Julian Stockwin books in order
Julian Stockwin is a British author of historical fiction novels.
Born in Basingstoke, England, Julian joined the Royal Navy at the age of fifteen, serving all over the globe during his naval career, including the Far East and South Sea islands.
After that he returned to school and attended the University of Tasmania, where he graduated in Far Eastern studies and psychology.
Julian went on to do some post-graduate work in cross-cultural psychology, before falling in love with computers.
Later encouraged to write about the sea, Julian has never looked back since putting his adventures and storytelling skills to pen and paper.
He has an MBE and retired as Lt Commander.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Kydd Sea Adventures
- Kydd (2001)
- Artemis (2002)
- Seaflower (2003)
- Mutiny (2003)
- Quarterdeck (2004)
- Tenacious (2005)
- Command (2006)
- The Admiral's Daughter (2007)
- The Privateer's Revenge (2008)
- Invasion (2009)
- Victory (2010)
- Conquest (2011)
- Betrayal (2012)
- Caribbee (2013)
- Pasha (2014)
- Tyger (2015)
- Inferno (2016)
- Persephone (2017)
- The Baltic Prize (2017)
- The Iberian Flame (2018)
- A Sea of Gold (2018)
- To the Eastern Seas (2019)
- Balkan Glory (2020)
- Thunderer (2021)
Moments of History
- The Silk Tree (2014)
- The Powder of Death (2016)
- Stockwin's Maritime Miscellany (2009)
Detailed book overview
Kydd Sea Adventures
Thomas Paine Kydd, a young wig-maker from Guildford, is seized by the press gang, to be a part of the crew of the 98-gun line-of-battle ship Royal William. The ship sails immediately and Kydd has to learn the harsh realities of shipboard life fast. Despite all that he goes through in danger of tempest and battle he comes to admire the skills and courage of the seamen - taking up the challenge himself to become a true sailor.
KYDD launches a masterly new writing talent and a thrilling new series. Based on dramatic real events, it is classic storytelling at its very best, rich with action with exceptional characters and a page-turning narrative.
In the great age of fighting sail, life ranging the seas for prey and prize money in the crack frigate HMS Artemis is fast and exciting.
Now a true Jack Tar, Kydd sails into Portsmouth Harbour and a hero's welcome after a ferocious battle against the French. However his jubilation is cut short when a family matter threatens to take him from the life he has grown to love; he must return to Guildford.
But the sea beckons irresistibly and Kydd manages to ship out again in his beloved Artemis - a voyage that will take him to the fabled East and present him with fierce challenges, both personal and physical.
Finally homeward bound, he faces death itself in the cruel waters of the Great Southern Ocean.
It is two years since Thomas Kydd was spirited away in the night to serve his country aboard the old line-of-battle ship Duke William.
Now, he and and the other members of the ill-fated Artemis are shipwrecked sailors, back in London waiting to be summoned as court martial witnesses.
Then, in a political act to shield an officer's reputation, they are shipped out in haste to the Caribbean - where sugar is king and yellow jack a fearsome peril.
It is 1797 and Thomas Kydd is now master's mate on Achilles, a 64-gun ship-of-the-line, on his way back from the Caribbean. After a dangerous rescue mission to Venice Kydd sails for England, but his joy at returning home after many years' absence is soon forgotten when he finds himself at the centre of one of the most extraordinary events in English history - the Mutiny at the Nore.
Ten thousand men, one thousand guns and scores of ships hold the country to ransom: the government is near collapse; the economy on the brink of ruin.
And Kydd is faced with a terrible choice. Abandon his friends and shipmates? Or join the rebellion and put his career - and even his life - on the line?
Thomas Kydd was promoted to acting lieutenant at the bloody Battle of Camperdown in October 1797. Now, he must sit an examination to confirm his rank - or face an inglorious return before the mast.
But this is only the first of many obstacles for a man who was pressed into the King's Service and discovered a calling for the sea. Kydd is from humble origins, yet he attains the lofty heights of the quarterdeck as an officer in His Majesty's Navy. If he is to avoid spending the rest of his career as a tarpaulin officer, he must also become a gentleman.
