J. E. Macdonnell
J. E. Macdonnell
|Born||James Edmond Macdonnell|
3 November 1917
|Died||13 September 2002 (aged 84)|
|Pen name||James Edmond Macdonnell, James Macdonnell, J.E.M., Jim Macdonnell, J. Macdonnell, Macnell, James Macnell, James Dark, Kerry Mitchell, Michael Owen.|
James Edmond Macdonnell (3 November 1917 – 13 September 2002) was an Australian novelist. The covers of his novels declare him "Australia's leading novelist of the Navy" and "Australia's greatest novelist of the sea".
- 1 Biography
- 2 The Bulletin
- 3 Publishers
- 4 Works
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
James Edmond Macdonnell was born in 1917 in Mackay, Queensland and became one of Australia's most prolific writers of paperback novels. As a boy, he became determined to go to sea and read every seafaring book he could find. At age 13, while his family was still asleep, he took his brother's bike and rode some 80 miles from his home town to Brisbane in an attempt to see ships and the sea. Fortunately, he was found and returned to his family. He attended the Toowoomba Grammar School from 1931 to 1932. He served in the Royal Australian Navy for fourteen years, joining at age 17, advancing through all lower deck ranks and reaching the rank of commissioned gunnery officer. He began writing books while still in active service. The publicity biography on the back cover of Command! (1959) states that "he began with novels in 1942".
Macdonnell wrote stories for The Bulletin under the pseudonym "Macnell" and from 1948 to 1956 he was a member of The Bulletin staff. His first book, Fleet Destroyer - a collection of stories about life on the small ships - was published by The Book Depot, Melbourne, in 1945. Macdonnell began writing full-time for Horwitz in 1956, writing an average of a dozen books a year.
After leaving the navy, Macdonnell lived in St. Ives, Sydney and pursued his writing career. In 1988, he retired to Buderim on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. He died peacefully in his sleep at a Buderim hospital in 2002. He is survived by his wife Valerie and his children Beth, Jane and Peter.
Macdonnell's work for The Bulletin, using the pseudonym Macnell, includes the following:
|Neptune's Feet of Clay||Vol.70 no.3640||16 November 1949||22-23|
|A Shepherd at Sea||Vol.70 no.3646||28 December 1949||4,20|
|Standby to Ram!||Vol.71 no.3696||13 December 1950||34-35,42|
|The Insubordination of P.O. Brady (from Gimme the Boats)||Vol.71 no.3661||12 April 1950||4,20-21|
|`Old Guns' : His Strange Disease||Vol.71 no.3669||7 June 1950||20,22|
|A Lesson for Two (from Gimme the Boats)||Vol.71 no.3683||13 September 1950||21-22|
|International Incident||Vol.72 no.3715||25 April 1951||20,22,24,32|
|The Chook Gets Hers||Vol.72 no.3747||5 December 1951||27,39|
|Borrowed Braid||Vol.72 no.3748||12 December 1951||32-33,36|
|Target Unidentified||Vol.73 no.3762||19 March 1952||16-17|
|The Drum||Vol.73 no.3764||2 April 1952||4,14-15|
|Destroyer Operation (from Gimme the Boats)||Vol.73 no.3773||4 June 1952||4,14-15|
|Submarining Off Sydney||Vol.73 no.3790||1 October 1952||4|
|Pity Requited 1952||Vol.73 no.3797||19 November 1952||20,22|
|Untitled||Vol.74 no.3812||4 March 1953|
|Open Sights||Vol.74 no.3817||8 April 1953||20|
|What You Learn in the Navy||Vol.82 no.4232||22 March 1961||16|
- The Book Depot
- Ace Books
- Constable & Co. Ltd.
- Continental Printing Co. Ltd. (Hong Kong)
- Corgi Books
- Dent (London)
- Flammarion (France)
- Horwitz Publications
- Signet Books
- The Children's Press
J. E. Macdonnell wrote over 200 novels, in at least 7 different series under several versions of his own name and several pseudonyms:
- J. E. Macdonnell
- James Edmond Macdonnell
- James Macdonnell
- Jim Macdonnell
- J. Macdonnell
- James Macnell
- James Dark
- Kerry Mitchell
- Michael Owen.
