson, "Father of the Modern Royal Navy," sets out on his epic voyage to capture for England a fabulous Spanish treasure ship - the Manila galleon, "Prize of all the Oceans."




The Sea 'Venture. Doubleday, 1961. 349 pages

Enroute to Jamestown, a group of settlers, including a number of social outcasts, are shipwrecked at Bermuda. Based on a true historical incident.




Harpoon in Eden. Doubleday, 1969. 430 pages

The adventures and exploits of the Paddock family of Nantucket during the great days of sperm whaling in the mid- nineteenth century.




Log Cabin Nobel. Doubleday, 1973. 377 pages

U.K. title: Stand Before Kings. Despite the title log cabins do not feature much in this story of swashbuckling on the high seas in the dying days of the Spanish Main and hopes of salvaging the Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion and her treasure.




Masselink, Ben (1919-2000)

The Danger Islands. Little, Brown, 1964. 177 pages

An ex-GI sailing along near Tahiti falls victim to bad guys in a converted PT boat who steal his boat and papers. He chases them all over the Pacific.





Masters, John (1914-1983)

The Rock. Putnam, 1970. 383 pages

This is the history of the great fortress-rock, Gibraltar and the surrounding seas wrapped up in one epic novel.






Masterton, Graham

Maiden Voyage. Sphere, 1982. 562 pages

The fate of a shipping company depends upon the successful maiden voyage of their new liner ARCADIA, the greatest liner of them all. Flappers, affairs, elegant balls, intrigue and treachery in this 1920s tale.





Mather, Berkeley

The Gold of Malabar. Scribner, 1967. 213 pages

Dealing with a legendary lost treasure of gold ingots dating back to 1941 in the days of Japanese occupation in the East Indies.






Matteson, Stefanie (1946- )

Murder Under the Palms. Berkley Prime Crime, 1997. 245 pages

Former movie star Charlotte Graham has turned sleuthing into a second career. An extended vacation to Florida turns into a trip down memory lane when Charlotte attends a glamorous charity ball inspired by the opulent French passenger ship, Normandie. The ship holds a special place in Charlotte's heart. Not long before it was destroyed by fire, she had enjoyed a tender shipboard romance on the famed luxury liner. The highlight of Charlotte's evening is her reunion with famed band leader and balladeer Eddie Norwood--the man she fell in love with during her 1939 voyage. The evening seems perfect until a world-renowned jewelry designer is found stabbed to death at the party. Charlotte knows that almost any guest could be the murderer. And she is determined to find the killer--before he or she claims another victim.



Matthiessen, Peter (1927-2014)

Raditzer. Viking, 1961. 152 pages

An almost allegorical tale of a restless, artistically minded son of wealth - Charlie Stark - who goes to sea "unable to answer his own questions, and nursing ill-defined resentments" and finds himself irresistibly drawn to Raditzer, a weasel of a man who inspires distaste in everyone including Stark. Eventually, Stark's revulsion turns into responsibility as he see Raditzer as his shadow self.



Far Tortuga. Random House, 1975. 408 pages

The western Caribbean Sea and its sailors depicted by award-winning novelist. An outstanding book.






Maule, Hamilton

Rub-a-Dub-Dub. Crown, 1968. 217 pages

Take McHale's Navy out of uniform and plop them into the Merchant Marines and you'll have the slapstick effect intended. The novel is set aboard a Liberty ship during a ninety day round-trip voyage from New Orleans to New York and across the North Atlantic in convoy to Liverpool.





Maynard, Kenneth ( -1987)

Lamb series:

  1. Lieutenant Lamb. St. Martin's, 1984. 191 pages

    It's 1798. After six years in the Royal Navy, and four months after receiving his lieutenant's commission, Lamb joins HMS STURDY, to serve as junior lieutenant under a whiskey soaked captain and a vicious first officer. In additon, he battles ruthless privateers and the hated French, finding time along the way to sow some wild oats in exotic ports, eventually having a run-in with the mighty French frigate TROMPEUR.



  3. First Lieutenant. St. Martin's, 1985. 214 pages

    Lamb serves as First Lieutenant of the frigate HMS ADROIT in the West Indies.





  5. Lamb In Command. St. Martin's, 1986. 199 pages

    Lamb gains his first command, the mail packet HERON, seeing service in the Caribbean.