Kydd and his enigmatic friend Nicholas Renzi set sail in HMS Tenacious for the North American station. Aboard the old 64-gun ship, Kydd comes to doubt he will ever match up to the high-born gentlemen officers.
The frontier town of Halifax, which is also home to a British prince of the blood, provides a welcome diversion. Meanwhile, the young United States is in dispute with revolutionary France, the Quasi War, and Kydd finds himself in the USS Constellation in the heady days of the birth of the American Navy.
On his return to Halifax, Kydd surmounts more hurdles, both personal and professional - will he ever see himself as truly one of a band of brothers?
Thomas Kydd is in Halifax, enjoying the recognition and favour of his fellow officers when Tenacious is summoned to join Horatio Nelson's taskforce on an urgent reconnaissance mission. Intelligence suggests the French Revolution is about the set the Mediterranean ablaze, but Bonaparte's fleet is nowhere to be found.
Nelson and his Band of Brothers begin a desperate search for him. Kydd's newfound ambition fuels his desire to be at the forefront of the hunt. But with power comes responsibility, with responsibility, accountability. Kydd will face his greatest challenge ever amidst bloodstained seas. And defeat will mean humiliation - or death.
In this seventh book of the series, Thomas Kydd is master of his own brig-sloop Teazer and he must race the clock to make her battle-ready to defend Malta against Barbary pirates and the French, who are frantically trying to rescue the remnants of their army in the Levant. Suddenly, peace is declared, and the young captain finds himself ashore.
To make ends meet, he agrees to transport convicts to Australia. Little does he know that his friend Renzi, weakened by illness and embittered with the service, is also bound for that colony as a settler. There they will be forced to face their deepest fears and prove themselves against all odds.
In 1803, Commander Kydd has sailed with the Royal Navy in the dangerous South Seas, against Napoleon's fleet in the Mediterranean and to the edge of the known world in a convict ship to Australia, but he is about to discover that the most dangerous waters can be the closest to home.
Tensions are escalating again between England and France. While the Royal Navy launches reconnaissance, rescue missions and spies on the continent, French privateer ships are lurking in English waters poised to strike at British trade.
Smugglers, perilous storms and a treacherous coastline all threaten to overcome HMS Teazer as her men fight to gain control of the seas around Cornwall and Devon. Meanwhile an unlikely rival is seeking her captain's heart.
The beautiful and determined admiral's daughter could be the key to realizing all Kydd's career ambitions and dreams of love. But high society, he finds, can be as treacherous as his first mistress - the sea.
Following the loss of his fiancée, Lieutenant Thomas Kydd descends into depression in the latest installment of this riveting nautical-adventure series.
Rescued from despair by his close friend, Renzi, Kydd finds life increasingly difficult when he is framed and dismissed from his ship. The pair eke out a pitiful existence in Guernsey, where, in a moment of desperation, Renzi offers his services to the Prince de Bouillon and becomes embroiled in covert operations.
Meanwhile, Kydd accepts the captaincy of a privateer and is soon taking many prizes. Kydd longs to rejoin his rightful place in the navy, however, and when he gets his chance, he risks all for revenge and restoration.
NB: This book is also known as Treachery.
In the 10th book of the popular series, rumors fly of Napoleon's planned invasion of England, and British naval commander Thomas Kydd is sent to liaise with American inventor, Robert Fulton, who has created 'infernal machines' that can wreak mass destruction from a distance.
Fulton believes that his inventions, namely the submarine and torpedo, will win the day for the power that possesses them, and Kydd must help him develop the devices.
Despite his own scruples, believing that standing man-to-man is the only honorable way to fight, Kydd agrees to take part in the crucial testing of these weapons of mass destruction, which just may decide the fate of England.
In the 11th book of this popular series, Napoleon Bonaparte continues planning for the invasion of England as Admiral Horatio Nelson and the Royal Navy patrol the seas, seeking out their elusive enemy.
When convoluted political machinations in England lead to the impeachment of the head of the Navy, Commander Thomas Kydd is forced to choose sides. Eager to take on the real enemy, Kydd decides to join Nelson's squadron just before the Battle of Trafalgar, the greatest sea encounter of all time.
Amidst the chaos and bloodshed, Kydd and his shipmates must prove once and for all that the Royal Navy truly rules the seas.
