Troubador A Sea of Contumely

Released: 28/11/2021

ISBN: 9781800465244

eISBN: 9781800467002

Format: Paperback/eBook

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A Sea of Contumely

A Dr Webster Story


Dr John Webster (1610-1682), was a defrocked cleric, Schoolmaster, alchemist, astrologer, surgeon and writer. He is at once arrogant, worldly and with a wry sense of humour. Written mainly in the first person, this historical fiction is based on his life.

While living and working in Lancashire during the early days of the English Civil War, Webster finds a fraud, perpetrated by one of the governors, in the accounts of the Grammar School at which he is the Master. The fraudster, now knighted by King Charles, becomes a sworn enemy.

Webster’s household is chased from the town after the satanic murder of his black servant and, with his enemy serving with the Royalists, he is co-opted into the Parliamentary forces as a surgeon.

With larger than life characters, murder, intrigue & betrayal, Webster, accompanied by his housekeeper’s son and a Sergeant-at-Arms takes us into the little-known battles of Lancashire and the Fylde, the story reaching its climax at the Battle of Read Bridge in April 1643, a pivotal though little known action in the Civil War in Lancashire.

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Steve Ragnall

Steve is a Maritime Historian, Writer, Cruise Ship Speaker & Documentary maker from Clitheroe, Lancashire.

Rendered disabled through polio at the age of 4, he has always pushed himself to achieve, whilst also encouraging others. With a belief that everyone has a story within them, he worked with the BBC on their “Telling Lives” project in 2004/5, introducing short film making skills to the general public. When that project ended, he took the project into schools. He has also worked in local radio as musician, writer and presenter. For several years he was a director with a local community project supporting disadvantaged people.

Steve has lectured around the world and been in demand as a cruise ship speaker for many years and also speaks regularly to U3A, NADFAS, Probus, Rotary Clubs of Gt. Britain, National Trust Associations and many other organisations.

He has extensive sailing experience, including passages on tall ships, most notably the Bark Endeavour, replica of Captain Cook’s ship, and is also proud to be an honorary member of the Merchant Navy Association.

His other books are:

“Better Conceiv’d than Describ’d; The life and times of Captain James King (1750-84), Matador, 2013.

"Pandora's Box and Other Stories", 2018.

He currently live in Lancashire with his partner, Jill, has two adult children and a number of grandchildren.

Steve Ragnall
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