William Bertram

Biography

Bill Bertram has for the last forty years researched Britain’s late 18th and early 19th century Merchant and Royal Navy ships. At University, he specialised in the design and performance of wooden warships. He is now a maritime historian and writer living near Devonport Royal Naval Base, England.
Bill’s work has been coloured by his historical knowledge and experience of seamanship, he has an unique approach to maritime history and has developed a dramatic style of writing that explores the brass tacks of historic maritime fiction. For him a good story must explain what is going on around the subject, it is extremely important that the background of the story is factually correct.
Bill attended Plymouth University for his degree in Maritime History and Marine Technology. His dissertation on the sailing qualities of 19th century warships was rapidly accepted and broadcast on Television and Radio as well as being published in the New Scientist and in journals all around the world. During his time at University, he satisfied his academic curiosity and his need to eat, by becoming a guide at Plymouth Naval Base Museum and a receptionist at Fort Bovisand.
For several years, he pursued this speciality further. The next years were fulfilling as a teacher, but retirement threatened and so Bill returned to his major academic love, maritime history, luckily he was in a city steeped in the past glories of her relationship with the sea. Now free from a profession, Bill again returned to his first love, the sea and writing historic novels. As a teenager, Bill loved the Hornblower novels by C. S. Forester and had always dreamed of writing books in that genre.
It was at this point in Bill’s history that he decided to write books based on the history of Plymouth and its seafaring people. Resolving to write a mixture of factual and fiction books, his first three books progressed through several generations of the same family, he centred his rags to riches stories around the Brown family. Using factual evidence, he interwove the characters around Plymouth’s 18th century history and streets. This clearly involved many long days of research and fact-finding, however, eventually he wrote his first novel and swiftly followed it with two more in rapid succession. The first three books that Bill wrote are indeed based on an 18th century Plymouthian family who are clearly fictional, however, this can never be said of his novel’s backgrounds, here Bill has meticulously used old maps, drawings and records to build up an historic environment for his characters to exist in.
Similarly with the three plays that have been also been composed, these also revolve about the same family, but are set in different centuries, but all involve the Plymouth Brown family and all deal with a period of historical significance.
Bill Bertram has since published six books, He lives and writes from his home in Plymouth, for relaxation, Bill visits the sea daily and he is currently the owner of an Edwardian Steamboat in which he potters about.

Books

1811 Essentia
Price: $10.00 USD. Words: 207,240. Language: British English. Published: March 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical, Nonfiction » History » Modern / 18th Century
This book deals with an ordinary man from the 21st century (Michael), through a fault in the Essentia’s admin database, being time exchanged with the soul of a dead naval lieutenant from another century and there is no going back. Later in the Novel after he has fooled most of the crew in thinking him competent, he is unintentionally involved in several bloody sea fights.
1809 Ben Brown Vive Le Roi
Series: Ben Brown's Adventures, III · The History of the Brown Family, V. Price: $10.00 USD. Words: 213,180. Language: English. Published: May 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom, Fiction » Adventure » Sea adventures
This is the third book in the series and here we see our Hero take part in three desperate sea battles. He still has his friends around him, but now he has acquired another friend in Henri, a Frenchman whom he rescued in book two. This friendship involves him in an adventure with the French Royalists and for a while, he is sailing under a French Royalist Captain.
1809 Ben Brown On the Beach
Series: Ben Brown's Adventures, II · The History of the Brown Family, IV. Price: $10.00 USD. Words: 138,400. Language: English. Published: May 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom, Fiction » Adventure » Sea adventures
This is the tale of a cheeky young man growing into maturity, as this book progresses he is given more and more chances to take command and to prove his worth. He is mentored by his old Captain and sustained during this adventure by his men. Later in the book he is involved in a desperate fight that will make him assume the mantle of leadership.
The Spanish Dagger
Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 20,750. Language: British English. Published: June 22, 2013. Categories: Plays » European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Screenplays » History
Another play following the Brown family of Plymouth through the centuries. This one takes us back to the days of Good Queen Bess and the ongoing fight with Spain over the sovereignty of the seas. It revolves around the theme of hatred and revenge and tells its tale through sea battles and mad commanders.
The Midshipman's Progress
Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 11,880. Language: British English. Published: June 17, 2013. Categories: Plays » European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Screenplays » History
This play revolves around a young innocent recruit into the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars. It concentrates on his attitude to his fellow shipmates and the new adult life that he has been suddenly thrust into. This play seeks to immerse readers into the main character's transition from boy to man, warts and all, the whole story semi fictitiously wrapped up in humorous but earthy narrative.
The Admiral and the General.
Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 12,320. Language: British English. Published: June 10, 2013. Categories: Plays » European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Plays » European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
This play is about a little known Commonwealth expedition to wage war against the Spanish in the Caribbean. This hasty and ill planned expedition could in hindsight be called a fiasco with both the naval commander and the army commander ending up inside the tower of London on their return.
1779 Billy Brown Cometh the Man...
Series: The History of the Brown Family, II. Price: $8.00 USD. Words: 241,470. Language: British English. Published: April 3, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Sea adventures, Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
This story is set in 18th century Plymouth during the time of the American Revolutionary War. It highlights thirteen hectic days, when a middle class seafaring family just happen to become involved in the espionage and subterfuge used by American rebels to further their cause.
1809 Ben Brown Rite of Passage
Series: Ben Brown's Adventures, I · The History of the Brown Family, III. Price: $10.00 USD. Words: 192,270. Language: English. Published: February 26, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom, Fiction » Adventure » Sea adventures
(5.00)
Our Hero's adventures, scrapes and later actions as they unfold, take us initially to the Mediterranean and then to the French coast. His third ship was a captured Russian bomb vessel now equipped as a rocket ship. Quite an experimental design for that time and quite as dangerous to friend and foe alike.
1756 Ben Brown and the Smugglers
Series: The History of the Brown Family, I. Price: $8.00 USD. Words: 177,710. Language: British English. Published: February 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Around Plymouth Sound, smugglers and revenue men are waging open warfare; with the smugglers winning the battle for getting contraband goods into Plymouth and South East Cornwall. The Brown family now change their occupation from servicing the lighthouse into working for the Custom and Excise. Ben Brown and his son (another Ben), are now given a new cutter and contracted to clear out the smugglers

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