Skip to Main Content

Nautical Fiction Index

Authors N - Ni

Names, Larry D.

Ironclads: Man-of-War. Avon, 1995. 374 pages

Events leading up to the siege of Ft. Sumter at the beginning of the Civil War. Focuses on the effort of a pacifist northern woman who is part of a shipping firm to head off the war, while various Sothrons -- including Rafael Semmes, and an oversexed southern belle -- attempt to spy out Union attempts to reinforce Sumter. Despite the title, ends before any ironclads appear.




Nash, N. Richard

East Wind, Rain. Atheneum, 1977. 371 pages

It is November 1941. A Navy Lieutenant in the intelligence section at Pearl Harbor is castrated, then dies under mysterious circumstances. Was this due to his liaison with the wife of an Issei or did he come too close to a secret that the IJN was trying to protect? His brother-in-law, another naval officer, seeks the answer only to be obstructed by his rabidly anti-Japanese commanding officer.




Nason, Leonard H. (1895-1970)

The Incomplete Mariner. Doubleday, Doran, 1929. 315 pages

Collection of three short maritime novels: The title story, Hunger, & Narrow Waters.






National Maritime Museum, London

Sea Stories. National Maritime Museum, 2007. 313 pages

Original anthology. Contents: The shoals / Sam Llewellyn -- Devonia / Desmond Barry -- The doldrums / John Williams -- Getting there is half the fun / James Scudamore -- The King's Daughter of Norroway / Margaret Elphinstone -- Omar's island / Robert Minhinnick -- Fresh water / Chris Cleave -- Bathyspheres / Niall Griffiths -- In time: a correspondence / Erica Wagner -- Something rich and strange / Charles Lambert -- The island / Roger Hubank -- The convalescent's handbook / Evie Wyld -- The boy / Tessa Hadley -- The anniversary / Martin Stephen -- A snow goose / Jim Perrin -- The museum of the sea / Nick Parker.



Neale, William Johnson, (1812-1893)

The Flying Dutchman, a Legend of the High Seas. Henry Colburn, 1839. 3 volumes

West Indies in the 1760s. Lt. Ramsay, RN falls in love with Angela, his captain's daughter. The tyrannical captain resolves to accomplish Ramsay's ruin, has him dismissed the service on a trumped up charge, presses him as a common seaman, and maroons him on a desert island. Ramsay's friend, a mysterious corporal of marines, strangles the captain and drops the body overboard. The crew mutiny and elect the corporal as their leader. Another ship, carrying Angela, attacks the mutinous frigate, but loses the battle and is abandoned in sinking condition. The waterlogged wreck drifts ashore on Ramsay's island. He revives the dying girl, they marry, and live an idyllic life for a year. Meanwhile the corporal contrives a plan to disguise the frigate as the dreaded Flying Dutchman, so un-nerving their opponents and winning every battle. Eventually the Ramsays are rescued, the mutineers meet their just deserts, and the corporal's true identity is revealed. Contains two excellent court martial episodes (Neale was both a seaman and a lawyer). A brisk, technically accurate, and fast moving novel.

Paul Periwinkle, or the Pressgang. W. Tegg, 1841. 640 pages

Picaresque novel, set in England, Ireland, and Haiti. Hero Paul is tried and convicted for the murder of a man who had disappeared, having been seized by a pressgang. Paul escapes to Ireland, then to the West Indies, surviving many vicissitudes, including piracy and plank-walking and events during revolt in Haiti by blacks led by Toussaint L'Ouverture; all is well in the end, virtuous triumphant, wicked punished ("that is what is meant by fiction" - Oscar Wilde). Eveline is a startlingly forceful heroine for the time: she wields gun and sword in unsuccessful defence of her father's vicarage in Ireland when the peasantry attack, is taken and raped, later escapes and for most of the rest of the novel poses as a man and fights fiercely on sea and land. An extraordinary feature is that the pressed man is left on a storm-beaten shipwreck from page 128 to page 598, reappearing just in time to resolve the plot!