  7. Lamb's Mixed Fortunes. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1987. 193 pages

    Deals with the British invasion of Egypt. Lamb's ship, the ADROIT strikes to the French. Maynard died after this book was written, so several cliffhangers are unresolved.





Mays, Victor (1927-2015)

Action Starboard. Houghton Mifflin, 1956. 280 pages

War of 1812 adventure for young readers.




Dead Reckoning. Houghton Mifflin, 1967. 188 pages

A teenager stumbles upon a spy ring, discovers what his father has been doing for the navy, and gets the FBI and Coast Guard to help out.





Meacham, Ellis K.

Percival Merewether series:

Of the Honorable East India Company's Bombay Marine during the Napoleonic Wars. These stories take place within the world of Hornblower. The three books form a coherent whole, with all questions having answers by the end of the third book.

  1. The East Indiaman. Little, Brown, 1968. 337 pages

    Percival Merewether is placed in command of HEIC RAPID, and rescues the Governor Designate of Madras from a pirate, puts down a mutiny of sepoys in Vellore, and maneuvers the Chinese government into allowing HEIC ships to sail from Canton.




  3. On the Company's Service. Little, Brown, 1971. 343 pages

    1806-07, Merewether commands HEICS RAPID, serves as HEIC Commodore.





  5. For King and Company. Little, Brown, 1976. 336 pages

    1807-08, Merewether becomes senior captain of Bombay Marine, commands HEICS PITT.






Meade, Everard

The Dignity of Danger : a novel of the Pacific War. Burning Gate, 1993. 168 pages

Covers both sides of the Japanese kamikaze attacks in Pacific. One minute you're in a Japanese airplane, looking for a target, and the next you're with a gunner aboard ship. Author was with ComAirPac.





Meader, Stephen Warren (1892-1977)

The Black Buccaneer. Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920. 281 pages

While guarding sheep on an island off the coast of Maine, Jeremy is kidnapped by Captain Stede Bonnet and other pirates who had been using the island as a base. Jeremy survives a perilous trip to the West Indies but is very lonesome until the son of a prominent man in the Carolinas is also captured. Together the boys try to escape and return home.



Away to Sea. Harcourt, Brace, 1931. 233 pages

One spring day back in 1821, Jim Slater stole out of his father's farmhouse before daybreak and ran away to Providence to become a sailor. He signed up with the first ship he could find, and it was only when they were six days out at sea that he discovered he was one of the crew of a slave ship bound for Africa for its cargo.



Clear for Action! Harcourt, Brace, 1940. 323 pages

Story of a young man impressed into service on a British warship slightly before the start of the war of 1812.




Shadow in the Pines. Harcourt, Brace, 1942. 281 pages

Nazi spies on the New Jersey shore. Includes an Interesting sequence showing a US Coast Guard station during wartime, and a ship battle in Chesapeake Bay!




The Sea Snake. Harcourt, Brace, 1943. 255 pages

A teenager is abducted aboard a U-boat, escapes, and helps a USAAF bomber crew find and destroy it in the Caribbean.




Whaler 'Round the Horn. Harcourt, Brace, 1950. 244 pages

Life on whaling ship and in Hawaii.




Guns for the Saratoga. Harcourt, Brace, 1955. 207 pages

A young man whose father owns a foundry and make guns for a new warship, the SARATOGA, experiences adventures aboard her as a midshipman.




The Commodore's Cup. Harcourt, Brace, 1958. 192 pages

Sailboat racing in Chesapeake Bay.




The Voyage of the Javelin. Harcourt, Brace, 1959. 189 pages

A young man on sails in a clipper ship from the East coast to San Francisco around the horn during the California gold rush days.




Phantom of the Blockade. Harcourt, Brace & World, 1962. 190 pages

Story of a young man on a blockade runner during the American civil war.




A Blow for Liberty. Harcourt, Brace & World, 1965. 187 pages

Sixteen-year-old Jed Starbuck, a young Nantucketer, had lost his father when their whaler went down in a storm off Cape May, at the southern tip of New Jersey. The orphaned boy had been indentured to a Quaker farmer who treated him with strict fairness. When the Revolutionary War broke out, Jed had a burning ambition to do his part, but what chance did a "bound" boy have to strike a blow for liberty?



The Cape May Packet. Harcourt, Brace & World, 1969. 218 pages

During the War of 1812 a young boy sails with his father on dangerous missions in their boat which has been converted from a pilot and packet boat to a privateer.




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