Steven Maffeo

Seize, Burn, or Sink:
The Thoughts and Words of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson


NOTE : If you'd like an autographed, personalized copy of Seize, Burn, or Sink, go to the "contact" page of this site, shoot me an email, and we can get it done.


“Historian Steven E. Maffeo has mined his voluminous correspondence to give us the nuggets in this book—the best of Nelson, or, if you will, Nelson unexpurgated. You will find this book a great read and a reference you will return to often, in the years ahead, when you need just the right phrase. I recommend it to you.”
—Stephen Coonts, 17-times New York Times best-selling author, including Flight of the Intruder and The Assassin

“Having such a collection of the great man’s thoughts and words readily to hand, in such a well-presented format, will prove invaluable to me in this appointment.”
—Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, KCB, ADC, formerly First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, Royal Navy

“Monumental ... magnificent ... what an achievement! .... Captain Maffeo has extracted from Nelson's correspondence the opinions of the great man and the manner in which they furthered his naval intentions—for this is not by any means a collection of unadorned or unambiguous comment. Here is Nelson at work, as well as Nelson as a private person, with his concerns and anxieties, his care and thoughtfulness for others, and his ruthless streak. Captain Maffeo has extracted and collected a fascinating miscellany in Seize, Burn, or Sink.”
—Captain Richard Woodman, FRHistS, FNI, Elder Brother of UK Trinity House, and author of over 50 nautical books
including the Nathaniel Drinkwater age-of-sail series

“It will be a gold mine for everyone who wants to find a way into the man and his mind, and the layout will be ideal for those like me who can remember a line, but not quite recall where they read it! If only I had had this at my elbow in 2003!”
—Professor Andrew Lambert, Laughton Professor of Naval History, King’s College, London

“I only picked it up an hour ago and have no more than glanced at it yet, but I am greatly impressed by the amount of work you have put into it. It is the sort of book which will be invaluable for checking sources and verifying quotations.”
—Professor N.A.M. Rodger, Dept. of History, University of Exeter, UK

“Maffeo’s book is the first publication to put together in one convenient volume the bulk of Nelson’s most famous and interesting remarks ... I found numerous delightful gems as I perused the pages ... for any serious student of Nelson it is an invaluable reference tool.”
—Julian Stockwin, M.B.E., author of the eight Thomas Kydd age-of-sail novels

“Similar to [Rear Admiral] Joseph Callo’s earlier work but on a much larger scale, Steven E. Maffeo has produced a volume of 3,000 quotations from published sources to illustrate Nelson’s character and personality in his own words.”
—Dr. John B. Hattendorf, Chairman, Maritime History Department, U.S. Naval War College, in the Journal for Maritime Research

Selected Works

Nonfiction: Naval History
U.S. Navy Codebreakers, Linguists, and Intelligence Officers against Japan, 1910-1941--A Biographical Dictionary "This volume will remain the standard reference for information about the Navy's intelligence personnel before and during World War II."
—Elliot Carlson, in the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings
Most Secret and Confidential:
Intelligence in the Age of Nelson "One of the top three naval/maritime books of the year 2000."
—Norman Polmar, in Seapower magazine
Nonfiction: Naval History
Seize, Burn, or Sink: The Thoughts and Words of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson "Monumental ... magnificent! Captain Maffeo has extracted and collected a fascinating miscellany in "Seize, Burn, or Sink."
—Captain Richard Woodman, author of the Nathaniel Drinkwater series
Naval History / Historical fiction
The Perfect Wreck:  “Old Ironsides” and H.M.S. Java—A Story of 1812 "A highly recommended must-read for every naval enthusiast—indeed, for every American!"
—Stephen Coonts, 17-times NY Times best-selling author

Quick Links

Find Authors