Newly victorious at the Battle of Trafalgar, England now rules the seas and is free to colonize the furthest reaches of the world. Captain Thomas Kydd joins an expedition to take Dutch-held Cape Town, a strategic harbor that will give England a rich trade route to India.
With enemies lurking on all sides, Kydd and his men must defend the fragile colony while braving Africa's vast and hostile hinterland. When Renzi learns too much about the enemy's plans, even Kydd may not be able to save him.
Cape Colony is proving a tiresome assignment for Thomas Kydd's daring commander-in-chief Commodore Popham: South America's Spanish colonies are in a ferment of popular unrest. Rumors of a treasure hoard of Spanish silver spur him to assemble a makeshift invasion fleet and launch a bold attack on the capital of the Viceroyalty of the River Plate in Buenos Aires.
Navigating the treacherous bars and mud flats of the river, the British invasion force wins a battle against improbable odds, taking the capital and the silver. But the uprising that promises the end of Spanish rule never arrives and the locals begin to see dark conspiracies behind the invader's actions.
Now Kydd's men must face resistance and the betrayal of their closest allies. Can they save themselves and their prize?
More than a decade ago, Thomas Kydd and Nicholas Renzi were in the Caribbean as sailors before the mast in the old Trajan. Now Kydd, a storied hero of Trafalgar, holds the glory of being post-captain of the 32-gun frigate, L'Aurore.
After unremitting war a Caribbean posting seems a welcome respite. But Kydd and Renzi soon find themselves facing a familiar threat as the French imperil Britain's vital sugar trade.
When merchantmen begin vanishing from the sea, Kydd and Renzi must embark on a dangerous game of espionage, seamanship and breath-taking action in order to destroy a new and terrible danger to the Empire.
An Admiralty summons to England cuts short Thomas Kydd's service in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. While the crew of L'Aurore can look forward to liberty and prize money, a shadow hangs over their captain: the impending court martial of his one-time commander, Commodore Popham, who led a doomed attack on South America.
Following Nelson's death two years earlier, England is in desperate need of heroes and Kydd's Caribbean exploits are the talk of London. Feted by the king and a grateful country, Kydd is soon on detachment in a new and dangerous sphere of interest: the Dardanelles, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea and providing a route to India. The French have long coveted this route, knowing that it could be the key to toppling the British Empire in India. When they successfully whip up such strong anti-English sentiment that the British ambassador to Constantinople has to flee to L'Aurore, a deadly stand-off ensues.
Meanwhile Kydd's closest friend, Nicholas Renzi, has assumed a new role that he can never make public. Sent under alias on a mission to Constantinople, Renzi must engineer a coup that will turn the tables on the French. But when he's taken prisoner, only Kydd's superb seamanship and sheer bravado can save the day.
The latest volume in the popular high-seas nautical adventure series featuring the dashing and debonair naval commander Thomas Kydd. Kydd is offered a new command but that ship is still under construction, so he decides to look up one of his old naval friends and enjoy some of the pleasures of London.
This is cut short when he is summoned to Portsmouth to bear witness at the trial of Sir Home Popham for his actions at Cape Town and Buenos Aires. Kydd confides in friends his true feelings about the way his old commander was treated and, when his opinions become public, finds himself in hot water with the Admiralty. Kydd is punished for his indiscretion by being given a different command: a mutiny ship, Tyger, moored at Yarmouth.
On board he faces numerous challenges from a hostile and dejected crew, still under a malign influence. It will take all of Kydd's seamanship and leadership in voyages to the far north and in Baltic waters to turn the ship around. The measure of his success is tested in a cataclysmic battle against three Prussian frigates under the French flag.
Napoleon Bonaparte's ambitions for world domination are growing apace, and when Captain Sir Thomas Kydd returns to take up command of his ship Tyger, he finds himself called to be part of a great armada on a mission of the utmost urgency.
Unbeknownst to Kydd, his old friend, Renzi, has been called upon to undertake a parallel diplomatic mission. Kydd is captured by the French but in a strange twist finds himself released to snatch the future king of France from exile. He returns to find a scene of chaos and terror.
