LOCAL author and historian David James released his latest work last week, a look into the fascinating story behind one of King Henry VII’s warships.

Mr James signed copies of his book on Thursday, March 7, at Pembroke Dock library as part of the World Book Day celebrations.

The publication, called Ye Mary Fortune: A Ship of Henry VII – 1490 AD, aims to explore not only the 14th and 15th Century construction and naval actions of vessels such as Ye Mary Fortune, but also the political and economic factors of the time.

Mr James said he got the idea to write the book after giving about Pembrokeshire’s maritime heritage when someone mentioned the Mary Fortune, which sparked an interested in him.

“It’s a research document as much as its a book,” Mr James said.

“There’s snippets and stories in there but there’s a lot of heavy stuff in it, information about various ships etc.

“I’ve tried to keep it in the appendix, so there is lots of extra information there for people who want it.

“It took a few years to write the book, it couldn’t be rushed. I gathered a scrap of information here, a scrap of information there.

“While I was writing I was thinking ‘I have to do this now I’ve started’. I’m insatiably curious - I just want to find out more.”

In addition to writing the book, Mr James constructed a scale model of the vessel which can be seen in the West Wales Maritime Heritage Museum in Pembroke Dock.

He has written a number of books about maritime Wales including Down the Slipway (Ships of Pembrokeshire’s Secret Waterway) and Of Monks and Seawolves, in addition to his latest title about Ye Mary Fortune.

Copies of the book can be found in local bookshops or by contacting Mr James by email at dnjames1938@gmail.com