Biography & Memoirs

Showing 1–24 of 87 results

  • 1797 Nelson’s Year of Destiny


    It was at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent on 14 February 1797, when the Royal Navy won a great victory over the Spanish, that Nelson first came to public fame. Five months later in the attack on Santa Cruz on 22-25 July he suffered a bloody defeat at the hands of the Spanish and lost an arm. These two events, one a success the other a humiliating failure, played a key role in shaping Nelson’s character and style as a leader. Taken together they mark a significant turning point in his life.In this new and provocative work, Colin White has drawn together previously untapped contemporary sources, and recently published Spanish research, into an enthralling narrative account that places the two battles in their strategic and political contexts. He challenges some aspects of the familiar story and offers some answers to questions that have long perplexed historians: when Nelson left the line of battle at Cape St Vincent was he acting contrary to his admiral’s orders? Why did he risk his life so carelessly in the boat action off Cadiz? Why did he order the disastrous second attack at Tenerife? And why did his arm take so long to heal after its amputation?The conclusion is that the traditional British accounts of both battles need careful reassessment and that the time has come to review Nelson’s whole career in the light of the new material that is emerging. More than forty carefully selected illustrations drawn mainly from the Royal Naval Museum collections support the authoritative text, together with a set of six new plans for both battles.

  • A Bridge to the seven seas


    Holland America Line, is amongst the worlds most famous shipping companies. This unique book offers a superb insight into the story of them and gives a colourful picture of 100 years of shipping.

  • A Heritage of wings – An illustrated history of Navy aviation


    Provides a comprehensive history of United States naval aviation, discussing combat operations, technological developments, the use of carriers during World War II, and naval aviations future roles in close air support and in space

  • Action Stations


    Rear Admiral Thursfield records the Royal Navy’s first two-plus years of WWII action and incidents.

  • At Twelve Mr Byng was shot


    The tragic story of Admiral John Byng (1704-57). Known for the loss of Minorca in 1756 at the beginning of the Seven Years’ War. His ships badly needed repair and he was relieved of his command before he could see to his ships or secure the extra forces he required. He was court-martialled and found guilty of failing to ‘do his utmost’ to prevent Minorca falling to the French following the Battle of Minorca (1756). He was sentenced to death and shot by firing squad (Voltaire commented ‘pour encourager les autres’), on 14 March 1757.

  • Battleship – The Loss of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse


    The disaster of the loss of the HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse in the defence of Singapore in December, 1941.

  • Captain of the Queens


    The autobiography of the former Commodore of the Cunard Line. Written in collaboration with Richard Collier. Account of lively and outspoken memories of the former Commodore of the Cunard Line, of his highlights of 50 years at sea.

  • Cochrane – A Life of Admiral The Earl Of Dundonald


    Thomas Cochrane was undoubtedly Anti-Establishment, He had no time for inefficiency and corruption. The Establishment he was against was a die hard Admiralty who blocked the adoption of new ideas and inventions.

  • Devonport built warships since 1860


    In August 1689 the Admiralty raised the possibility of building a dry dock somewhere within the Devonport harbour limits. From its inception, ships were being refitted in the new Dockyard and within twelve months, the first two Devonport Warships built had been launched. Many, many more followed – including some illustrious and historic names HMS ROYAL OAK, HMS WARSPITE and HMS EXETER. The last warship to be launched at Devonport was the frigate HMS SCYLLA, launched in 1968 and completed in 1969. The last large vessel to come off the slip was the Research Vessel Crystal, launched in 1971.