November 1807. Captain Sir Thomas Kydd must sail to Lisbon to aid the Portuguese Royal Family's evacuation in the face of Napoleon's ruthless advance through Iberia. In the chaos of the threatened city an old passion is reawakened when he meets Persephone Lockwood, a beautiful and determined admiral's daughter from his past.
But the Royal Family's destination is Brazil, Perspehone's England, and it seems Kydd's chance has gone again. Only later he discovers Persephone has another suitor - and that, if he wants to win her hand, he must enter the highest echelons of London society.
Mixing with aristocracy and royalty brings other responsibilities. The Prince of Wales asks him to take temporary command of the Royal Yacht. Sailing to Yarmouth, Kydd realizes they are being stalked by French privateers. The terrible threat of a prince of the blood being captured sees Kydd call on daring seamanship of the highest order.
1808. Parted from his new bride, Captain Sir Thomas Kydd is called away to join the Northern Expedition to Sweden, now Britain's only ally in the Baltic. Following the sudden declaration of war by Russia and with the consequent threat of the czar's great fleet in St Petersburg, the expedition must defend Britain's dearly-won freedom in those waters.
However Kydd finds his popular fame as a frigate captain is a poisoned chalice; in the face of jealousy and envy from his fellow captains, the distrust of the commander-in-chief and the betrayal of friendship by a former brother-in-arms now made his subordinate, can he redeem his reputation?
In an entirely hostile sea Tyger ranges from the frozen north to the deadly confines of the Danish Sound - and plays a pivotal role in the situation ensuing after the czar's sudden attack on Finland. This climaxes in the first clash of fleets between Great Britain and Russia in history. To the victor will be the prize of the Baltic!
1808. With the Peninsula in turmoil, Napoleon Bonaparte signs a treaty to dismember Portugal and put his brother, Joseph, on the throne of Spain.
Meanwhile, Nicholas Renzi, the Lord Farndon, undertakes a deadly mission to stir up partisan unrest to disrupt this Napoleonic alliance with Spain.
Thrust into the crucible of the uprising, Captain Sir Thomas Kydd is dismayed to come up against an old foe from his past - now his superior and commander - who is determined to break him. Kydd will soon face the greatest decision of his professional career.
Bonaparte, incensed by the reverses suffered to his honor, gathers together a crushing force and marches at speed into Spain. After several bloody encounters the greatly outnumbered British expedition have no option other than make a fighting retreat to the coast. Only the Navy can save them.
But the flame of insurrection has been lit - and the Peninsular War has begun.
1809. After his heroic actions during the retreat to Corunna, Captain Sir Thomas Kydd is the toast of London society. Here he falls in with the legendary frigate captain, Lord Thomas Cochrane.
So begins a relationship, professional and personal, that will be unlike any that Kydd has known: a relationship that will lead him, almost simultaneously, to first glory, then ruin.
The French fleet is massing in the Basque Roads in a near impregnatable position. The Admiralty orders Cochrane to command an attack, to the chagrin of more senior officers who object to being overlooked and Cochrane's reputation for daring. Cochrane insists that his new friend, Kydd, is in the forefront of the assault armada, a motley collection of rocket, bomb and fire ships that will set the anchorage ablaze - this despite Kydd's almost pathological fear of fire.
The fallout from what follows will see Kydd financially ruined, with only his former shipmates, his oldest friend of all, Nicholas Renzi, and the whisper of hidden Spanish treasure promising the sea of gold that he needs to save himself.
With Bonaparte held to a stalemate in Europe, the race to empire is now resumed. Britain's ambitions turn to the Spice Islands, the Dutch East Indies, where Admiral Pellew has been sent to confront the enemy's vastly rich holdings in these tropical islands. Captain Sir Thomas Kydd joins reinforcements to snatch these for the British Crown.
The two colonial masters of India and the East Indies face each other in mortal striving for the region - there can be only one victor to hold all the spoils. The colonial genius, Stamford Raffles, believes Britain should strike at the very centre of Dutch spice production, the Moluccas, rather than the fortresses one by one but is fiercely opposed.
Kydd, allying himself to this cause, conspires to lead a tiny force to a triumphant conclusion - however the Dutch, stung by this loss, claim vengeance from the French.
A battle for Java and an empire in the East stretches Kydd and Tyger's company to their very limits.
