Inferno: Thomas Kydd 17 Book Blurb:
1807. Captain Sir Thomas Kydd’s famous sea action aboard Tyger has snatched his reputation from ignominy. He is the hero of the hour. But though Britain’s Navy remains imperious, a succession of battles has seen Napoleon victorious on mainland Europe.
In an attempt to prevent the French from taking control of Denmark’s navy, Kydd’s great friend Nicholas Renzi – now Lord Farndon – is sent on a desperate diplomatic mission to persuade the Danes to give up their fleet to Britain. But the Danes are caught between two implacable forces and will not yield, opting instead for the inferno of battle . . .
Today on TheTattooedBookGeek I am proud to be the first stop on the Blog Tour for Inferno the new Thomas Kydd novel by Julian Stockwin. Starting things off I am bringing to you an extract from the newly released book – it’s out today!
Eskdale Hall, Wiltshire, England. Summer 1807
The night had turned unseasonally chilly. Captain Sir
Thomas Kydd sat before the fire with his particular
friend, the Earl of Farndon, and his wife, who also happened
to be Sir Thomas’s sister. The evening’s reception and stately
ball had been accounted the most splendid held for many
years, and he’d been introduced to a dizzying quantity of
the county’s highest society, who’d been particularly attentive
to the acclaimed sea hero. But now he gazed vacantly into
‘Are you not enjoying your Armagnac, Thomas?’ Cecilia
asked in concern. ‘Nicholas keeps back his ’seventy-nine for
your visits alone, my dear.’
‘Pray take no notice of me, sis. I’m in a complicated mood.’
‘Oh? What can this mean?’ she teased.
‘To tell it straight, Cec, my intellects are in a whirl for all
the fanfaronade since we made port, and I’ve a mort of
things to think on. I confess what I crave most is nothing
more than to sit and stare at a wall for above a day.’
‘Well, I’ll allow the lot of a public hero is an active one.’
Lord Farndon – or Nicholas Renzi as he would always be
known to his bosom friend – set down his glass and smiled
indulgently. ‘Now, my dear fellow, you cannot persuade me
that it was all of it a burden beyond bearing. I do recollect
your distinct pleasure in telling me of the subscription dinner
by members of the Exchange and the presentation of silver
at its conclusion.’
‘Yes, that was handsomely done. Baltic traders at the
Virginia and Baltick in Threadneedle Street in appreciation
of my contribution to the safeguarding of their interests,
even if I’m at a loss to fathom why an action in support of
the Prussians counts as that.’
‘But that nasty fuss in the newspapers!’ Cecilia added, her
face stormy. ‘Such words about your—’
‘Those scurvy villains are a contemptible crew and I’ll
thank you to pay no mind to ’em, sis.’
Recalling the bitter turmoil that had followed a True Briton
report of Kydd’s opinions after the notorious Popham trial,
Renzi chuckled. ‘Well, that’s certainly no longer of any consequence to your sea prospects. Have you not received an
intimation of the Admiralty’s entire satisfaction at your
‘I did that,’ Kydd agreed. ‘A private letter from the first
lord wishing to assure me of his continued interest in my
‘And this is a rum one, Nicholas. Lord Camden, somebody
big in government, wants me to be a Member of Parliament
in the Tory interest.’
‘Why not, Thomas?’ Cecilia squealed. ‘You’d make a
splendid figure standing up in the House with a speech as
will make the scoundrels sit up and listen.’
‘No, sis. I’ve no hankering after arguments all the day long.
Besides, when will I have time to take Tygerto sea?’
Renzi looked fondly at his friend. ‘So, Kydd of the Tyger
it is, to be sure. Long may he sail the high seas against the
There was a trace of wistful envy in his voice, which Kydd
knew came not from any wish to be a celebrated hero like
himself but the knowledge that he could no longer taste the
freedom of the sea in all its lure and mystery.
‘On another matter entirely,’ Renzi added quickly. ‘You
said Toby Stirk – or is that Gunner’s Mate Stirk – did survive
his injury?’ Renzi and Stirk had been with Kydd since his
first days as a pressed man, and Renzi had seen him learn
much from the leathery old seaman.
‘He did, Nicholas. Hard as nails but he was sadly knocked
about and dead to the world for near two days. Came round
after we arrived at Sheerness. We had the devil’s own job
getting the beggar to agree to go ashore to the hospital for
observing, and only my personal vow he wouldn’t be removed
for another in Tyger had him off.’
Renzi gave a half-smile. ‘Dear fellow, I own I’m at the
loftiest rank of society but there are moments I’d give it all
away to possess the true-hearted devotion of the ship’s
company of a fighting frigate like Tyger . . .’
Extracted from Inferno by Julian Stockwin, published by Hodder & Stoughton, out now. So there you have it, thoughts? has it piqued your interest in the book?
Inferno by Julian Stockwin is available to purchase:
About the Author:
(Author photograph by Allan House).
Julian Stockwin was sent at the age of fourteen to Indefatigable, a tough sea-training school. He joined the Royal Navy at fifteen before transferring to the Royal Australian Navy, where he served for eight years in the Far East, Antarctic waters and the South Seas. In Vietnam he saw active service in a carrier task force.
After leaving the Navy (rated Petty Officer), Julian practised as an educational psychologist. He lived for some time in Hong Kong, where he was commissioned into the Royal Naval Reserve. He was awarded the MBE and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He now lives in Devon with his wife Kathy. More information can be found on his website at www.julianstockwin.com.
Well, that concludes my stop on the Inferno Blog Tour, thanks for stopping by and thanks also to Hodder for this opportunity. Please find below the Tour gif with the Blogs and dates for the following days on the Tour.