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Nautical Fiction Index

Authors Pec - Poe

Peck, William Henry (1830-1882)

The Confederate Flag on the Ocean. A tale of the cruises of the Sumter and Alabama. Van Evrie, Horton & Co., 1868. 96 pages

A strongly biased view of Rebel commerce raiding during the Civil War


Peffer, Randall S.

The Seahawk Trilogy:

  1. Southern Seahawk : a novel of the Civil War at sea. Bleak House, 2008. 318 pages

    The true story of Commander Raphael Semmes' rise to infamy, becoming the Union's "Public Enemy Number One." In June, 1861, Semmes' Confederate cruiser Sumter makes a daring escape through the Federal Blockade of the Mississippi. So begins the commander's career as the Southern Seahawk. With a hand-picked crew of Southern officers and mercenary seamen, Semmes seizes eight enemy ships in four days, a record never surpassed by any other captain of a warship.



  3. Seahawk Hunting : a novel of the Civil War at sea. Bleak House, 2010. 247 pages

    Raphael Semmes abandons his broken raider, the Sumter, which is penned in by the Federals near Gibraltar. In the meantime, he has the Brits build him a new ship in Liverpool. Called the 290, it is the fastest commercial raider designed for its time, and it is waiting for Semmes in the Azores. After taking command of the ship he sets out seizing and burning whalers at the rate of one a day, sails back across the North Atlantic against the gulf stream where he picks off another dozen merchant ships headed to Europe.


  5. Seahawk Burning : a third novel of the Civil War at sea. Tyrus, 2012. 320 pages

    As Raphael Semmes rises to mythic stature, he becomes Lincoln's public enemy number one. Seizing and burning scores of Yankee ships in the Caribbean Sea, the south Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and the South China Sea before heading to France for sanctuary, Semmes heads for final showdown off Cherbourg, when he decides to take the Alabama into battle against the U.S.S. Kearsarge, captained by his old friend John A. Winslow




Peisson, Édouard (1896-1963)

Outward Bound from Liverpool. A.L. Burt, 1934. 248 pages

Translation of Parti de Liverpool. A great luxury ocean-liner tries to smash the trans-Atlantic speed record. Later reprinted as The Liner






Pelham Groom, A. J. [Archie John] (1906-1978)

Temperamental Journey. Jerrolds, 1947. 192 pages






The Devil Fish. Ward, Lock, 1955. 158 pages







Pendexter, Hugh (1875-1940)

The Wife-Ship Woman. Bobbs Merrill, 1925. 338 pages

A girl voyages from France to marry in colonial New Orleans. Lightly humorous with a detailed period setting both the waterfront and at sea





Pérez-Reverte, Arturo (1951- )

Captain Alatriste series:

  1. Captain Alatriste. Alfaguara, 1996. 237 pages

    El capitán Alatriste. In 1623, Diego Alatriste and Italian sword-for-hire Gualterio Malatesta are paid by two mysterious masked characters to kill a pair of unknown English visitors in Madrid as news reaches the city that the Spanish siege of Bergen-op-Zoom has been repelled.




  3. The Purity of Blood. Alfaguara, 1997. 233 pages

    Limpieza de sangre. Madrid, 1623. A woman is found murdered in front of a church. Later, Quevedo seeks help from Alatriste to rescue a girl forced to enter a convent; meanwhile Alatriste's young squire Íñigo Balboa deepens his infatuation with the adolescent maidservant of the Queen, Angélica de Alquézar.




  5. The Sun Over Breda. Alfaguara, 1998. 234 pages

    El sol de Breda. Spanish Netherlands, 1624–1625. Alatriste and Íñigo join the Spanish Army and fight in the war against Dutch rebels, in particular the siege of Breda.




  7. The King's Gold. Alfaguara, 2000. 248 pages

    El oro del Rey. Seville, 1626. After their participation in the Flanders War, Alatriste and Íñigo return to Spain, where they become involved in an affair involving a Spanish treasure fleet ship full of contraband gold newly arrived from the Indies.




