J D Davies to speak on Samuel Pepys and Charles II’s Navy

We’re delighted to announce that J D Davies will be at Leviathan and will present a talk titled, ‘Fear, Courage and Honour in an Age of Adversity: Samuel Pepys and the ‘Gentleman Captains’ of Charles II’s Navy’.

J D Davies is an award winning historian and author of the acclaimed naval historical fiction series, The Journals of Matthew Quinton. In addition, he’s written five non-fiction books, including: Pepys’s Navy, which won the Samuel Pepys Prize for 2009; Britannia’s Dragon: A Naval History of Wales, shortlisted for the Mountbatten Maritime Literary Award 2014; and the forthcoming, Kings of the Sea: Charles II, James II and the Royal Navy.


Further highlighting the honour he’s bestowing on our festival by appearing, J D Davies is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society; chairman of the research committee of the Society for Nautical Research; former Vice-President of the Navy Records Society and chairman of the Naval Dockyards Society.

“Imagine being given command of a warship at the age of twenty-one, despite having virtually no knowledge or experience of the sea. Imagine being only a little older when you’re flung into the middle of some of the largest and hardest-fought battles of the entire age of sail.” commented J D Davies. “That was the experience of the hero of my naval fiction series, Matthew Quinton and his story is based very closely on those of real historical figures, the ‘gentleman captains’ of Charles II’s reign.”

“How did they, and Matthew, cope with the astonishing demands placed on them, including fighting an enemy skilful enough to inflict on the Royal Navy some of the worst defeats it ever suffered? How did they interact with a very different, but equally skilful, foe they faced ashore – Samuel Pepys? Ultimately, how did the elusive concept of ‘honour’ provide such men with the courage to overcome adversity, and to drive out the fear they must have felt?”


Learn more about J D Davies and his writing, here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s