The Port Admiral : A Tale of the War. Cochrane and M'Crone, 1833. 3 volumes

Gentleman Jack : A Naval Story. J. Cochrane, 1837. 640 pages

The Naval Surgeon. J. Cochrane, 1841. 3 volumes

The Captain's Wife. T. and W. Boone, 1841. 3 volumes

The Pride of the Mess: A Naval Novel of the Crimean War. George Routledge and Sons, 1855. 268 pages

Will Watch : from the auto-biography of a British officer. J. Cochrane, 1834. 3 volumes

Cavendish: or, The Patrician at Sea. H. Colburn & R. Bentley, 1831. 3 volumes



Needle, Jan (James Albert) (1943- )

William Bentley series:

  1. A Fine Boy for Killing. HarperCollins, 1996. 371 pages

    Set in the Royal Navy in the era of the Napoleonic Wars. A dark, grim story of a brutal frigate captain, pressed crew members, and a young midshipman, the captain's nephew, who is torn in his loyalties. The ship is sailing alone once manned, so no fleet actions are involved, and no major historical events impinge on the story. This 1997 printing has an author's note that it is his unabridged original, considerably different from the previously published 1979 version (Andre Deutsch).



  3. The Wicked Trade. HarperCollins, 1998. 378 pages

    William Bentley, of the press ship BITER faces murder, corruption and poor dental health while doing the Royal Navy's dirty work at Deptford. "...The reader is up to his knees in the viscous ooze of Deptford Creek where mouldering timber hulks and mouldier specimens of humanity are engaged on His Majesty's Service, which includes duplicity, murder, the wholesale removal of young women's teeth and beating the lights out of any scrofulous wreck capable of being bullied out onto a yardarm.... Seamen are pirates, killers and thugs, all grinning toothlessly - I hate to think what dentists must have done to the author in the past. It's fly-on-the-wall, warts-and-all, fast-and-furious stuff, in which Bentley's life, like that of his more rarified ancestor Hornblower, reflects as much the time in which he has been written as the time in which he sails; the privileged are stripped bare, institutions are corrupt and money is god. But let's hear it for Deptford: its literary moment has come."


  5. The Spithead Nymph. McBooks, 2004. 287 pages

    Midshipman William Bentley awaits trial on charges of treason - until he is offered the chance to avoid prison by serving as first lieutenant to Richard Kaye, now captain of Will's old ship Biter. Will accepts and begins a harrowing journey to Jamaica, unaware that the woman he loves has been sold as an indentured servant to a depraved Jamaican planter. The brutality of Will's shipboard companions further hardens him to navy life, but nothing can prepare him for the inhumanity that fuels the slave trade.



  7. Undertaker's Wind. Broadside Press, 2006. 337 pages

    With the Biter sunk beneath the Caribbean waves, along with Captain "Slack Dickie" Kaye's corrupted dream of riches, Will Bentley is forced inexorably deeper into the brutal and rapacious world of Jamaican politics. Although he brilliantly cuts out a mysterious French brig from a secret bay, his hopes of recovering his lost honour with a triumphant return to Port Royal are blighted by the news that Deb Tomelty, his beloved "Spithead Nymph," has been held responsible for the death of a leading planter - and that William must help to hunt her to her death!




Neilson, Eric

Haakon the Dark series:

  1. The Golden Ax. Bantam, 1984. 210 pages

    Lusty, death-defying adventurer Haakon the Dark has been chosen by his gods as their avenging arm on earth. The Golden Axe is a marvelous and terrible weapon with supernatural powers that the gods have entrusted to Haakon, but is the axe truly a gift or is it a curse of evil? Only time will tell. In this series opener Haakon and his band battle against overwhelming odds as they try to save the fair Rosamund, Haakon's lady love.



  3. The Viking's Revenge. Bantam, 1984. 213 pages

    Only one mortal man has the power and wisdom to spare civilization when a treacherous deed brings bloody death to armies senseless slaughter to cities -- our hero of course. Leading the greatest army of Viking warriors ever assembled, Haakon the Dark instead scours the entire known world to find his Rosamund, in peril again, this time stolen by an evil warrior chief. No doubt civilization and Rosamund are both saved in the end.