  9. The Cavalier in the Yellow Doublet. Alfaguara, 2003. 319 pages

    El caballero del jubón amarillo. Back in Madrid, Alatriste initiates a relationship with the famous actress María de Castro. However, he will encounter a rival for her affections amidst new intrigues at Court.




  11. The Pirates of the Levant. Alfaguara, 2006. 324 pages

    Corsarios de Levante. Alatriste and Íñigo go through different adventures along the Mediterranean coast, fighting Barbary pirates from Southern Spain to Turkey.




  13. The Bridge of the Assassins. Alfaguara, 2011. 327 pages

    El puente de los asesinos. Alatriste and Íñigo get mission to take part in an attempt of coup d'état in Venice to depose the Doge of Venice.




  15. The revenge of Alquézar. Alfaguara, tbd

    La venganza de Alquézar. Planned penultimate novel.






  17. Mission to Paris. Alfaguara, tbd

    Misión en París. Projected final book of the series.






Perkins, Wilder (1921-1999)

Hoare series:

  1. Hoare and the Portsmouth Atrocities. Thomas Dunne, 1998. 217 pages

    A 19th century mystery featuring a whispering detective. He is Bartholomew Hoare of the Royal Navy whose larynx was crushed by a musket ball. The case involves the murder of the captain of a navy ship.




  3. Hoare and the Headless Captains. St. Martin's Minotaur, 2000. 247 pages

    After being struck in the throat by a musket ball, Bartholomew Hoare can't manage more than a whisper, but he finds himself in charge of a ship again, off to investigate the murder of two Navy captains, brothers, whose bodies, or parts of them, were found in the forest.




  5. Hoare and the Matter of Treason. Thomas Dunne, 2001. 215 pages

    A newly married Bartholomew Hoare combs the back streets of London to uncover a conspiracy against the Crown.






Perrault, Ernest G. (1922-2010)

The Twelfth Mile. Doubleday, 1974. 256 pages

Oceangoing tug, North Pacific, storms, salvage, tidal waves.






Perrow, Angeli (1954- )

Captain's Castaway. Down East Books, 1998. 1 volume

Based on the true story of Seaboy, a friendly seafaring dog. When his vessel is wrecked in a storm he crawls ashore on nearby Great Duck Island and is found, barely alive, by Sarah, the lighthouse-keeper's daughter. Two years pass, and the dog settles in happily with his new family. Then, a ship's captain arrives, home from distant seas. It is Seaboy's owner, delighted to find his old friend. A grief-stricken Sarah must reconcile herself to the loss of a loyal companion, but in the end the castaway himself decides where he really belongs.




Perry, David C.

Not Self but Country Series

  1. First to Fight: The Marines go to Sea. self, 2017. 237 pages






  3. Not Self but Country: A New Nation Forges a New Navy [revised edition]. self, 2015. 258 pages






  5. The Crucible of Tradition: a Sea of Heroes and Traitors. self, 2015. 292 pages






  7. Quaker Privateer: Christopher Raymond Perry goes to war. self, 2019. 317 pages






  9. Kingstown Rebel. self, 2020. 244 pages







Edward and the Canvas Python. self, 2018. 68 pages







Pesci, David

Amistad : the thunder of freedom. Marlowe, 1997. 292 pages

Historical fiction based on the case of the Spanish coastal schooner AMISTAD ("friendship" in Spanish) which was carrying illegally-taken Africans from Havana to Puerto Principe when the slaves on board rebelled and took control of the ship, killing all but three of their captors. The Africans sailed eastward toward home during the day, but at night the Spaniards - the only ones on board who new any type of celestial navigation-sailed northward. AMISTAD eventually ended up off the coast of New York, where she was picked up by an American warship and taken to Connecticut. The subsequent salvage trial became a battle between abolitionists who wanted the Africans freed and returned to their homeland and the survivors of the AMISTAD's crew who wanted their ship and "cargo" returned. Steven Spielberg's movie is based on the same events.


