N. Beetham Stark
Nellie Beetham Stark was born November 20, 1933, in Norwich, Connecticut to Theodore and Dorothy Pendleton Beetham. She attended the Norwich Free Academy and later Connecticut College in New London, CT before graduating with a MA and a Ph.D. degree in Botany (Ecology) from Duke University.
Stark worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a botanist for six years and then joined the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada where she worked on desert and forest ecology and later tropical nutrient cycling. She has consulted in many countries, working for some time in Russia, Australia and South America. She developed the theory that explains why tropical white sand soils cannot grow good food crops and described the decline processes of soils. She has also developed a science of surethology, or survival behavior which describes how humans must adapt to their environments if they hope to survive long term. She has 96 professional publications and has published in four languages.
Her life long hobby has been English history, with emphasis on naval history. Her family came originally from Tristan Da Cunha in the South Atlantic in the early 1900’s. Her grandfather was a whale ship captain for a time which spurred her interest in naval history. She also paints pictures of sailing ships which she has used as covers for her historical novels. She has built several scale models of sailing ships and does extensive research on ships and naval history, traveling to England once yearly.
Stark was awarded the Connecticut Medal by Connecticut College in 1986 and the Distinguished Native Daughter Award for South Eastern Connecticut in 1985. She was named outstanding Forestry Professor three times by the students of the University of Montana, School of Forestry.
Today she writes historical novels, mostly set in England. She has published some 21 novels in the past twenty years, mostly on the internet. She lives on a farm in Oregon and raises hay and cows.
Stark's two most popular book series are:
Early Irish-English History
1. The Twins of Torsh, 44 A.D. to 90 A.D.
1. Rolf "The Red" MacCanna, 796-846
2. An Irishman's Revenge, 1066-1112
4. Brothers 4, 1180-1216
5. Edward's Right Hand, 1272-1307
6. We Three Kings, 1377-1422
The Napoleonic Wars at Sea (Benjamin Rundel)
1. Humble Launching - A Story of a Little Boy Growing Up at Sea, 1787
2. Midshipman Rundel - The Wandering Midshipman, 1795
3. Mediterranean Madness - The Luckless Leftenant Rundel, 1797
4. The Adventures of Leftenant Rundel, 1797-1799
5. Forever Leftenant Rundel, 1800-1803
6. Captain Rundel I – Trafalgar and Beyond, 1803-1806
7. Captain Rundel II – Give Me a Fair Wind, 1806-1809
8. Captain Rundel III – Bend Me a Sail, 1810-1813
9. Admiral Rundel – 1814-1846
Where to find N. Beetham Stark online
Where to buy in print
Condor, Flying in Drake's Wake
Condor is a young man who is in love with the sea, but his twin brother, Hugh, does not share his passion. Thirst for adventure puts the two young men on a ship with Francis Drake. When his brother mysteriously disappears, Condor risks the wrath of Drake on several occasions while he seeks his brother both in Panama and Europe. This is a story of brotherly devotion, greed, cruelty and revenge.
The Icknield Way: The Story of England After the Romans Left (412 AD - 460 AD)
Eivin and his family flee the Elbe and settle on English land recently vacated by the Romans (450 AD). Eivin takes to the ancient peddlers’ pathway to sell fish and salt to support the family. He is imprisoned most of his life in a lawless land. He longs to take revenge on his evil brother. He wants to make jewelry but is forced to work as a farmer and a bronzesmith. The end leaves him frustrated.
The Twelve Nights of Christmas
Come walk down a path to the past to a time when life was much different from what it is today. The Twelve Nights of Christmas has stories of life in England in the past when people faced different problems from those we know today.
The Adventures of Leftenant Rundel (book 4 of 9 of the Rundel Series)
Ben and his friend Tom learn to sail a bomb boat and end up spending some stressful time in Italy. They fight at Killala Bay and Quiberon Bay and later deal with some traitors. Ben succeeds when the Admiralty sends him to Panama in search of a treasure ship. He learns about fire ships and the language of the native drums in the Caribbean. Adventure follows him like his shadow.
Midshipman Rundel (book 2 of 9 in the Rundel Series)
Ben is transferred at the age of 15 to a most unhappy ship. He is forced into the position of ‘acting surgeon’ because he is the only one with medical training. When he is freed from that duty, he is shanghaied aboard a slaver and later he and ten of his men are captured by pirates and forced to serve. His clever escape leaves he and his crew with three ships to sail.
Mediterranean Madness (book 3 of 9 of the Rundel Series)
The English fleet sails through the French fleet in a dense fog. Ben fights at the Battle of St. Vincent and later Tenerife. He is sent to rescue an unwilling Italian lady from the French. At Camperdown, he is forced to take over control of the ship when his captain panics. That leads to his assignment to a mutinous ship. After much suffering he returns to Barbados and later fights at Aboukir Bay.
This is the story of King Stephen and Queen Matilda who fought for control of the English crown for nearly nineteen years. Their battles caused pain to millions of English men and women and hundreds of thousands died either from starvation, the sword, or torture.
Christmas Surprises - A Collection of Christmas Stories for Families
Christmas Surprises is a compilation of stories about the trials of life that many people face. In most cases, the characters manage to solve their problems with Christian foresight and through the love, forgiveness and charity that are part of the Christmas spirit. You will not find Santa Claus here, but the stories are not "preachy" nor overly religious either.