  5. Haakon's Iron Hand. Bantam, 1984. 199 pages






  7. The War God. Bantam, 1984. 231 pages







Nelson, C. M. [Cholmondeley Matthew] (1903-1991)

He Went With Nelson. George G. Harrap, 1960. 207 pages

U.S. title: With Nelson at Trafalgar. Part of a series of a historical novels including He Went With Wellington and He Went With Simon Bolivar





Nelson, James L. (1962- )

Revolution at Sea series:

  1. By Force of Arms. Pocket Books, 1996. 324 pages

    Nelson's hero, a smuggler in pre- Revolutionary War days, brings shipments into Long Island Sound and runs afoul of HMS ROSE, a British ship doing customs duty. Nelson also brings up the burning of a customs sloop by Rhode Islanders the year before. HMS ROSE in the novel is the real ancestor to today's "HMS" ROSE, in which the author sailed as third mate.




  3. The Maddest Idea. Pocket Books, 1997. 417 pages

    Captain Biddelcom, our hero from By Force of Arms, in command of the privateer CHARLEMAGNE is given a commission in the Continental Army and sent on a mission to steal gunpowder from the British in the Bahamas. This effort is foiled by a traitor, and Biddlecomb is captured, but he manages to escape, and complete his mission anyway. In the meantime, the aide that arranged the mission is scouring Rhode Island for the traitor.



  5. The Continental Risque. Pocket Books, 1998. 372 pages

    Still suffering the damages of their ill-fated mission to Bermuda, Isaac Biddlecomb and the brig-of-war CHARLEMAGNE are voluteered for service in the newly formed United States Navy. Sailing to Philadelphia with the irritating John Adams as a passenger, Biddlecomb et al are made part of the first American navy and marine corps action to New Providence Island. But trouble is brewing in the gunroom, as his officers find themselves at each other's throats, and below decks as sea-lawyer Amos Hacket tears the crew apart down sectional lines.


  7. Lords of the Ocean. Pocket Books, 1999. 354 pages

    At the height of the American Revolution, Captain Biddlecomb receives orders to smuggle Dr. Benjamin Franklin across the Atlantic and into France.




  9. All the Brave Fellows. Pocket Books, 2000. 395 pages

    Captain Isaac Biddlecomb is sailing along the New Jersey coast with his wife and newborn son aboard, unaware that the entire British fleet stands in his way, along with his enemy Lt. John Smeaton, a man to whom he owes a debt of blood.




  11. The Falmouth Frigate. Mcbooks, 2022. 264 pages

    After managing to slip through a British blockade, Isaac Biddlecomb's crew find themselves trapped in a desolate harbor on the New Jersey coast and menaced not by the British but by the outlaw bands that terrorize the countryside and see Falmouth as a potentially valuable prize.




Confederate Navy series:

  1. Glory in the Name. William Morrow, 2003. 432 pages

    Hard-pressed to abandon the oath he swore to the United States, but unable to fight against his home state, Bowater accepts a commission in the nascent Confederate Navy. Taking charge of the armed tugboat Cape Fear, and then the ironclad Yazoo River, Bowater and his men, against overwhelming odds, engage in the waterborne fight for Southern independence.




  3. Thieves of Mercy. William Morrow, 2005. 480 pages

    Having survived the bloody Battle of New Orleans and the loss of their ironclad Yazoo River, captain Samuel Bowater, engineer Hieronymus Taylor, and the survivors of their crew are given new orders: take command of an ironclad warship being built in Memphis, Tennessee. Bowater and his men make their way upriver, only to find that their ship is not even half built and the enemy is closing fast.




Blood, Steel, and Empire series:

  1. The Buccaneer Coast. ‎ Fore Topsail, 2021. 500 pages







The Only Life That Mattered : the Short and Merry Lives of Anne Bonny, Mary Read, and Calico Jack Rackam. McBooks, 2004. 414 pages

Based on the real-life female pirates of the West Indies, this novel of swashbuckling on the high seas in the eighteenth century finds adventure-seeking Anne Bonny teaming up with Calico Jack Rackham to raise the skull and crossbones over the Caribbean.