James Dark was a Horwitz house pseudonym shared by several authors. Some believe that he may have written as James Workman, another Horwitz house pseudonym, as well. Macdonnell's work has been published in at least nine different languages.
Macdonnell's naval stories feature several recurring characters:
- Captain "Dutchy" Holland, D.S.O.
- Captain Peter Bentley, V.C.
- Captain Bruce Sainsbury, V.C.
- Jim Brady.
- XO Lieutenant Commander Robert Randall
Several books follow Jim Brady through the ranks from Able Seaman to Captain.
Recurring characters in other series include Commander Carton, a "tough, enterprising skipper" in the Crime Series, Mark Hood, an international spy, in the International Espionage series and Captain Mettle, V.C. in the three juvenile novels.
Since J. E. Macdonnell wrote so many books, many of which were released numerous times in different guises, in different collections and in various countries, it is difficult to identify every published series but some can be clearly identified:
- J. E. Macdonnell Series.
- The Horwitz Australian Library.
- The Horwitz Sea Adventure Library or Horwitz Naval Series.
- The Classics Series.
- The Collector's Series.
- The Juvenile Books.
- The Medical Series.
- The Commander Carton Crime Series by Horwitz.
- The International Espionage Series.
The Collector's Series, and the Classics Series both comprise 141 books, with 2 differences between them other than the title sequence. The Collector's Series does not contain the book The Captain and the classic series does not contain the book Don't Gimme The Ships. Both of these series comprise books from the original Sea Adventure Series.
The Juvenile Books
Macdonnell wrote three juvenile works about the character Captain Mettle using the pseudonym James Macnell. They were published by Constable and The Children's Press. He wrote another entitled Colt and Co in the Valley of Gold as J. Macdonnell, which was published by Dent in 1960. This book was described in the wrapper notes as "the first of a new series" but no further titles were forthcoming.
Mettle At Woomera was re-released in paperback as Weapon Raid by Horwitz in 1979, using the name J. E. Macdonnell.
|Captain Mettle, V.C.||1955|
|Mettle Dives Deep||1956|
|Mettle At Woomera||1957|
|Colt and Co in the Valley of Gold||1960|
The Commander Carton Crime Series
Commander Carton is a retired R.N. captain who finds himself fighting crime.
Published as J. E. Macdonnell.
|1||Standby to Ram||1957||38||Broadsides!||1962||75||Hell Ship||1966||112||Circle of Fire||1970|
|2||Target Unidentified||1957||39||Battle Line||1962||76||The Convert||1966||113||For Valour||1971|
|3||Battle Ensign||1958||40||The Long Haul||1962||77||Wall of Fire||1966||114||Torrent of Fire||1971|
|4||Enemy in Sight||1959||41||Away Boarders||1962||78||The Unforgiving Sea||1967||115||Guns for God||1971|
|5||Command||1959||42||The First Lieutenant||1962||79||Down the Throat||1967||116||Damn the Torpedoes||1971|
|6||Alarm–EBoats!||1958||43||UBoat||1962||80||Combat Assignment||1967||117||First Command||1971|
|7||The Weak Link||1959||44||Flotilla Leader||1962||81||The Snake Boats||1967||118||Standing into Danger||1971|
|8||Presumed Sunk||1958||45||Sea Surgeon||1962||82||The Misfit||1967||119||Torpedo Junction||1971|
|9||Mutiny||1958||46||Abandon Ship!||1963||83||Behemoth||1967||120||The Worst Enemy||1971|
|10||Coffin Island||1958||47||Conflict||1963||84||Dit Spinner||1967||121||North West by North||1971|
|11||Frogman!||1958||48||Repel Boarders||1963||85||The Power and the Privilege||1968||122||Chain of Violence||1972|
|12||Killer Ship||1958||49||Not Under Command||1963||86||Rat Island||1968||123||Close Up||1972|