1811. The Adriatic, the 'French Lake', is now the most valuable territory Napoleon Bonaparte possesses. Captain Sir Thomas Kydd finds his glorious return to England cut short when the Admiralty summons him to lead a squadron of frigates into these waters to cause havoc and distress to the enemy.
Kydd is dubbed 'The Sea Devil' by Bonaparte who personally appoints one of his favourites, Dubourdieu, along with a fleet that greatly outweighs the British, to rid him of this menace.
At the same time, Nicholas Renzi is sent to Austria on a secret mission to sound out the devious arch-statesman, Count Metternich. His meeting reveals a deadly plan by Bonaparte that threatens the whole balance of power in Europe. The only thing that can stop it is a decisive move at sea and for this he must somehow cross the Alps to the Adriatic to contact Kydd directly.
A climactic sea battle where the stakes could not be higher is inevitable. Kydd faces Dubourdieu with impossible odds stacked against him. Can he shatter Bonaparte's dreams of breaking out of Europe and marching to the gates of India and Asia?
1812. Arriving back in England after his successes in the Adriatic, Captain Sir Thomas Kydd is bestowed with honours. In London he's greeted by the Prince Regent who, despite Kydd's protestations that he's happy with his present command, insists he be given a bigger ship - HMS Thunderer, a 74-gun ship of the line. But she's old, and being part of a standing fleet Kydd's chances of further fame and distinction are slim indeed.
Winning over his new command is fraught with challenges. A hostile crew, abysmal levels of gunnery and sail-handling capabilities are intolerable to a fighting captain like Kydd. With the ship short of men and no incentives to attract more, can he ever bring Thunderer to a proper state of fighting preparedness?
Kydd is sent to reinforce the Baltic squadron as Bonaparte's vast army invades Russia. News reaches him of French victory at the Battle of Borodino. The road to Moscow is now open. To avert total French victory, Kydd must lead a vital convoy through battle and tempest to the aid of Britain's last ally.
Moments of History
Forced to flee Rome from the barbaric rampages of the Ostrogoths, merchant Nicander meets an unlikely ally in the form of Marius, a fierce Roman legionary. Escaping to a new life in Constantinople, the two land upon its shores lonely and penniless. Needing to make money fast, they plot and plan a number of outrageous money-making schemes, until they chance upon their greatest idea yet.Armed with a wicked plan to steal precious silk seeds from the faraway land of Seres, Nicander and Marius must embark upon a terrifyingly treacherous journey across unknown lands, never before completed.
But first they must deceive the powerful emperor Justinian and the rest of his formidable Byzantine Empire in order to begin their journey into the unknown... An adventurous tale of mischief, humour and deception, Nicander and Marius face danger of the highest order, where nothing in the land of the Roman Empire is quite what it seems.
An envoy to China meets an English scholar in Oxford in the mid-thirteenth century to share a deadly secret. They vow that the knowledge of gunpowder must die with them as the consequences otherwise are too terrible to contemplate.
But the secret is rediscovered, one man becomes obsessed with the powder of death and Edward III is determined to use it to his advantage. He does so at the Battle of Crecy, the first full-scale battle at which guns are deployed in the field. The nature of warfare is changed for ever, and the world hears the death knell of knightly chivalry.
Lt Cdr Julian Stockwin shares his love and knowledge of the sea in this entertaining collection of maritime stories and little-known trivia. Featuring nautical facts and feats, including superstitions at sea, the history of animals on the waves - until 1975 when all animals were banned from Royal Navy ships - and how the inventor of the umbrella helped man the British Navy, it is packed with informative tales.
Focusing on the glory days of tall ships he explores marine myths and unearths the truth behind commonly held beliefs about the sea, such as whether Lord Nelson's body was really pickled in rum to transport it back to England after his death at Trafalgar. Interspersed throughout are salty sayings showing the modern words and phrases that originate from the mariners of old - 'cut of his jib', 'high and dry', 'the coast is clear', 'first rate' and 'slush fund'.
Accompanied by nostalgic black and white line drawings "Stockwin's Maritime Miscellany" is a charming gift-book guaranteed to appeal to the sailing enthusiast, but also amuse and inform even the staunchest landlubber.