Nasty Jack - A Roaring Tale of the Sea, 1800
Jack is one of those sailors who can smile while plotting evil. He manages to fool most of the officers with his politeness, but when no one is looking, he abuses his crew ruthlessly. Eventually he leaves the navy and gets involved with opium in China. His end comes when it all catches up with him at Barbados. Set in the British Navy in the 1800s.
Admiral Rundel (book 9 of 9 of the Rundel Series)
British Port Admiral Benjamin Rundel struggles to maintain his sanity amongst piles of papers and petitioners. He finds a short release by getting command of the ship that takes Napoleon to St. Helena. Ben asks the little emperor some pointed questions at supper, getting some unexpected answers. When he retires, he builds a new life with friends and continues to find adventure on land and at sea.
Captain Rundel III - Bend on a Sail and Watch Me Fly
In this historical novel of the British Navy in the 1800s, Captain Benjamin Rundel is sent to the White Sea to meet an informant with news on the progress of Napoleon’s army in Russia. When the informant fails to show and brigands waylay him in the night, he has to struggle hundreds of miles overland to his ship which is fast freezing into the White Sea. Book 8 of 9 in the Rundel series.
Captain Rundel II - Give Me a Fair Wind (book 7 of 9 of the Rundel Series)
Captain Benjamin Rundel struggles with ship wreckers and the capture of the wrong ship after a peace treaty has been signed. He is sent to the Caribbean with a crew of 'goalies' who want no part of sailing or war. He and his friend, Tom, end up chasing gold in Australia with endless adventures and mighty ice bergs in the Antarctic. Book 7 of 9 in the Rundel series; 1806-1809.
Captain Rundel I - Trafalgar and Beyond (book 6 of 9 of the Rundel Series)
Benjamin Rundel serves aboard Lord Nelson’s ship at Trafalgar, attends his funeral, survives the storm afterwards and finally meets his lady love. After a short courtship, he is engaged to her and sets off for the Pacific with orders to evaluate the west coast of America to see if there are resources that England can use when the war ends. After dealing with a mutiny, he returns home.
Humble Launching, A Story of a Little Boy Growing Up at Sea (Book 1 of 9 in the Rundel Series)
This is the story of an orphaned young English boy growing up at sea in the 18th century and facing many challenges from the four terrible ship’s boys to a vindictive leftenant. We experience the Napoleonic Wars through his eyes and those of his friend, Thomas Murphy. It is pumped with action and still shows the challenges that will make Benji a fine captain under often near impossible odds.
We Three Kings - King Richard II, King Henry IV and King Henry V
This book brings to life King Richard II, King Henry IV and King Henry V of England, described sometimes as "Bad king, fair king and good king." Through the eyes of two Irish brothers, we travel with these kings from 1377-1422 A.D. through Wales, England and France, reliving the battles of Shrewsbury and Agincourt and experiencing everyday trials and victories.
Forever Leftenant Rundel (book 5 of 9 of the Rundel Series)
Benjamin Rundel is first leftenant aboard the Gadfly, which is under the command of the son of an M.P. who has bought his son’s commission. But the young captain is a frustrated actor who is addicted to opium and has no idea of the duties of captain. Ben must face charges of mutiny in order to safeguard the ship as he assumes the captain's duties. This is book 5 of 9 in Stark's Rundel series.
A collection of twelve original Christmas stories for the whole family. These stories provide inspiration at Christmas, highlighting the problems that people face and how they manage to conquer their problems during the Christmas season. They are nondenominational, though one story references Catholic traditions.
Rolf 'The Red' MacCanna
The anguish suffered by a man who has lived with three different religions and many different gods powers this book. Rolf wants to be a Christian, but can’t shake the old Druid ways. The story plays out the feelings that many of our ancestors must have felt when the Vikings were knocking at their doors and the old Druid ways were being suppressed by the advance of Christianity.
The Twins of Torsh
The story of identical twin brothers, born Celts at the time of the Roman conquest of England. Jason becomes a competent engineer for the Romans, traveling to Masada and Rome, while his brother, Julius, stays home and farms. In the end the differences in their lives makes them very different in appearance, beliefs and happiness.
Brothers 4: King Richard Lion Heart and King John Lackland
This thoroughly researched historical novel contrasts King Richard I, poet and warrior, and the political schemes of his brother King John, which led to Runnemede, Magna Carta, and eventually to civil war and loss of the crown jewels in the Wash. The kings are profiled through conversation, letters and journals by four Irish men - 2 warriors and 2 scholars - who served under both kings.
An Irishman’s Revenge
This story is based on the dramatic changes in the lives of the people living in England under Norman rule. They went from free men to virtual slaves and serfs overnight. Skel, whose family had been sold into slavery from Ireland by the Romans, becomes a master stone mason and later is sent on Crusade to Jerusalem. All the while, he plots his revenge.
Edward’s Right Hand
Many adventures lie in the path of Justin who is right hand man to King Edward I. Things get complicated when Justin secretly marries a Jewess at a time when King Edward is persecuting the Jews. There are many battles with the Scots and Welsh and much consternation when Edward forces Justin to marry a French harlot because he thinks that Justin is unmarried. Then things get interesting.
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