Home2020-12-04T20:38:11+00:00

The Home of Naval Fiction in the Age of Fighting Steam

Welcome To The Adventure!

.

Nicholas Dawlish is a British naval officer as the British Empire reaches its apogee in the late Victorian period. The Age of Sail is dying slowly and Dawlish is building his career in the new era of steam, ironclads, heavy guns and torpedoes that is replacing it. It’s also an age of rapid political and social change. Old enemies and new empires are challenging Britain’s global power, often through vicious proxy conflicts which offer Dawlish opportunities for advancement, though at the risk of his life and his integrity. The eight volumes published so far are all linked to actual historical events and are set in locales as various as the Black Sea and the Balkans in winter, a river-system in the heart of South America, the luxury and squalor of the United States’ Gilded Age, Cuba in revolt, Denmark under attack from Prussia and Austria, Korea as it emerges from centuries of isolation, the slave trade and German colonial ambitions in East Africa, the Sudan engulfed in an Islamist revolt and – not the least deadly – the corrupt and brutal underside of the complacent and outwardly respectable society of Late-Victorian Britain.

Antoine Vanner

Britannia’s Morass 

The New Dawlish Chronicles Novel – Published 12th December 2020

Click on the image for details

1884 – Captain Nicholas Dawlish departs for service in the Sudan, as told in Britannia’s Gamble, and his wife Florence will face months of worry about him. She’ll cope by immersing herself, as she’s done before, in welfare work for Royal Navy seamen and their families at Portsmouth.

And life in Britain promises to be humdrum, if worthy, at the start …

News of the suicide of a middle-aged widow evokes memories of her kindness when Florence was a servant. Left wealthy by her husband, this lady died a pauper, beggared within a few months, how and by whom, Florence does not know. The widow’s legal executor isn’t interested and the police have other concerns. Lacking close family, she’ll be soon forgotten.

But not by Florence. Someone was responsible and there must be retribution. And getting justice will demand impersonation, guile and courage.

Florence doesn’t hesitate to investigate blackmail and fraud in fashionable London. But a single wrong decision in circumstances far removed from that sophisticated world plunges her into an ever-deepening morass, where loyalty to her country and to seamen who served with her husband raises terrifying dilemmas. Old friends support her but old allies who offer help may have different agendas. In a time of shifting international alliances, in which not all the enemies she faces are British, she can be little more than a pawn. And pawns are often sacrificed . . .

Britannia’s Morass plays out against a backdrop of poverty and opulence, of courtroom drama and French luxury, of subterfuge, deceit, espionage and danger.

This volume also includes the bonus short story Britannia’s Collector, which tells of Nicholas Dawlish’s service as a young naval officer in a gunvessel operating off the coast of South America in 1866.

The Dawlish Chronicles Series

Antoine Vanner, author of the Dawlish Chronicles series spent many years in the international oil industry and still travels extensively on a private basis. His understanding of human nature, passion for nineteenth-century political and military history and first-hand experience of his books’ locales provide the background to his novels centred on the lives of Royal Navy officer Nicholas Dawlish and his wife Florence.

“Antoine Vanner is the Tom Clancy of historical naval fiction.” – Author Joan Druett

Below are the nine Dawlish Chronicles novels published to date, shown in chronological order. Click on the banner for more information or on the “BOOKS” tab above. All are available in Paperback or Kindle format and can read at no extra charge by Kindle Unlimited or Kindle Prime Subscribers.

In Audiobook format also…

Britannia’s Wolf is also available as an audio-book. It’s been read by the distinguished American actor David Doersch. If you haven’t previously ordered an audio-book from audible.com you can download it without cost as part of a 30-Day Free Trial. You can listen on your Smart Phone, Tablet or MP3 Player. Click here details.

Nicholas Dawlish

A Life of Service and Adventure

Admiral Sir Nicholas Dawlish (1845-1918) is probably best remembered today for leaving retirement in 1914, at the request of his friend and sometime rival Lord Fisher, to assume responsibility for Unconventional Naval Operations.

His imaginative filling of that role, and his death at the age of seventy two on the Zeebrugge Mole, where he fell in a hail of machine-gun fire on St.George’s Day 1918, (making him the oldest serving officer to fall in action in either World War), ended an illustrious career in a manner which he would have found wholly appropriate…

Click here, or on “Read More” below, to read about Dawlish’s life and click here, or on “Steam, Steel and Strife” button below, to learn about the world he lived in, its challenges, its personalities, its crises and its weapons. There are also dozens of articles about the “Age of Fighting Sail 1700-1837” as well as the early 20th Century.

Nicholas Dawlish
Steel, Steam & Strife
Read More

The Dawlish Chronicles Blog

Antoine Vanner blogs weekly – and often more frequently – on naval and more general history and personalities in the period 1700-1918. Topics include naval warfare in the Age of Fighting Sail, the transition from Sail to Steam, international rivalries, dramatic happenings and little known events that have helped shape the world we live in. The topics are never predictable but always entertaining. In this blog Antoine draws heavily on information he has come across during his researches for the Dawlish Chronicles but which may not be directly used in the books themselves. It is however too good to let to go to waste – and hence the blog! You can find the most recent blogs below and many of the older postings (some two hundred!) can be accessed by clicking on “Conflict” on the bar above.

See All Blogs

Free Short-stories for your Kindle

Dawlish Chronicles Mailing List

Join the list and download free copies of six free short stories to read on your Kindle, tablet or computer by clicking on any one of the images above

Registering for the mailing list will keep you updated on new books and facilitates e-mail contact between Antoine Vanner and his readers for discussion of issues arising. Suggestions and constructive comment are always welcome and all emails are replied to. Free short stories, as above and available only to those on the list, will also appear at intervals.

Go to Top