After serving in the Royal Australian Navy during World War II, Marsden Hordern took up flying and ocean sailing and for some years navigated yachts in the early Sydney-Hobart races. He founded a print gallery in Sydney, was a director of two public companies, served as a Lieutenant and Lieutenant-Commander with the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Naval Reserves, and was awarded the Volunteer Reserve Decoration. His two previous books Mariners are Warned!- John Lort Stokes and H.M.S. Beagle in Australia 1837-1843 (1989) and King of the Australian Coast- The Work of Phillip Parker King in the Mermaid and Bathurst 1817-1822 (1997) were published by the Miegunyah Press to great acclaim. In recognition of the contribution made by these books to Australian history, in 2004 the University of Sydney conferred on him the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters.