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C. S. Forester

CS Forester Admiral Hornblower.Commodore Hornblower

Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies

Admiral Hornblower Omnibus: Flying Colours / The Commodore / Lord Hornblower / Hornblower in the West IndiesAdmiral Hornblower.

Hornblower and the "Hotspur" (Hornblower Series)Admiral Hornblower.
C.S. Forester was the son of a British government official in the Egyptian Ministry of Education. When he was two, his mother returned with Forester and his four siblings to England, where the children were educated. After secondary school at Dulwich College, Forester sought to enter the army, but failed the physical and studied medicine instead. However, he abandoned his studies in 1921 in order to write, using Cecil Scott Forester as his pseudonym. He began by writing biographies of Napoleon and Josephine, but was soon writing such popular novels as PAYMENT DEFERRED (1930), which was made into a film, and THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1935), which became the 1951 film classic directed by John Huston. Forester was also in demand as a screenwriter, and served as a correspondent for the London Times during the Spanish Civil War.

The first in his series of novels about the swashbuckling naval officer Horatio Hornblower, set during the Napoleonic Wars, appeared in 1937; it was a huge success. In all, Forester wrote 10 Horatio Hornblower novels, concluding with the unfinished, posthumous installment in 1967. For the first three books in the series, he was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize--a recognition not only of their page-turning narrative drive but their literary quality. Forester was married twice, and lived in Berkeley, California during his latter years. He described himself as "gray suit, nondescript, with glasses." He was paralyzed after a 1964 stroke and died in 1966.

English Passengers A Novel English Passengers: A NovelEnglish Passengers: A Novel.

Matthew Kneale
Hilarious historical novel: "In 1857 when Captain Illiam Quillian Kewley and his band of rum smugglers from the Isle of Man have most of their illicit goods confiscated by British Customs, they put their ship Sincerity up for charter." The takers are two eccentric Englishmen headed for Tasmania. A Booker Prize Finalist. Guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. One of the funniest books I've ever read!

Daniel Defoe A General History of the Pirates. A General History of the Pyrates
(Dover Maritime)
A General Hystory of the Pyrates.

Daniel Defoe
Defoe is the author of Robinson Crusoe and the tales in this book are wild and outlandish, much like Defoe's life. Full of get-rich quick schemes, bankruptcy, and being pilloried, he did not lack for his own source material. This book was purportedly also published under the name "Captain Johnson."

True History of the Kelly Gang A Novel.

True History of the Kelly Gang: A NovelTrue History of the Kelly Gang.

Peter Carey
The author is considered one of Australia's premier writers and a great story-teller. This award-winning work tells the story of a man considered a notorious criminal retrospectively through letters, but also depicts Ned Kelly as reacting against cruel and unjust treatment of immigrants by Australia's predominantly British system.

The ImmigrantsShips, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.The Immigrants, Howard Fast.

Howard Fast (New York Times Bestseller)
Dan Lavette, the son of an Italian fisherman, battles from the rubble of the San Francisco earthquake to build a fortune in the shipping industry. Rising to success through hard work and a loveless marriage to the daughter of the city's wealthiest family, he risks it all for the exotic beauty of a woman who shares his secret and scandalous passion. From Nob Hill to the harbor, San Francisco comes alive through three immigrant families -- Italian, Irish, and Chinese -- whose intertwining dreams are propelled by the emotional events of America's coming of age.

Great Sea StoriesShips, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.

Joseph Lewis French
The theme of the sea is heroic—epic. Since the first stirrings of the imagination of man the sea has enthralled him; and since the dawn of literature he has chronicled his wanderings upon its vast bosom." Joseph Lewis French collected what he considered the best sea stories of literature into this volume.

The Sea-Wolf and Selected StoriesThe Sea Wolf, Jack London. Jack London The Sea Wolf.

Jack London
The timeless tale of Humphrey Van Weyden pressed into service aboard the seal-hunting Ghost led by the brutal enigmatic captain Wolf Larsen. This volume also includes four of London's acclaimed short stories.This 100th Anniversary Edition presents the timeless tale of Humphrey Van Weyden pressed into service aboard the seal-hunting Ghost led by the brutal enigmatic captain Wolf Larsen. This volume also includes four of London's acclaimed short stories.

