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 Alexander Kent's Favorite Phrase 
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Post Alexander Kent's Favorite Phrase
Readers of the Bolitho series are probably familiar with Kent's repeated use of "blood ran from the scuppers as if the ship was bleeding" (or a variation thereof). Out of curiosity, I have started to compile a usage list:

To Glory We Steer [Ch. 18] — "From every scupper he could see long, glistening streams of blood, which poured down the ship's side to colour the water in one unbroken stain. It was as if the ship herself was bleeding to death."

The Inshore Squadron [Ch. 6] — "...as long tendrils of blood ran from the Ajax's scuppers, as if she and not her people were dying."

A Tradition of Victory [Ch. 17] — "...and the red lines ran from her scuppers and down her smashed sides to show how her people had died for their over-confidence."

Colours Aloft! [Ch. 5] — "Hallowes was staring at the chaos, torn rigging and punctured sails, with blood already trickling down the larboard scuppers." [Ch. 17] — "...and Léopard's side below the gangway was running bright red, so that the ship herself seemed to be bleeding to death."

The Darkening Sea [Ch. 13] — "There was blood in the water too, clinging to the up-ended bilge as if the vessel herself were being bled to death."

I will add to the list as I come across more references.

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Last edited by susan on Tue Jun 29, 2004 10:21 pm, edited 5 times in total.



Thu May 13, 2004 5:22 pm
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Post AK's favorite phrase
<gasp> Susan, surely you don't mean to imply that there exists a Bolitho novel that lacks this phrase??

Here's another, from The Only Victor, Ch.19; sadly, it describes Herrick's Benbow:

"Thin scarlet threads ran down from the upper deck scuppers to the littered surface and the ship's unmoving reflection. As if she herself were bleeding to death."

More, anyone??

britt


Wed Jun 09, 2004 2:15 am
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Post Re: AK's favorite phrase
britt wrote:
<gasp> Susan, surely you don't mean to imply that there exists a Bolitho novel that lacks this phrase??

LOL!

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Wed Jun 09, 2004 5:52 am
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I've stumbled across the turn of phrase in 'Man of War,' Chapter 11, page 209:
"He saw thin scarlet streaks running from the barque's scuppers, as if she and not her sailors was bleeding to death."
I wonder if it'll turn up in 'Band of Brothers' due out next year, too?
Charity


Wed Nov 24, 2004 7:45 am
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Post Re: Alexander Kent's Favorite Phrase
susan wrote:
Readers of the Bolitho series are probably familiar with Kent's repeated use of "blood ran from the scuppers as if the ship was bleeding" (or a variation thereof).




He isn't the only one! Peter Smalley does it in HMS Expedient, i.e. ".... Blood poured from the scuppers, as if the ship herself was dying of her wounds........."


Did the contemporary AoS fiction writers use it? (holding head in shame that I have yet to read my collection of Marryat, etc. ) :oops:

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Sat Jun 25, 2005 6:01 pm
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Post Re: Alexander Kent's Favorite Phrase
Mil Goose wrote:
He isn't the only one! Peter Smalley does it in HMS Expedient, i.e. ".... Blood poured from the scuppers, as if the ship herself was dying of her wounds........."

Oh dear. :roll:
Quote:
Did the contemporary AoS fiction writers use it? (holding head in shame that I have yet to read my collection of Marryat, etc. ) :oops:

Possibly...I have a vague recollection of it being used somewhere. I will have to check my notes.

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Sat Jun 25, 2005 7:48 pm
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I am currently reading "Uncommon Valour" by John Stevens. On page 106, it says " Great gouges had been torn into her side by the Frenchman's iron and blood ran from the scuppers in thin tendrils as though the ship herself were bleeding.

This is starting to look like one of the most common phrases in AoS literature.

Don


Thu Jul 28, 2005 7:36 am
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He picked it up from reading Kent for all these years. As for Kent himself, as a combat veteran of WWII I feel certain that he saw it happening on all too many occasions. Doubtless it made a lasting impression upon him.

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Dr. Fred wrote:
He picked it up from reading Kent for all these years.




Welcome, John .... pleased to have you aboard. We've known each other for a few years now.....welcome!

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Sun Jul 31, 2005 5:28 pm
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Welcome to the SN Forum, Dr. Fred!

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Mil Goose wrote:
Dr. Fred wrote:
He picked it up from reading Kent for all these years.




Welcome, John .... pleased to have you aboard. We've known each other for a few years now.....welcome!


<sigh> So much for my attempts to remain incognito for a while. :wink:

Glad to be here all the same. Thank you both for the welcome.

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Sun Jul 31, 2005 6:41 pm
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Dr. Fred wrote:
Mil Goose wrote:
Dr. Fred wrote:
He picked it up from reading Kent for all these years.




Welcome, John .... pleased to have you aboard. We've known each other for a few years now.....welcome!


<sigh> So much for my attempts to remain incognito for a while. :wink:




:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Mon Aug 01, 2005 5:50 am
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Post Re: Alexander Kent's Favorite Phrase
Mil Goose wrote:
Did the contemporary AoS fiction writers use it? (holding head in shame that I have yet to read my collection of Marryat, etc. ) :oops:

I just found a partial reference in a contemporary song. This is from "The Terrible Privateer."

"We boldly gave them gun for gun,
Till the blood out of our scuppers run,
Our captain and our [mate] being slain,
We could no longer the fight maintain."

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Thu Mar 02, 2006 4:58 pm
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Dr. Fred wrote:
He picked it up from reading Kent for all these years. As for Kent himself, as a combat veteran of WWII I feel certain that he saw it happening on all too many occasions. Doubtless it made a lasting impression upon him.


H.A.L. Lawrence, in his autobiography of his service as a Midshipman and Lieutenant in the Canadian Navy during WWII, says that one of his instructors in gunnery school told the trainees, "You've got to WANT to see the scuppers run red with blood!"

Several years later, he was watch officer while the ship was being resupplied. They started to bring dozens of sides of beef aboard. Due to some hitches in stowage, the sides were placed...temporarily...on the deck. Where they commenced to drain an immense about of blood. Just as the Captain returned from a trip onshore.

To quote Lawrence: "I was seeing the scuppers run red with blood...but I didn't WANT to!"

Ron Wanttaja


Fri Mar 03, 2006 2:45 am
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Post Re: Alexander Kent's Favorite Phrase
Mil Goose wrote:
Did the contemporary AoS fiction writers use it? (holding head in shame that I have yet to read my collection of Marryat, etc. ) :oops:

Not fiction, and without the "bleeding to death" bit:

"At daybreak it cleared off a little, and we saw our French friend in-shore of us, greatly cut up, and marks of blood descending from each scupper hole."

This is from The Life and Services of Captain Philip Beaver, Late of His Majesty's Ship Nisus by William H. Smyth. It is part of Beaver's description of engagement between the Arethusa and Belle Poule.

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Fri Jul 07, 2006 8:58 am
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