Peterson, Charles J. [Jacobs] (1819-1887)

Cruising in the Last War. T.B. Peterson, 1850. 2 volumes


Peyton, K. M. [Pseud. Kathleen Wendy Herald Peyton] (1929- )

North to Adventure. Collins, 1959. 192 pages

Boy accompanies his uncle on an Arctic expedition seeking a lost ship off the Greenland coast and uranium deposits in Greenland. During the course of this post-WW II adventure, they encounter pirates and find a lost treasure of gold. Treasure Island meets Sgt. Preston of the Yukon.




Windfall. Oxford University Press, 1962. 201 pages

US title: Sea Fever. Sixteen year old boy becomes the sole breadwinner for his family after his father dies in a fishing accident, and the family's savings disappear overboard with dad. Through hard work, luck, and the newfangled sport of yatch racing he is able to redeem his family's finances, and defeat the individual who stole the family's fortune. Set in coastal England in the mid to late 1800s. A fun read.




Pfarrer, Donald (1934-2022)

Cold River. St. Martin's, 1962. 281 pages

The sinking of a tug has tragic effects on the officers of the destroyer which rammed her.






Phelps, Elizabeth [Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward] (1844-1911)

Jack the Fisherman. Houghton Mifflin, 1887. 59 pages

An alcoholic fisherman tries to rise above his lot in life






Phillips, Roland Ashford (1884-1969)

Golden Isle: an Adventure Story. Chelsea House, 1925. 249 pages

Featuring a yacht which converts into a submarine, and which carries its owners to a Caribbean Island at the heart of which a Lost World is discovered






Pickering, Edgar

In Press-gang Days. Blackie & Son, 1893. 288 pages

Press gang abducts young gentleman in time for the Nore Mutiny and the Battle of the Nile.





An old-time yarn : wherein is set forth divers desperate mischances which befell Anthony Ingram of Plymouth and his shipmates who adventured to the West Indies and Mexico with John Hawkins and Francis Drake in the year of our Lord one thousand five hundred and sixty-seven. Blackie & Son, 1893. 288 pages





The Adventures of David Oliphant. Frederick Warne, 1904. 335 pages

A book for boys.





The Cruise of the "Angel". Frederick Warne, 1907. 315 pages

A tale of adventure with "The Beggars of the sea".






Pilat, Oliver [Ramsay] (1903-1987)

Sea-Mary. C. Scribner's Sons, 1936. 318 pages

A cook brings aboard his wife - the one women among rough men - on sailing vessel bound for Africa with a cargo of lumber. The result is mutiny and murder





The Mate Takes Her Home. C. Scribner's Sons, 1939. 349 pages

A first mate ships aboard a small boat captained by a syphilitic-dipsomaniac, whose wife and little boy are on board. A bullied and tortured crew and the captain's murder of his own child, finally ends in a mutiny which the mate checks, bringing the boat into safe harbor






Pilkington, Roger (1915-2003)

I Sailed on the Mayflower : a Boy's Discovery of the New World. St. Martin's, 1966. 216 pages

Revised edition (1990) subtitled The true story of a Pilgrim youngster






Pilpel, Robert H. (1943- )

To the Honour of the Fleet. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1979. 459 pages

Two men, one rich & cynical, the other guileless and honourable, are involved in the dramatic events leading up to the greatest sea battle in history: Jutland, 1916.






Plagemann, Bentz (1914-1991)

All For the Best. Simon and Schuster, 1946. 226 pages

First person account of a doctor on a US Navy ship.




The Steel Cocoon. Viking, 1958. 246 pages

Life aboard the WW II destroyer AJAX whose routine is flawed by an officer-enlisted man gulf, autocratic actions, fatal accidents, and men going "Asiatic," even psychotic.






Poe, Edgar Allan (1809-1849)

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, ca. 1840.

Mutiny and murder.

A Descent into the Maelström. Graham's Magazine, May 1841.

Short story: A Norwegian fisherman relates how he got caught in the notorious whirlpool and survived. Collected in Prose Tales (1843).








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