Best Sea Books: Shepherd Article

I’ve been fascinated by "sea stories" since I could read, maybe before. I was born in Liverpool, my dad was in the navy, my family ran an 18th-century inn named the Turk’s Head after a nautical knot, and I’ve directed or written more than twenty films, plays, and novels with the sea as their setting. But they’re not really about the sea. For me, the sea is a mirror to reflect the human condition, a theatre for all the human dramas I can imagine. More importantly, I’ve read over a hundred sea...

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Battle of the Bats

The Battle of Trafalgar is widely acclaimed as one the greatest sea battles of all time and the victor, the British admiral Lord Nelson, as one of the great warrior heroes of history. It was a truly spectacular victory against the odds, with twenty-two French and Spanish ships captured or destroyed, over four thousand men killed, and ten thousand wounded or taken prisoner.  The British lost just over four hundred British seamen and not a single ship. This was put down to the genius of Nelson...

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Rainbow Writing

Research, holiday, or confusing motion with activity? On a kettuvalem in the backwaters of Kerala, India A few years ago, more by accident than design—at least on my part, fortunately my agents were more focused—I found myself sitting on an 11-book deal. They—my agents, who were then Pat Kavanagh and Rosemary Canter at PFD—had separately submitted two of my books to publishers.   One was a work of historical fiction set during the French Revolution, featuring a character called Nathan Peake...

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