Captain Frederick Marryat

Captain Frederick Marryat served in the British Navy. Captain Marryat ranks alongside the greatest, most colorful story tellers with his tale of Peter Simple, who, as the least-brightest of a large family, is sent to sea. His novels provide first-hand detail to life at sea.

The Privateersman Classics of Naval Fiction by Captain Frederick Marryat.

Many of Frederick Marryat's books offered here are reproductions of books published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.

A Selection of Frederick Marryat's BooksCaptainFrederick Marryat.

Marryat was born in London, the son of Joseph Marryat, a "merchant prince" and member of Parliament. After trying to run away to sea several times, he was permitted to enter the Royal Navy in 1806, as a midshipman on board HMS Imperieuse, a frigate commanded by Lord Cochrane. His early years at sea included rescuing a fellow midshipman, frequent battle and a bout with malaria. As lieutenant, Marryat served in the sloop Espiegle and in the Newcastle, and was promoted to commander June 13, 1815, just in time for peace to break out. He then pursued scientific studies, invented a lifeboat (thus earning both a gold medal from the Royal Humane Society and the nickname "Lifeboat"), and produced a famous drawing of Napolean on this deathbed. After an expedition against Burma in 1824, he was promoted to command HMS Tees, 28, and this gave him his post captain rank.

By 1829 he was commanding the frigate HMS Ariadne on a mission to search for shoals around the Madeira and Canary Islands. After this uninspiring exercise, and due to the publication of his first novel, The Naval Officer, he decided to resign his commission in November 1830 and take up writing full time. Regular production soon followed, with his biggest success, Mr Midshipman Easy, coming in 1836. He moved to London in 1839, where he was in the literary circle of Charles Dickens and others. In 1837 when the Rebellion of that year in Lower Canada broke out, he served with the British forces. He was named a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1843 he moved to a small farm at Langham Manor in Norfolk, where he died in 1848. Marryat's novels are characteristic of their time, with the concerns of family connections and social status often overshadowing the naval action, but they are interesting as fictional renditions of the author's 25 years of real-life experience at sea. These novels, much admired by Joseph Conrad and Ernest Hemingway, were among the first sea novels.

The Mammoth Book of Men O' War.Men 'O War. The Mammoth Book of Men 'O War
Stories from the Glory Days of Sail
Mammoth Book of Men 'O War.

Mike Ashley
Eighteen classic sea-faring tales by the best-loved writers of the genre, including Patrick O'Brian, C. S. Forester, Richard Woodman, Herman Melville and Frederick Marryat. It features favourite heroes such as Captain Jack Aubrey, Adam Hardy, Horatio Hornblower and Nathaniel Drinkwater. These tales vividly re-create the age of the glory days of sail, aboard the great ships that sailed for trade, discovery or warfare. They include storms and shipwrecks, the great sea battles. . .

Works by Herman Melville, including Kindle EditionsMelville.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville.Moby-Dick: or, The Whale
(Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
Moby Dick.

Herman MelvilleMoby Dick.

Over a century and a half after its publication Moby-Dick still stands as an indisputable literary classic. It is the story of an eerily compelling madman pursuing an unholy war against a creature as vast and dangerous and unknowable as the sea itself. Moby-Dick is a haunting mesmerizing and important social commentary populated with several of the most unforgettable and enduring characters in literature. Written with wonderfully redemptive humor Moby-Dick is a profound and timeless inquiry into character faith and the nature of perception. This edition includes a foreword by Nathaniel Philbrick author of the phenomenal bestseller In the Heart of the Sea an introduction by Andrew Delbanco and Notes and Explanatory Commentary by Tom Quirk. The enriched eBook format invites readers to go beyond the pages of these beloved works and gain more insight into the life and times of an author and the period in which the book was originally written for a rich reading experience.

Herman Melville.

Herman Melville was born in New York City on August 1, 1819. In 1835 Melville attended the Albany Classical School for a year, then moved to Pittsfield, Massachusetts to work at the farm of his uncle. Melville travelled back to New York and secured a place as cabin boy on a ship bound for Liverpool, England. After various jobs, he set sail on the whaling ship Acushnet in 1841 for the Marquesas Islands (French Polynesia), which formed the foundation for his future novels. Typee and Omoo (1847) are based on Melville's sea-faring adventures and stays in Polynesia and Tahiti. In October 1851, Moby Dick was published and greeted with positive reviews and a growing audience. He died in 1891.

Historical Novels of Ireland by Morgan Llywelyn. Grania: She-King of the Irish SeasGrania, Morgan llywelyn.

Morgan Llywelyn's novels of Ireland are extremely well researched, so much so that a scholarly friend commented on "Druids," by noting that Llywelyn's telling of a specific battle in that book was historically accurate.

To the question, "How do you know that?" he responded, "Because I translated Caesar's writings of that battle from Latin into English." This novel is of a Grania, a female pirate and a legend. Named "Grace O'Malley" by the English; she is portrayed in this book as strong, fierce, intelligent, and entirely human. The link leads to a selection of Llywelyn's works, including Druids, Pride of Lions, Bard, Last Prince of Ireland, Red Branch, etc.

The Honored Dead by Robert N Macomber. The Honored Dead

Robert N. Macomber

Seventh in the award-winning The Honor SeriesGreat novels of the sea..

Lt. Cmdr. Peter Wake, in French Indochina in 1883, meets up with opium warlords, Chinese-Malay pirates, and French gangsters. Perfect for the armchair historian and adventurer. Starred Booklist review compares it to the best historical sea fiction ever written by Patrick O''Brian and C.S. Forester as well as the historical fiction of Bernard Cornwell.

Patrick O'Brien: The Aubrey-Maturin Series

Patrick O'Brian's Navy:
The Illustrated Companion to Jack Aubrey's World
Jack Aubrey's World.Patrick O'Brian.

Non Fiction

Harbors and High Seas Atlas and Geographical Guide to the Complete Aubrey-Maturin Novels of Patrick O'Brian,
Third Edition
John Httendorf
Aubrey-Maturin Noveles, Patrick O'Brian.

A Sea of Words, Third Edition:
A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian

Dean King
Definitions of nautical terms, historical entries describing the people and political events that shaped the period, and detailed explanations of the scientific, medical, and biblical references that appear in the novels.

Life in Nelson's Navy
Patrick O'Brien.

Patrick O'Brien, non-fiction. Richly illustrated book with a concise overview of the historical background to Patrick O'Brian's acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series. A straightforward exploration of what daily life in Nelson's navy was like for everyone from the captain to the rawest recruit. Line drawings and charts illustrate the construction and rigging of the great ships, the types and disposition of the guns, and how they were operated in battle. Contemporary drawings and cartoons illustrate aspects of naval life from the press gang to the scullery.

The Aubrey Maturin series is a sequence of 19 nautical historical novels by Patrick O'Brian, set during the Napoleonic Wars and centering on the friendship between Captain Jack Aubrey of the Royal Navy and his ship's surgeon Stephen Maturin, who is also a physician, natural philosopher, and secret agent.

HMS Surprise.

The ship, the HMS Surprise is featured throughout many of the books.

A replica of the Surprise is at the Maritime Museum in San Diego, California

  1. Master and CommanderPatrick O'Brian.
    Patrick OBrian Master and Commander. Sir Francis Chichester is quoted on the cover: "The best sea-story I have ever read." O'Brien's tales offer experience, wisdom, beauty of language . . . a sense of humor . . . O'Brian is literature. He entertains and informs with stories of the Royal Navy of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. This particular book begins with an illustration of a square-rigger and a key to each of its 21 sails.

