Nelson, James (1962 - )

Genre: General Fiction, Non-Fiction

Jim Nelson was born and raised in Lewiston, by parents who both taught English, his father at Bates College and his mother at Lewiston High School. Nelson left Maine at eighteen to travel around the country. After graduating from UCLA Film School, he worked for several years in Hollywood, hoping to become a screenwriter, then "ran away to sea," working as a professional sailor and rigger on ships around the U.S. He eventually returned to Maine and lives in South Harpswell with his wife (also a former traditional sailor) and children.

Selected Bibliography

Fiction Titles

The Biddlecomb Saga/The Revolution At Sea Saga

  • By Force of Arms (1996)
  • The Maddest Idea (1997)
  • The Continental Risque (1998)
  • Lords of the Ocean (1999)
  • All the Brave Fellows (2000)

The Brethren of the Coast Trilogy

  • The Guardship (2000)
  • The Blackbirder (2001)
  • The Pirate Round (2002)

The Bowater Series:

  • Glory in the Name: A Novel of the Confederate Navy (2003)
  • Thieves of Mercy: A Novel of the Civil War at Sea (2005)
  • The Only Life that Mattered (2004), Originally titled The Sweet Trade (2002)published under the pseudonym "Elizabeth Garrett",
  • Benedict Arnold's Navy (2006)

Non-Fiction Titles

  • Reign of Iron: The Story of the First Battling Ironclads, the Monitor and the Merrimack (2004).
  • George Washington's Secret Navy: How the American Revolution Went to Sea, (2008) (winner of the 2009 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature)