Peter Padfield

Peter Padfield

Peter Padfield was born in British India before the Second World War, but returned to England aged seven on the death of his father. Immediately plunged into the boarding school experience of that era, he emerged with a love of cricket and a desire to go to sea - unfortunately mutually incompatible. He served some years as an officer in the P & O line, but in 1957 gained a place in the crew of the replica pilgrim bark 'Mayflower II' on her transatlantic voyage to Plymouth, Massachusetts, where she remains to this day. It was a life-changing experience. Shortly afterwards he left the sea, married and began a writing career specialising in maritime and naval history, extended later to biographies of Nazi leaders. In 2003 he was awarded the Mountbatten Maritime Prize; more recently Professor James R. Holmes of the U.S. Naval War College listed his book 'Maritime Supremacy' in the all-time top ten books about the sea, an accolade he could never have imagined when he began writing. Recently, his account of Mayflower II’s voyage, The Sea is a Magic Carpet, has been re-issued by Thistle Publishing as an e-book for Kindle; the originals of the sketches he made during the voyage can be seen on his website. More recently he has published the diary he kept during the Mayflower's voyage, incorporating his sketches and photographs and stills from a cine film he also made on the voyage, as 'Mayflower II Diary: Sketches from a Lost Age'. His fiction has also been re-issued in e-book form. For those who may feel the Great War was fought solely in the trenches, he suggests exposure to the naval battles in his family saga, Salt and Steel.
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