The Epic Novel-Cycle of America's Greatest Struggle...seen from an entirely new perspective

From Simon & Schuster

That Anvil


In this third volume of David Poyer’s monumental “Civil War at Sea” cycle, North meets South in the momentous battle between Monitor and Merrimack, or Virginia.

We first met Eli Eaker, Theodorus Hubbard, Araminta Van Velsor, Alphaeus Steele, Cal Hanks, and Ker and Catherine Claiborne in Fire on the Waters.  Then, in A Country of Our Own, Ker Claiborne took the war North as captain of the most dangerous Confederate raider ever to put to sea.    Now That Anvil of Our Souls takes us into the turrets and casemates of the most historic sea engagement of the Civil War.  In New York, Theo Hubbard, engineer for a revolutionary new “fighting machine” called the Monitor, compromises his future by accepting a bribe.  In Norfolk, Catherine Claiborne faces her husband’s impending hanging for piracy, the death of their baby daughter, and the bitter realities of enemy occupation.

In Richmond, Lt. Lomax Minter searches for a spy who threatens the Confederacy’s ultimate weapon: an invulnerable ironclad named Virginia, rebuilt from a sunken wreck in a race against time.  While the aging Dr. Alphaeus Steele witnesses the horror that’s the aftermath of glory; and gun-captain and escaped slave Calpurnius Hanks struggles with the demons of his past and the challenges of freedom.

 Poyer’s vivid fictional characters join meticulously researched historic figures to re-create the bloodiest conflict in American history – one whose reverberations will endure as long as freedom, equality, and home have different meanings in proud and unyielding hearts.

Captain David Poyer's thirty-plus novels make him the most popular living author of American sea fiction.  Sailor, engineer, and retired Navyman, he lives on Virginia's Eastern Shore with novelist Lenore Hart and their daughter.
More data . . . call Simon & Schuster publicity, Alexis Welby at (212) 698-7533, <>.  ORDER FROM SIMON AND SCHUSTER (1-800-331-6531) OR YOUR WHOLESALER.

ISBN (Hardcover Trade): 0-684-87135-1, Retail: $25.00.  Also available in trade softcover, ISBN 978-0-671-04682-8, retail $15.00.

June 2005
in Trade Paperback
Second in the Epic Novel-Cycle of THE CIVIL WAR AT SEA

cover of A COUNTRY OF OUR OWN trade

In the tradition of Patrick O'Brian and C. S. Forester, Poyer offers the second volume of his novel-cycle titled The Civil War At Sea.  A story of brother against brother, in the campaign across the waters of the world that decided the outcome of the most bitter struggle America has ever waged.

We first met Lt. Ker Custis Claiborne, formerly of the United States Navy, in Fire on the Waters.  By his own admission, Claiborne is "no admirer of the institution of Hamitic slavery."  Its horrors struck home on antislavery patrol along the Coromandel Coast in the 1850's.  But he's also a Virginian.  When the North decides to preserve an outworn Union by force, his course is clear.  In A Country of Our Own,  he "goes South", joining first the Virginia Navy, then the fledgling Confederate States Navy in April, 1861.

After defending the shores of the Potomac alongside the hastily mustered troops of the Army of Virginia, Ker runs the blockade out of New Orleans aboard a converted sidewheeler turned Confederate raider.  He and his saturnine  mentor Captain Parker Trezevant burn, sink, and destroy across the Caribbean, to undermine the Union's financial might and force a truce favorable to the Confederacy.

But when that first cruiser proves unstable, under-armed, and short-legged, Ker joins Commander James Bulloch in England, to buy or build a ship of war that can sweep Union commerce from the seas.  When a daring coup puts Ker in command of the fastest, most dangerous raider ever to range from Brazil to Boston -- the ex-opium clipper C.S.S. Maryland -- he'll set Yankee seamen a-tremble wherever the water's salt and seagulls scream.  And maybe even, decide the issue of the war.  

A Country of Our Own is historical sea fiction at its best -- authentic, engrossing, vivid, and masterfully paced, from the master sea-yarner whose tales some critics have ranked with those of Joseph Conrad and Herman Melville.

Hardcover ISBN... 0-684-87134-3    PRICE...25.00

Reviewers -- for review copies call  Tracey Guest, Simon & Schuster, (212) 698-7533.
Stores: To stock book at your location: Retail and Wholesale Sales - 1-800-331-6531, or call your wholesaler.
Special Sales - 212-698-2113

See the First Editions/Collector's Items page for autographed copies of the first edition hardcover. 

July 2001...An Epic Begins with
FIRE ON THE WATERS: A Novel of the Civil War at Sea
(Trade Paper publication June 2003)

Cover Art by Tom Freeman
From GONE WITH THE WIND to COLD MOUNTAIN, no other theme has gripped the American imagination like the Civil War.  John Jakes, Bernard Cornwell, Shelby Foote, and others have crafted hugely popular works portraying the clash of the Northern and Southern armies.

At the same time, devoted fans devour the historical sea adventures of C. S. Forester, Alexander Kent, and Patrick O’Brian.

Yet till now no one has welded the two genres together, to produce a fictional saga woven around the events and characters of the American Civil War, at sea.

In FIRE ON THE WATERS, Elisha Eaker is twenty, the scion of a wealthy and politically connected mercantile family in Manhattan.  As war looms, Eli joins the sloop of war U.S.S. Owanee as a volunteer, as much to escape his impending marriage to his headstrong cousin Araminta as to defend the flag.  There he meets Lieutenant Ker Claiborne at his own moment of decision.

Claiborne,  an Annapolis graduate, has seen action in the West Indies and the Africa Station as part of the U.S. Navy’s Antislavery Patrol.  Cool and competent in storm or battle, Claiborne now faces an agonizing choice between his two loves -- the Navy, and his native state of Virginia, which is on the verge of declaring for the fledgling Confederacy.  He knows no matter which he chooses, he'll be called a traitor.  How can a man who values honor renounce his oath?  But how can a man who loves his family, and his state, fight against them?

These two men, the Yankee and the Southerner, the volunteer and the regular, will personify the two sides in the desperate conflict that begins in 1861.  Together with their rationalist shipmate, engineer and freethinker Theodorus Hubbard; Eaker’s cousin and fiancee, horsewoman, thespian, and eventual spy Araminta Van Velsor; and escaped Georgia slave turned Navy gunner Calpurnius Hanks, they will face storms, mechanical breakdowns, official blundering, treachery, and eventually the test of battle in the greatest war in American history.

Simon & Schuster published FIRE ON THE WATERS on July 10, 2001.  Sign on for the adventure -- order at your local bookstore today.  ISBN 0-684-87133-5.   

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See the First Editions/Collector's Items page for copies of the first edition hardcover.

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