  • Emma – Lady Hamilton


    This detailed biography examines the extraordinary woman who became famous as the lover of Lord Nelson, from her ordinary beginnings in England to her last years in and out of debtor’s prison

  • Emma – The life of Lady Hamilton


    This powerful biography of the colourful and controversial Lady Hamilton is the first to draw on the hitherto unpublished archives of the Bourbon rulers of Naples, where Emma spent the most important years of her life. The court papers of King Ferdinand and Maria Carolina his Queen both complement and add several devastating new perspectives to the conventional picture derived from the well-minded collections of source material on which previous biographers have relied. Here is a very different Emma from the blowsy adventuress who reputedly slept her way from obscurity to become an Ambassador’s wife and the mistress of Nelson

  • Emma Hamilton – Norah Lofts


    Born a poor country girl of immense charm, wit, kindness and ambition, Emma Hamilton becomes the wife of connoisseur and antiquarian Sir William Hamilton, then meets and falls in love with the darling of the British public–the small, brave and unspectacular Horatio Nelson. With extraordinary sensitivity, author Nora Lofts has captured the the changing, volatile, and intriguing character of Emma Hamilton. Loft’s lucid narrative is enhanced by selections from Emma’s letters and many portraits by the talented painters of her time.

  • Experiences of War – The British Sailor


    In the flood of literature on the Second World War at sea. the ‘other ranks’ – seamen, naval airmen, submariners, stokers, writers, sick bay ‘tiffies, supply ratings, ‘sparkers’, ‘bunting tossers’, all the ‘ordinary men who filled the lower deck of the Royal Navy and Merchant Navies.

  • Famous Sea Fighters


    In selecting the representative sea-fighters, the author has tried to choose men of real distinction whose deeds of valour are conspicuous in their nations history and whose achievments, taken in there preper chronological order make a continuous story of naval history.

  • Fleet Battle and Blockade – The French Revolutionary War 1793-1797. Chatham Pictorial Histories.


    Chathams major new series illustrating the great maritime events of the pre-photographic era from contemporary paintings, prints, drawings, charts and plans. Based on the collections of the National Maritime Museum. Covers the whole of the French REvolutionary, Napoleonic and 1812 wars based on contemporary images, a series depicting the reality of warfare under sail in a depth never previously attained.

  • Flotillas – A Hard-Lying story


    Reminiscences of a Naval Office. Inc. much of WWI interest. Life beehind the scenes in the Royal Navy in the early part of the 20th century.

  • Hearts of OAK


    A book about the Royal Navy at work and at play, at home and abroad. Professionalism and humor are the key notes of this book.

  • Heritage of Sea Power


    The Island of Portsea and its Naval Dockyard has played a permanent part in the history of England throughout the ages. This book hopes to remind citizens and friends of Portsmouth of the great heritage of this Naval City.

  • HMS Warrior – Britains First and Last Iron-Hulled Warship


    Launched 29 December, 1860. Ended active service 31 May, 1883. Restored and returned to Portsmouth 16 June,

  • Horatio Nelson – A short Biography


    Captain S W Roskill, the naval historian, calls this in his forword ” the best and fairest short account of the life and character of a man inwhome intrest never fades”

  • Laugh with the Navy Too


    Charming book with over ninety full-page cartoons illustrate the funnier aspects of life in the Royal Navy.

  • Life in Nelsons Navy


    This is a gripping account of how the men of Nelson’s navy lived and fought, written by the author of the ever-popular Ramage sagas. Based on years of research and reading in contemporary sources, it brings alive, in a way that few other books have done, naval shipboard life during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Every aspect is covered: the Navy’s ships and their weapons, the daily routine of officers and men, the harsh discipline and punishments, the Press Gang, the threat of disease and how the Navy sought to combat it, and the ever-present lure of prize money

  • London to the Nore


    The work features the paintings of William Lionel Wyllie, “the most distinguished marine artist of his day.” – National Museum Royal Navy. His work is in the Tate, the Royal Academy, the Imperial War Museum, the National Maritime Museum and many other institutions but Wyllie is perhaps best known for his 42-foot panorama of the Battle of Trafalgar (which was unveiled by King George V) seen by about 100,000 people every year where it still hangs in the Royal Naval Museum within the Historic Dockyard at Portsmouth. The paintings and accompanying text collected here bring to life the busy shipping traffic and bustle of waterside activities along the Thames River from Westminster to ‘the Nore’ at the mouth of the Thames Estuary where the river meets the North Sea.

  • Londons Navy – A story of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve


    At Trafalgar about 22% of the crew of Nelsons Victory we volunteers . In 1945 the RNVR boosted by maby wartime volunteers was providing no less than 88% of officer in the Navy.