|13||Night Encounter||1958||50||Fire One!||1963||87||Petty Officer Brady||1968||124||False Colours||1972|
|14||Bilgewater||1958||51||Abandon and Destroy||1963||88||Valiant Mission||1968||125||The Brave Men||1972|
|15||The Secret Weapon||1959||52||The Buffer||1963||89||Full Fathom Five||1968||126||Point Blank||1972|
|16||Target Battleship||1959||53||Decision||1963||90||Approved to Scrap||1968||127||Most Immediate||1972|
|17||Dive! Dive! Dive!||1959||54||The Gun||1963||91||Attack and be Damned||1968||128||This Ship is Mine||1972|
|18||The Surgeon||1959||55||The Pawn||1964||92||Mission Hopeless||1968||129||The Trap||1972|
|19||The Gunner||1959||56||Sabotage||1964||93||Judas Rat||1968||130||The Verge of Hell||1972|
|20||The Captain||1960||57||The Betrayal||1964||94||High Command||1968||131||Blind into Doom||1972|
|21||Brood of the Eagle||1960||58||Collision Course||1964||95||HunterKiller||1968||132||Fire Storm||1973|
|22||The Recommend||1960||59||The Big Wind||1964||96||White Fury||1968||133||The Iron Claw||1973|
|23||The Coxswain||1960||60||Killer Group||1964||97||The Hammer of God||1968||134||Attack!||1973|
|24||The Challenge||1960||61||The Mistake||1964||98||Headlong into Hell||1968||135||A Council of Captains||1974|
|25||Convoy||1960||62||Course to Intercept||1964||99||Decoyed||1968||136||The Kill||1974|
|26||Find And Destroy||1960||63||Creeping Attack||1964||100||To the Death||1969||137||Court Martial||1975|
|27||Escort Ship||1960||64||The Jaws of Hell||1965||101||Execute!||1969||138||Operational Immediate||1975|
|28||Don’t Gimme the Ships||1960||65||Close and Investigate||1965||102||Strike Force||1969||139||The Dark Of The Night||1975|
|29||The Blind Eye||1961||66||Under Sealed Orders||1965||103||The Big Hunt||1969||140||Liberty Men||1976|
|30||Eagles Over Taranto||1961||67||Flashpoint||1965||104||Operation Jackal||1969||141||The Battle for Midway||1976|
|31||Fleet Destroyer||1961||68||White Death||1965||105||And the Heavens Spoke||1969||142||Big Bill the Bastard||1976|
|32||The Rocky||1961||69||The Deserter||1965||106||Not Wanted on Voyage||1970||143||Confirmed in Command||1976|
|33||The Lesson||1961||70||The Duel||1965||107||The Last Stand||1970||144||Standoff||1977|
|34||Clear for Action||1961||71||Whispering Death||1965||108||Object Destruction||1970||145||The Shadow||1977|
|35||Battle Fire||1961||72||Point of Departure||1966||109||Battle Hymn||1970||146||Death of a Destroyer||1977|
|36||The Ordeal||1961||73||Loom of Ice||1966||110||Died Fighting||1970||147||Valiant Occasions||1977|
|37||Sainsbury V.C.||1962||74||Foul Ground||1966||111||Fog Blind||1970|
The Classics Series
The classics series is a re-release of most titles from the Horwitz Naval Series. The covers were mainly coloured silver and as a result this series is also known as the silver series.
|1||Stand By To Ram||37||U-Boat||73||Wall Of Fire||109||For Valour|
|2||Target Unidentified||38||Battle Fire||74||The Unforgiving Sea||110||Torrent Of Fire|
|3||Battle Ensign||39||The Ordeal||75||Down The Throat||111||Guns For God|
|4||Enemy In Sight||40||Sainsbury, V.C.||76||Combat Assignment||112||Damn The Torpedoes!|
|5||Command||41||Broadsides!||77||The Misfit||113||Torpedo Junction|
|6||Alarm-E-Boats!||42||Flotilla Leader||78||The Snake Boats||114||First Command|
|7||The Weak Link||43||Abandon Ship||79||Attack And Be Damned||115||Standing Into Danger|
|8||Presumed Sunk||44||Conflict||80||Behemoth||116||The Worst Enemy|
|9||Mutiny||45||Repel Boarders||81||Dit Spinner||117||Northwest By North|
|10||Coffin Island||46||Not Under Command||82||Approved To Scrap||118||Chain Of Violence|
|11||Frogman||47||Fire One!||83||The Power & The Privilege||119||Close Up|
|12||Killer Ship||48||The Buffer||84||Rat Island||120||False Colours|
