• Thumbnail of A Set of 12 Carey Novels by Ronald Welch
  • Thumbnail of A Set of 12 Carey Novels by Ronald Welch
  • Thumbnail of A Set of 12 Carey Novels by Ronald Welch
  • Thumbnail of A Set of 12 Carey Novels by Ronald Welch
  • Thumbnail of A Set of 12 Carey Novels by Ronald Welch
  • Thumbnail of A Set of 12 Carey Novels by Ronald Welch
  • Thumbnail of A Set of 12 Carey Novels by Ronald Welch
  • Thumbnail of A Set of 12 Carey Novels by Ronald Welch
  • Thumbnail of A Set of 12 Carey Novels by Ronald Welch
  • Thumbnail of A Set of 12 Carey Novels by Ronald Welch
  • Thumbnail of A Set of 12 Carey Novels by Ronald Welch
  • Thumbnail of A Set of 12 Carey Novels by Ronald Welch
  • Thumbnail of A Set of 12 Carey Novels by Ronald Welch
  • Thumbnail of A Set of 12 Carey Novels by Ronald Welch
  • Thumbnail of A Set of 12 Carey Novels by Ronald Welch
  • Format: 220 x 155mm
  • Illustrations: B/W
  • Producer: Smith Settle
  • Age: 8+
  • Genre: Historical fiction
  • Binding: Cloth hardback
  • Trimmings: Illustrated endpapers; colour blocking to spine and front
  • NB: Hand-numbered, limited edition of 2,000 copies
Made in Britain

A Set of 12 Carey Novels by Ronald Welch

Ronald Welch


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UK & Ireland £180 *save £36
Overseas £204 *save £36

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Now available as a set of 13 novels by Ronald Welch.

Click here for more information.

The 12 Carey novels by Ronald Welch, written between 1954 and 1972, follow the fortunes of the same family from their involvement in the Crusades to their service in the First World War. Grippingly plotted and scrupulously researched, together they join up the dots of English history in a remarkably vivid and human way. We’re delighted to make these wonderful books available again, with their original illustrations, in our elegantly designed and highly collectable series of Slightly Foxed Cubs.

Some of the titles in the Cubs series are already fetching high prices from second-hand booksellers, so why not start collecting this limited edition now and receive all 12 Carey novels, inscribed with the same edition number, at our special price?

No. 1, Knight Crusader

Young Philip d’Aubigny, son of a rich Crusader family who have stayed on in the Holy Land after the First Crusade, finds himself caught up in the fight against Saladin, during which he is captured and encounters the legendary Emir himself. Finally, in a series of hair-raising adventures, he escapes to take possession of the family’s Welsh estate. 1954 Carnegie Medal winner

No. 2, Bowman of Crécy

Set during the Hundred Years’ War, this is the real story of one of Edward III’s campaigns. Sir John Carey is on his way to the wars in France when his life is saved by an unlikely hero, Hugh Fletcher, head of a band of outlaws living in the greenwood. Grateful Sir John adopts Hugh and his men as part of his army and they follow him to France, where their courage and skill as longbowmen are crucial in the defeat of the French at the Battle of Crécy.

No. 3, The Galleon

After killing a man in a duel, penniless Carey cousin Robert Penderyn escapes reprisal by joining his uncle’s merchant ship sailing for Santander in 1583. England and Spain are engaged in a trade war, and the English never know when they will fall foul of the port authorities or the Inquisition. Returning after months in a Spanish prison Robert becomes involved in foiling a Catholic plot to put Mary Queen of Scots on the English throne.

No. 4, The Hawk

Harry Carey is a young naval officer aboard one of his father, the Earl of Aubigny’s merchant ships running between London and Santander during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Relations with Spain are tense and Harry finds himself called on to save the ship from seizure by the Spanish authorities, and to help scupper a Catholic plot to assassinate the Queen.

No. 5, For the King

It’s 1642 and the country is riven by civil war. Home-loving Neil Carey reluctantly sets out from the family’s Welsh estate to fight on the Royalist side in the regiment his father has raised. Sensitive and small in stature, Neil has always lived in his older brother’s shadow, but he acquits himself courageously in battle, and when he is captured by the Roundheads at Marston Moor, his life is saved by his own honesty.

No. 6, Captain of Dragoons

Charles Carey is a Captain in the Duke of Marlborough’s army during the early years of the
War of the Spanish Succession – a moody, quick-tempered and charismatic figure who is also one of its most brilliant swordsmen. Having discovered that there is a traitor in the camp, Charles is sent to spy in France on a mission that ends with his imprisonment in the Bastille. But he manages to escape in time to take part in Marlborough’s decisive victory at Blenheim.

