Skip to Main Content

Nautical Fiction Index

Authors Woodman

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.




  3. 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.




  5. 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.





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

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





  9. 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.




  11. 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.





  13. 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.




  15. 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.




  17. 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.




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

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





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

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





  23. 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




  25. 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.




  27. 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.




  3. 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.




  5. 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.




  3. 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.




The Accident. Severn House, 1995. 217 pages

A simple task to wreck-mark the site of a collision, balloons into to a crisis of arms trafficing and environmental disaster




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.



Wager. Murray, 1990. 272 pages

Tea clippers race from China to England without rules.





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.


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.



Dead Man Talking . Severn House, 2002. 256 pages

Convoy PQ17 is in the Barent's Sea to protect the merchant ships travelling through those waters in 1942. But when the merchant ships are destroyed, and no warships lost, questions are asked.




The Ice Mask. Severn House, 2003. 278 pages

A sailor retuns from solo yachting voyage to the Arctic a changed and broken man.





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.


Beyond Madagascar: A Bold & Consequential Voyage. Sharpe, 2019. 309 pages

The failed colonisation of the island of Madagascar before the English Civil War, results in the first mercantile voyage made by a British ship to China.




A River in Borneo: a tale of the east indies. McBooks, 2021. 240 pages

In the summer of 1964, a Royal Marine patrol uncovers a century old secret in the mangrove swamps bordering a river in Borneo.





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.



  3. 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.



  5. 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.



Tales of the Sea series:

  1. Cold Truth. self published, 2020. 127 pages

    Shortly after the carnage of the First World War, an advertisement in a newspaper, The Courier, sets merchant naval officer Edward Adams on a strange voyage to the Arctic to discover the fate of a lost Swedish polar expedition. But the Alert’s expedition fails to achieve anything - and the details of what happened aboard the vessel remain a mystery for many years. It is only during the worst weeks of the Battle of the Atlantic in 1943, that Adams unwillingly reveals the cold truth to the daughter of his old employer.


  3. The Judgement of his Peers. self published, 2020. 105 pages

    When four old friends, three of whom are retired ship’s captains, meet for a few days’ sailing and reminiscing, one of them, Mitchell, asks ‘did any of you run across Claude Bastable?’ Finding the others know nothing of the man, Mitchell goes on to reveal the terrible story of Bastable’s life, from his birth as the son of a naval hero to the appalling act he had committed and of which he was found guilty, and of what followed afterwards. But, they find themselves asking, was there anything that could explain Bastable’s perfidious conduct that led him to effectively murder a score of people by an act of gross professional misconduct?


  5. An Absence of Imagination: a Tale of the China Coast. self published, 2020. 146 pages

    Captain John Sanford is the Master of the British steamship Da Feng of Hong Kong, plying her trade in the mid-1950s on the China coast. One day, in a port in northern China, he is ordered by a sinister Colonel in the People’s Liberation Army to embark a passenger. The person consigned to his care is ‘An Enemy of the People,’ and in the few days that follow, Captain Sanford’s carefully regulated world collapses round him as he finds his own life is threatened and he is subject to appalling consequences.



  7. Magnetic Anomaly. self published, 2021. 149 pages

    The British vessel, the Weather Guardian, is on a routine voyage in the North Atlantic in winter, collecting meteorological data for the purpose of weather forecasting. But the voyage soon turns out to be far from routine. James Childe, the Third Officer, and the enigmatic Second Officer, Charles Pennington, are called upon to help rescue the crew of the Sunrise Victory.




  9. Unintended Consequences. self published, 2021. 170 pages

    Direct sequel to An Absence of Imagination. Captain John Sanford, the sturdy and determined former master of a British cargo-ship, has spent the last decade imprisoned in Communist China, undergoing a horrific ‘re-education’ after being captured for harboring an ‘Enemy of the People’ onboard. When the opportunity to take charge of a small steamship arises, he jumps at the chance to begin a new chapter in his life. But a sudden and appalling event shatters the new life he has built when an unexpected enemy causes an accident that puts both ship and crew in peril.



  11. The Petrel's Cry. self published, 2023. 135 pages

    A collection of short stories: The Channels -- The Captain’s Tiger -- Captain Butternutt’s Achievement -- A Dish Eaten Cold -- Wellbeck’s Epiphany







If you experience accessibility barriers using this website, please contact 707-654-1090 or . You will receive a reply within two business days. The library is committed to remediate accessibility barriers within this website and will provide accommodations until the barriers are remediated.