|13||Night Encounter||49||Decision||85||Petty Officer Brady||121||The Brave Men|
|14||The Secret Weapon||50||Abandon And Destroy||86||Valiant Mission||122||Point Blank|
|15||Target Battleship||51||The Pawn||87||Full Fathom Five||123||Most Immediate|
|16||Dive! Dive! Dive!||52||The Gun||88||Mission Hopeless||124||This Ship Is Mine|
|17||The Surgeon||53||Sabotage!||89||Judas Rat||125||The Trap|
|18||The Gunner||54||Collision Course||90||High Command||126||The Verge Of Hell|
|19||The Captain||55||The Big Wind||91||Hunter-Killer||127||Blind Into Doom|
|20||Brood of the Eagle||56||Killer Group||92||White Fury||128||Fire Storm|
|21||The Recommend||57||The Mistake||93||The Hammer Of God||129||The Iron Claw|
|22||The Coxswain||58||Course To Intercept||94||Headlong Into Hell||130||Attack!|
|23||The Challenge||59||Creeping Attack||95||Decoyed||131||A Council of Captains|
|24||Convoy||60||The Jaws Of Hell||96||To The Death||132||The Kill|
|25||Find And Destroy||61||Close And Investigate||97||Execute!||133||Court Martial|
|26||The Blind Eye||62||Flashpoint||98||Strike Force||134||Big Bill The Bastard|
|27||Eagles Over Taranto||63||White Death||99||The Big Hunt||135||Confirmed In Command|
|28||Escort Ship||64||The Deserter||100||Operation Jackal||136||Operational Immediate|
|29||Fleet Destroyer||65||The Duel||101||And The Heavens Spoke||137||The Dark Of The Night|
|30||The Rocky||66||Whispering Death||102||Not Wanted On Voyage||138||Liberty Men|
|31||The Lesson||67||Point Of Departure||103||The Last Stand||139||The Shadow|
|32||Clear For Action||68||Loom Of Ice||104||Object: Destruction||140||Standoff|
|33||Battle Line||69||Foul Ground||105||Battle Hymn||141||Death Of A Destroyer|
|34||The Long Haul||70||Under Sealed Orders||106||Fog Blind|
|35||Away Boarders!||71||Hell Ship||107||Died Fighting|
|36||The First Lieutenant||72||The Convert||108||Circle Of Fire|
The Collector's Series
The collector's series is another re-release of most titles from the Horwitz Naval Series. The covers were mainly coloured gold and as a result this series is also known as the gold series.
|1||Stand By To Ram||37||Battle Fire||73||Under Sealed Orders||109||Guns For God|
|2||Target Unidentified||38||The Ordeal||74||Hell Ship||110||Damn The Torpedoes|
|3||Battle Ensign||39||Sainsbury, V.C.||75||The Convert||111||Torpedo Junction|
|4||Enemy In Sight||40||Flotilla Leader||76||Petty Officer Brady||112||First Command!|
|5||Command||41||Abandon Ship||77||Valiant Mission||113||Standing Into Danger|
|6||Alarm-E-Boats!||42||Conflict||78||Down The Throat||114||The Worst Enemy|
|7||The Weak Link||43||Repel Boarders||79||Mission Hopeless||115||Northwest By North|
|8||Presumed Sunk||44||Not Under Command||80||Combat Assignment||116||Chain Of Violence|
|9||Mutiny||45||Fire One!||81||Judas Rat||117||Close Up|
|10||Target Battleship||46||The Buffer||82||High Command||118||False Colours|
|11||Dive! Dive! Dive!||47||Decision||83||Approved To Scrap||119||The Brave Men|
|12||Coffin Island||48||Abandon And Destroy||84||Attack And Be Damned||120||Point Blank|
|13||Frogman||49||The Pawn||85||The Snake Boats||121||Most Immediate|
|14||Killer Ship||50||The Gun||86||Hunter-Killer||122||This Ship Is Mine|
|15||Night Encounter||51||Sabotage!||87||White Fury||123||The Trap|
|16||The Secret Weapon||52||Collision Course||88||Dit Spinner||124||The Verge Of Hell|
|17||Brood of the Eagle||53||The Big Wind||89||The Hammer Of God||125||Blind Into Doom|
|18||The Surgeon||54||Killer Group||90||The Power & the Privilege||126||Fire Storm|
|19||The Gunner||55||The Mistake||91||Headlong Into Hell||127||The Iron Claw|
|20||The Recommend||56||Course To Intercept||92||Full Fathom Five||128||Attack!|