No. 7, Mohawk Valley

In 1755 young Alan Carey is sent to the colony of New York by his father the Earl to look into his estates in Mohawk Valley. It’s a life-changing experience. Alan grows in moral stature as he deals with a dishonest bailiff, learns the ways of the virgin forest, overcomes hostile Indians and renders invaluable service to General Wolfe during the capture of Quebec.

No. 8, Escape from France

With news of the revolution in France, the Careys are anxious about the fate of their relatives, the aristocratic d’Assailly family. Young Richard Carey, still a Cambridge student, is sent secretly by his father Lord Aubigny on a mercy mission to bring them back to England. A complex tale of daring and disguise, and a vivid picture of revolutionary Paris.

No. 9, Captain of Foot

Twenty-year-old Christopher Carey is serving as a Lieutenant in the famous Light Brigade under Wellington during the Peninsular War. Between 1808 and 1812, Chris takes part in the retreat to Corunna with Sir John Moore, is captured by the French, falls in with Spanish guerrillas, and ends up as a Captain, having been noticed by Wellington and mentioned in dispatches.

No. 10, Nicholas Carey

It is 1853, and on holiday in Italy, Captain Nicholas Carey is persuaded by his cousin Andrew to help three Italian revolutionaries escape the Papal States. After returning to England, Nicholas runs his cousin to earth in Paris, and the two foil an assassination attempt on the Emperor Napoleon III. Rejoining his regiment Nicholas then distinguishes himself in the Crimea at the Battles of Sebastopol and The Redan.

No. 11, Ensign Carey

In the seedy mid-nineteenth century London underworld, William Carey has a frightening encounter with George Hampton, a violent and unprincipled young man on the make. Banished from Cambridge as a result, in 1856 William travels to India, where his father has obtained a commission for him in the 84th Bengal Native Infantry, and his path again crosses that of Hampton. William is no saint, but when the Indian Mutiny breaks out among the native troops, he acts with generosity and courage.

No. 12, Tank Commander

In the summer of 1914 the Germans enter Belgium and Britain mobilizes for war. Second Lieutenant John Carey, with his regiment the West Glamorgans, exchanges his comfortable quarters at Tidworth for the mud and bloodshed of the trenches. As the death toll mounts, John is called on to take responsibility far beyond his rank and experience in what often seems a hopeless situation. But with the introduction of a revolutionary new weapon – the tank – the tide begins to turn.

‘As a 10 year old, they were the greatest books ever. As a 45 year old, the stories are still captivating, the writing style crisp . . .’ A. Jackson

‘Thank you for this well received series – a great hit with my young nephews and nieces!’ D. Thompson, Wiltshire

From readers

  1. S. Lewis says:

    I have been the very happy recipient of the Carey novels and have loved every release. I first came across them as a boy in the ‘70s and being a history nut I was immediately smitten by them. Re-reading them as an adult has been a wonderful experience, the lack of any female characters does feel quite strange though! For years I tied to track them down and was dismayed when eBay started that they were so rare and expensive. Your release has been fabulous and a massive thanks.

  2. Slightly Foxed says:

    I thought this Carey set was great, I read it as a child in our local library when 9/10 years old, always found the boys books more interesting, much more adventurous! I bought this set for nostalgia and found them just as good as in the past (now 64 years old)! Ronald Welch’s books helped me to appreciate history and how one era is linked so closely with another leading to what we are as a nation.

  3. Frederick says:

    Thank you and all at Slightly Foxed for the full set of Ronald Welch’s Carey novels you have produced over the last couple of years. I am enjoying working my way through them again and am very pleased to have finally completed my collection of these wonderful historical novels after 45 years. Thank you once again for republishing these great books.

  4. megan says:

    We had all these when published in 50s and 60s by OUP – managed to keep hold of a few or pick up second hand copies but subscribed to the reprint and am really enjoying them again – so good, and despite the apparent lack of females, I do believe there is one in Escape from France – Louise I think, the daughter who escapes from France

    They are very well written and beautifully illustrated – a great buy and would make a great present for anyone with an interest in history.

  5. Andrew says:

    So many fond memories from childhood disappear when revisited as an adult. How many movies or TV shows have we loved as a child? Only to discover the terrible acting, the thin plots, the ridiculous sets. Well I am here to reassure you that the Carey novels are even better the second time around.

