Helen Doe


My research has led me from the days of nineteenth century wooden sailing ships to Spitfires and Hurricanes in the second world war. The maritime research might be anything from smugglers to shipbuilders, while the air force history has led me from southern England to India.It is always the people that I find fascinating and I have a weakness for strong or quirky personalities. 

Here are some bits of research on a variety of subjects. I have researched many aspects of both naval and mercantile navy history. These include port history, maritime communities, the maritime history of Cornwall, naval wives and widows, and marine insurance. My  interest in maritime history began many years ago with research on the Slade shipbuilders of Polruan. This led to my book Jane Slade of Polruan, which tells the story of a woman shipbuilder who became the inspiration for Daphne du Maurier’s first novel and launched her international writing career.

See an example of my research into Cornish smugglers in the early nineteenth century. Or you may like to read about the fifteenth-century Fowey pirates who intercepted and robbed Spanish ships.