|21||The Coxswain||57||Creeping Attack||93||Not Wanted On Voyage||129||A Council of Captains|
|22||The Challenge||58||The Jaws Of Hell||94||To The Death||130||The Kill|
|23||Convoy||59||Close And Investigate||95||The Last Stand||131||Court Martial|
|24||Find And Destroy||60||Flashpoint||96||Execute!||132||Operational Immediate|
|25||The Blind Eye||61||White Death||97||Object Destruction||133||Big Bill The Bastard|
|26||Eagles Over Taranto||62||The Deserter||98||Strike Force||134||Confirmed In Command|
|27||Escort Ship||63||The Misfit||99||Battle Hymn||135||The Dark Of The Night|
|28||Fleet Destroyer||64||The Duel||100||The Big Hunt||136||Liberty Men|
|29||The Rocky||65||Whispering Death||101||Fog Blind||137||The Shadow|
|30||The Lesson||66||Point Of Departure||102||Operation Jackal||138||Standoff|
|31||Battle Line||67||Loom Of Ice||103||Died Fighting||139||Death Of A Destroyer|
|32||The Long Haul||68||Behemoth||104||And The Heavens Spoke||140||Wall Of Fire|
|33||Away Boarders!||69||Foul Ground||105||Circle Of Fire||141||Don't Gimme The Ships|
|34||The First Lieutenant||70||The Unforgiving Sea||106||Decoyed|
|35||U-Boat||71||Rat Island||107||For Valour|
|36||Clear For Action||72||Broadsides!||108||Torrent Of Fire|
The International Espionage Series
This series was first published in America by Signet under the pseudonym James Dark. It was later published in Australia by Horwitz Publications as J. E. Macdonnell and some titles were changed. Additional titles were used for some non-English language versions, as well. The year shown reflects the original American year of publication. Australian titles are shown only where they differ.
|No.||American Title||Year||Australian Title|
|JD1||Come Die With Me||1965|
|JD2||The Bamboo Bomb||1965|
|JD3||Hong Kong Incident||1966||Assignment: Hong Kong|
|JD4||Assignment Tokyo||1966||Operation MissSat|
|JD5||Spy from the Deep||1966|
|JD6||Operation Scuba||1967||Caribbean Striker|
|JD7||Throne of Satan||1967||Black Napoleon|
|JD8||The Sword of Genghis Khan||1967|
|JD11||Operation Ice Cap||1969|
|JD12||The Invisibles[notes 1]||1969|
|JD13||Sea Scrape||1970||The Reluctant Assassin|
The Medical Series
This series was published by Horwitz Publications under the name J. E. Macdonnell. At least some titles were published as part of the J. E. Macdonnell Series, along with other Macdonnell titles. They were also released as a separate series numbered MS1 - MS12. At least two titles were published under the pseudonym Kerry Mitchell. Macdonnell may have written other medical romance novels released by Horwitz under the name Kerry Mitchell, as well. The back cover of one edition says of Macdonnell, in part, "...In researching for this series of medical novels, he has witnessed more than fifty major surgical operations - and only fainted once...!"
|MS1||A Pair of Hands||1960|
|MS4||The Doctor’s Challenge||1961|
|MS6||Doctor on Approval||1962|
|MS10||The Doctor’s Experiment||1963|
|MS11||Doctor on Test||1963|
|MS12||The Doctor’s Mistake||1967|
- The Australian series numbers both this book and The Reluctant Assassin as JD13. JD12 is omitted. This appears to be a printing error.
2. Commander Brady, Published by Constable 1956, Reprinted 1956, Corgi Books 1957, Re-issued 1971. Although this book is credited with J.E. Macdonnell as writer. The style of writing does not seem to be his.
- Author record, J. E. Macdonnell, AustLit (www.austlit.edu.au), 2002-20/05/2008
- “news2.pdf, Greg Ray” http://www.warrigalpress.com.au/news2.pdf
- “James Edmond Macdonnell, James MacNell and 'Mettle'”, http://www.collectingbooksandmagazines.com/mettle.html
- Macdonnell, J. E.: "Alias Carton", back cover. Horwitz Publications, 1961
- Macdonnell, J. E.: Doctor On Test, back cover. Horwitz Publications, 1963