    Yes they were written in a different time. Ronald Welch placed a great deal of importance on people’s faces. Firmness of character was always apparent in the shape of the jaw, the forehead, the look of the eyes. And women don’t really exist in his stories.

    As a 10 year old, they were the greatest books ever. As a 45 year old, the stories are still captivating, the writing style crisp, I have a greater appreciation for the humanity in the stories. People are scared, they doubt themselves.

    Something else I appreciate more now is how personal the stories are. The Careys are involved in some of history’s greatest conflicts and battles. Yet these are merely background to the personal development of the character.

  6. […] of Crecy and The Hawk by Ronald Welch – two from Welch’s Carey series, which follows the fortunes of the Carey family from the Crusades to the First World […]

  7. Shiny New Books Blog says:

    ‘Over the last few weeks I’ve been rediscovering an almost forgotten aspect of childhood in the company of two very exciting young men: Phillip D’Aubigny, Knight Crusader and soldier in the company of Richard Coeur de Lion, and Harry Carey, Lieutenant on the newly-built sailing ship the Hawk, bound for the Bermuda coast in pursuit of Brazilmen (galleons laden with Spanish goods). I’ve trudged across unforgiving deserts, my mouth parched, pulled down by the weight of my battle gear, and swarmed aloft with the younkers to scan the horizon for a trace of land; I’ve braved the wrath of Saladin and earned the approval of Sir Francis Drake. That I’ve done all this from the comfort of my armchair has done nothing to prevent the bated breath, or the late nights on watch… oh no, sorry, the late nights when I have to read just one more chapter before turning off the light . . .

    The wonderful Slightly Foxed have recently branched out into publishing children’s classics, starting with Ronald Welch’s series which follows the fortunes of the Carey family of Llanstephan in Wales from the twelfth century to the twentieth, a dozen novels written between 1954 and 1972. The publishers very kindly sent me both the first and the most recent, to make sure that I got the best taste of the series. I begin to suspect they did so with every intention of hooking me so firmly that I will buy the rest – because, of course, I will, I’m dying to know how the family fares through the different periods.

    They are in some ways books of their time – for instance, I can’t imagine a modern author who would dare to exclude women so totally from the adventures of his young heroes. They are also, in the age of the doorstop novel, comparatively short, at around 250 pages, so the action is intense and some of the incidental character development fairly thin. What this allows is lots of action, ably supported by excellent period detail – the books are packed with information about the sort of things which traditionally interested boys growing up in the 1950s: armour and armoury, casting cannon, duelling techniques, sailing ships and piracy on the high seas. Happily, these are all things I embraced enthusiastically in my own ’50s childhood, and I’ll forgive the lack of female characters and the occasional, and perfectly realistic, bit of racism, and just enjoy what’s on offer:

    The Spaniards favoured the cannon; they stood in close to their enemy if they could, and battered him to pieces with their heavy round shot. The English, under the influence of Hawkins, preferred the culverin. His new galleons were handier than the Spanish ships. They could gain and hold the weather gauge, stand out of range of the cannon, and yet hit the enemy with their long-range culverins. There was one possible flaw to this argument. It was said that the culverin shot was too light to inflict sufficient damage at long range. (The Hawk, p.52)

    Doesn’t that make your heart race? Don’t you long to crouch behind a bunker while the new culverins are tested with a double load of powder, fired twice in quick succession to show any weakness in the barrel? Or to stand on the walls of the awe-inspiring Krak des Chevaliers or to face the ruthless Old Man of the Mountains, legendary leader of the Assassins? Later books in the series promise just as many thrills, with titles like Mohawk Valley and Tank Commander.

    Slightly Foxed Cubs are exquisitely produced, buckram-bound and joy of joys, lie flat when open, which makes them a pleasure to handle and read. The illustrations are as much of a pleasure as the text – there is a double-page spread of Harry’s galleon the Hawk that I’ve fallen in love with, it’s so redolent of the qualities that I’m raving about here, all that is best of the Boys’ Own adventure story. I’ve admired the detail in the illustrations, too – they are very muscular and bold (reminding me rather of Charles Keeping’s work) and do much to convey the nature of the characters and settings, whether the decadence of a Spanish port official in The Hawk or the massive bulk of Krak in Knight Crusader. If you have a budding explorer in the family, this series (and so far, there are six available) will make perfect Christmas presents, the kind that the owners will still be treasuring when they are 90.’

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