The French Prize. Thomas Dunne, 2015. 336 pages

Jack Biddlecomb, son of esteemed naval captain Isaac Biddlecomb, finds himself off to a promising start when he's given command of the merchant vessel Abigail bound from Philadelphia for Barbados. But even before the dock lines are cast off, the voyage begins to look like a stormy one indeed. Jack is saddled with two passengers, one as unpleasant as he is highborn, the other a confidant of the Abigail's owner who cannot help meddling in the running of the ship. What Jack does not know, but soon begins to suspect, is that he is being used as part of a bigger plot, one that will have repercussions on an international scale.




Newbolt, Henry John (1862-1938)

Taken from the Enemy. Rand, McNally, 1893. 240 pages

An attempt to rescue Napoleon from St. Helena. Although published the previous year in the U.K., this is the Authorized edition






Newell, C. M. [Charles Martin] (1821-1909)

Cruise of the Graceful : or, The Robbers of Carraccas. Star Spangled Banner, 1847. 50 pages

Under the pseudonym "Captain Robert Barnacle"

The Voyage of the Fleetwing, a Narrative of Love, Wreck and Whaling Adventures. De Wolfe, Fiske & Co, 1886. 443 pages

Whaling voyage to Hawaii.

The Isle of Palms : adventures while wrecking for gold, encounter with a mad whale, battle with a devil-fish, and capture of a mermaid. De Wolfe, Fiske & Co, 1888. 460 pages

The Wreck of the Greyhound : or, The Romantic Love of the Earl's Daughter. De Wolfe, Fiske & Co, 1889. 446 pages


Nicastro, Nicholas

John Paul Jones series:

  1. The Eighteenth Captain. McBooks, 1999. 312 pages

    An action-filled novel based on John Paul Jones and his naval career, framing the fall-out of the French Revolution.





  3. Between Two Fires. McBooks, 2002. 368 pages







Nicholls, F. F. (Frederick Francis) (1926- )

The Log of the "Sardis". Heinemann, 1962. 192 pages

Damage to the navigation equipment causes problems aboard an America clipper ship.





The Free Traders. Heinemann, 1967. 157 pages

As he recognizes the evils of the free trade--the smuggling of contraband into eighteenth-century England in order to avoid high taxes--an eighteen-year-old boy must decide whether to continue accepting smuggling as a way of life or betray his father, a free trade leader





Nicol, C. W.

Harpoon. Putnam, 1987. 506 pages

Japanese 19th century whaling epic as told from the point of view of two brothers from a Japaneses whaling village -- one who stays in the village pursuing traditional Japanese whaling practices, the second who leave to learn how the Gaijin westerners whale.





Nicole, Christopher (Andrew York) (1930- )

Operation Destruct. Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1969. 230 pages

Assigned to investigate the death of a fellow agent in the wreck of a Russian trawler, British spy Jonathan Anders must outwit the Russians, who want him dead, and the British police, who want him for murder.




Operation Neptune. Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1972. 222 pages

Jonathan Anders is sent on assignment by British Intelligence to locate notes on an invention that will enable man to move about freely underwater.




The Devil's Own. St. Martin's, 1975. 436 pages

Shipping out with Sir Henry Morgan.






Nielsen, Virginia (1909-2000)

The Whistling Winds. David McKay, 1964. 152 pages

Ned Linden, the youngest english seaman on the Blackhorn is left in the care of a chief, the chief's family, and the missionary-doctor in Lahaina, a native Hawaiian village, while his broken rib mends





Niemann, August (1839-1919)

The Coming Conquest of England. G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1904. 384 pages

Translation of Der weltkrieg, Deutsche traüme. Not a brilliant piece of work, and only fifty percent naval, but every bit as important as Erskin Childers Riddle of the Sands as a whistle blower to alert the British public to the dangers of German naval expansion.





Niles, Blair (1880-1959)

East by Day. Farrar, 1941. 330 pages

The slave revolt on the Amistad






Nisbet, W. H.

The Lone Survivor. Jonathan Cape, 1955. 225 pages

Master mariner vs. Nazi U-Boats






Niven, Frederick (1878-1944)

The Island Providence. John Lane, 1910. 310 pages

Historical romance set in Devon during 17th century, under threat by pirates & buccaneers.






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.