View Full Version : Alexander Kent's books - need a recommendation

03-17-2014, 10:14
Ahoy Mates!

I have just found a great variety of Alexander Kent's books on SGN "matters" in one of our online stores. The titles are many, so my questions are: did you read any of them? Are they worth reading? Could you recommend any of them?

Thanks in advance,


03-17-2014, 10:59
Hi Andrzej,

I have one on the shelf in the "to read" stack, but I look for them whenever I am at a used bookstore.

This link will give you a chronological reading of the main character, assuming you are looking at the Bolitho series: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bolitho_novels

Here is another worthwhile site: http://www.historicnavalfiction.com/authors-a-z/861-alexander-kent

03-17-2014, 11:15
Thanks a lot for the list, Eric:) Since there are so many books it's been quite tough to decide where to start! I'll choose one (probably Enemy in Sight) full of action :swordright: to get more familiar with new naval war vocabulary :wink:

03-17-2014, 17:48
I've read most of them, and they're fun, but they're definitely second-tier. Don't bother unless you've already run out of Aubrey/Maturin and Hornblower (Walter Jon Williams' Gentlemen and Privateers stuff is worth a look too).


David Manley
03-18-2014, 00:28
Read the lot of them twice, if not more times. In fact they were the first series of naval fiction books I read (dad brought a few editions form the library when we went on holiday one year, I read them too and I was hooked). Yes, Hornblower and Aubrey are "better", but they are certainly well worth a read. IIRC there were a set of scenarios for WSIM based on the Bolitho books published in "The General" back in the day which would be good inspiration for SGN frigate actions

John Paul
03-24-2014, 23:43
I've found Kent's Bolitho series fairly entertaining reading. They tend to "move" along at a pretty good pace, and don't get bogged down in the life ashore like the Aubrey series does. Not as good as Hornblower or Aubrey, but you won't feel like you wasted your time reading them!

04-11-2014, 06:32
IIRC there were a set of scenarios for WSIM based on the Bolitho books published in "The General" back in the day which would be good inspiration for SGN frigate actions

Yes indeed

The GENERAL Vol.20,No.5 (http://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/The_GENERAL_Vol.20%2CNo.5#)

Wooden Ships & Iron Men (http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/237/wooden-ships-iron-men) – “A King's Officer, The Battles of Richard Bolitho” (Scenarios) Kevin J. Moulton

Union Jack
11-30-2014, 04:39
If you're going to read them start with Midshipman Bolitho, you can get the first two books as a double. Can't remember the title as I got rid of the complete set about 3 years ago. If I remember correctly there are over 15+ books in the set.

12-02-2014, 20:52
Im a big fan, obviously... Even if I cant spell :bleh:

03-18-2015, 14:44
I read about a third of them (the middle third, centred around A Tradition of Victory) when I was a teenager, having found them for $0.50 in paperback at a used book store in Florida. I read them after the original Hornblower trilogy, but before tracking down the rest of the Hornblower books, and long before discovering O'Brien. They stood up reasonably well when I was a teenager, but many things I liked then haven't aged well, and I haven't reread them since.

I just snagged them as far as Trafalgar for my Kindle, but I have a big "to read" pile ahead of them... including the last eight O'Brians.

03-19-2015, 14:32
I read Kent's books years ago, and found them quite entertaining.
Has anyone read the Ramage books and are they worth getting?

David Manley
03-19-2015, 15:15
Yes, definitely. A bit more derring do than Bolitho, loads of fun and excellent source material for scenarios.

03-19-2015, 16:51
Cheers Dave.