  2. Post Captain
  3. H. M. S. Surprise Aubrey       Maturin series.
  4. The Mauritius Command Patrico O'Brian Series.
  5. Desolation Island (1978)Aubrey       Maturin series.
  6. The Fortune of War (1979)Aubrey-Maturin Series.
  7. The Surgeon's Mate (1980)Patrick O'Brien: The Aubrey-Maturin Series.
  8. The Ionian Mission (1981)Patrick O'Brien: The Aubrey-Maturin Series.
  9. Treason's Harbour (1983)Patrick O'Brien: The Aubrey-Maturin Series.
  10. The Far Side of the World (1984)Aubrey       Maturin series.
  11. The Reverse of the Medal (1986)Aubrey       Maturin series.
  12. The Letter of Marque (1988)Aubrey       Maturin series.
  13. The Thirteen-Gun Salute (1989)Patrick O'Brien: The Aubrey-Maturin Series.
  14. The Nutmeg of Consolation Aubrey       Maturin series.
  15. Clarissa Oakes (1992)Aubrey       Maturin series. (The Truelove in the USA) : The fifteenth Aubrey-Maturin novel in which Jack finds himself re-united with the Surprise, but dangerously out of touch with his crew. Aubrey Maturin novels.All the elements that have made Patrick O'Brian's astonishing series one of the most highly praised works in contemporary fiction are here in 'Clarissa Oakes' -- the narrative grip, the impeccable ear for dialogue, the humour and the unsurpassed capacity to create and recreate a rich and true friendship between two men in the late eighteenth-century. Captain Jack Aubrey sails away from the hated Australian prison colonies in his favourite vessel the Surprise, pondering on middle age and sexual frustration. He soon becomes aware that he is out of touch with the mood of his ship: to his astonishment he finds that in spite of a lifetime's experience he does not know what the foremost hands or even his own officers are thinking. They know, as he does not, that the Surprise has a stranger aboard: and what they, for their part, do not know is that the stranger is potentially as dangerous as a light in the powder magazine itself.
  16. The Wine-Dark Sea Aubrey       Maturin series.
  17. The Commodore (1995)Aubrey       Maturin series.
  18. The Yellow AdmiralAubrey       Maturin series.
  19. The Hundred Days Aubrey-Maturin series.
  20. Blue at the Mizzen (1999)Aubrey-Maturin series.
  21. 21: The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey (2004)Aubrey       Maturin series.

A Novel of the Napoleonic Wars.

Any Approaching Enemy:

Jay Worrall
With the high-seas adventure Sails on the Horizon, Jay Worrall introduced a bold new hero in the rousing tradition of Jack Aubrey. Charles Edgemont, an ambitious officer in His Britannic Majesty's navy raised to the rank of captain for gallantry under fire, Edgemont proved his mettle in the bruising British victory over the Spanish fleet at the Battle of St. Vincent. Now married and in command of the twenty-eight-gun frigate Louisa, the young captain sails toward a day of destiny-for himself and for England. The year is 1798. The war between England and revolutionary France has reached a bloody stalemate, with England in the ascendancy at sea and France unchallenged on the Continent, thanks in large part to an unorthodox twenty-eight-year-old general named Napoleon Bonaparte. But the French, secretly amassing a powerful fleet, mean to break the impasse. When rumors of the French preparations leak, the Admiralty dispatches a squadron of seven ships-among them the Louisa-under the command of Rear Admiral Horatio Nelson to investigate. Blindsided by a storm of ferocious intensity, the ships scatter across the seas. After the storm subsides, the damaged frigates limp back to the rendezvous point. But there is no sign of Nelson's flagship, Vanguard, nor of two other ships of the line.

Edgemont fears that the pugnacious rear admiral has pressed on with the mission. Disobeying direct orders, Edgemont sets out in pursuit of Nelson and the French fleet on a treacherous voyage along the Tuscan coast. As tensions among the crew threaten to explode into open insubordination or worse, Edgemont makes an unexpected discovery in Naples that mayseriously compromise his mission.

When the missing French fleet turns up off the shores of Egypt, conveying an army tens of thousands strong, Edgemont is suddenly thrown into a crisis of conscience. As circumstances grow dire and require heroic action, the fate of the crucial battle effectively lies in Edgemont's hands-as does the course of history.

River of Red Gold.

River of Red GoldRiver of Gold. California during the Gold Rush.

Naida West
This unusual novel looks at California before and during the Gold Rush with a harsh but accurate view of once-heralded pioneers, many of whom abused everything in their path.

Located in the Oakland Museum's Book Store and available by clicking on the title.

Nautical Historical NovelsHistorical Nautical Novels.

Jules Verne, C. Northcote Parkinson, C. S. Forester, Patrick O'Brian, S. Thomas Russell, William Hammond's "The Power and the Glory" (including Kindle Editions), Jonathan Kinkaid series, Frederick Marryat.

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; Maritime Library, San Francisco, California, various Maritime Museums around the world.

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