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I recently found a fiction series that seems a little different from the majority that is available. The first book, which I'm reading right now is Britannia's Wolf, The Dawlish Chronicals, September 1877, written by Antoine Vanner. It reads pretty well. The first book is about a British naval officer on loan to the Ottoman Navy and it's conflict with the Russians in the late Victorian era. Kind of a change from the wooden walls, but not what would be considered a modern navy yet.



Member: Ship Model Society of New Jersey

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Thanks for the tip. I looked for it on Amazon just now and saw that it is free to read if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. It’s a while since I’ve found a new maritime author so I’m looking forward to reading it. 



Cheers, Derek


Current build:   Duchess of Kingston

On hold:              HMS Winchelsea


Previous builds:  HMS SpeedyEnglish Pinnace, Royal Yacht Caroline (gallery),

                            Victory Cross-section (gallery), US Clipper Albatros, Red Dragon (years ago!)


On the stocks:    18th Century Longboat

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  • 4 years later...

Resurrecting this thread, I’m into book 4 now and the first in the series is possibly one of the best I have read since Aubrey-Maturin by Patrick O’Brian. This is a strong claim, I know, but the characters are well drawn, the stories really capture you and it is a chaotic period of European and American history. Supporting characters are believable, there is a good technical level and plenty of politicking with Dawlish caught in the middle. Also, they are not plain sailing, and the hard times are very hard, reflecting advances in the ships and weapons. There are now plenty of square sail series, and some in earlier periods, but I would recommend these.

I would love to see some models based on Vanner’s diagrams.

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  • 2 months later...

Many years I built a model of a Passaic Class Monitor.  It was possible to reconstruct a lines drawing from an original body plan reproduced in a monograph published by the Naval History Center and known frame spacing.  Otherwise there is remarkably little useful technical information about the appearance of these vessels during the Civil War.  As these vessels existed in the naval reserve fleet to at least 1900 many available drawings reflect post Civil War rebuilds, and as the turret was the monitors’ novel feature Civil War photos are always groups of officers posed in front.


I found Alvah Hunter’s book to offer the best description of these vessels at the time of their Civil War service.




Edited by Roger Pellett
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