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 Capain Frederick Marryat 
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Post Capain Frederick Marryat
I know Susan reads Marryat, and I, too, will set about my collection when I find a suitable magnifying glass. :)

According to Susan's SN information, Frank Mildmay was the first that Marryat wrote in 1829, so I had a look at The Times for that year and found what I think is the first review in that newspaper. Obviously I stand to be corrected on that issue, though.



The following is an entry for May 14, 1829:

.... This day are published, in 3 vols, post 8vo,

THE NAVAL OFFICER; or, Scenes and Adventures in the Life of Frank Mildmay. “This is the most seamanlike composition that has yet issued from the press. We recommend it to all ‘who-live-at-ease’, and need scarcely say that no man-of-war’s-man should remain at home without it”. – Atlas.
Printed for Colburn, 8, New Burlington-street. ......



A further similar entry is shown for 13th June, but that mentions a price of 28s.6d. and interestingly neither mentions the author.

Incidentally, on some information from Susan I found Marryat's grave at Langham, in North Norfolk - not far from the Burnhams where Nelson grew up - and you might find this link interesting.

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Tue Mar 15, 2005 2:47 pm
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Thanks Mil,
I, too, intend to add Marryat to my reading list, and have intended to do so for quite some time. I understand that Frank Mildmay is a thin disguise for Marryat himself, who completed the book as he took command of his first ship, a 28-gun vessel.
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Wed Mar 16, 2005 3:25 am
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Aside from being great/amusing reading, you can glean quite a bit of information about life at the time from his books.

Earlier this morning, I was looking over Chapter 15 of Frank Mildmay. It deals with Mildmay's examination for lieutenant. There is a wonderful description of one of the captains of the examination board:

One of these officers had a face like a painted pumpkin; and his hand, as it lay on the table, looked more like the fin of a turtle; the nails were bitten so close off, that the very remains of them seemed to have retreated into the flesh, for fear of farther depredation, which the other hand was at the moment suffering. Thinks I to myself, "If ever I saw 'lodgings to let, unfurnished,' it is in that cocoa-nut, or pumpkin, or gourd of yours."

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Wed Mar 16, 2005 6:24 pm
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Now, I've got my new magnifying glass, I'd like to set about reading Marryat. Is there a specific reading order, say, as in Susan's SN listing of Marryat?

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Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:12 am
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I don't think there's any particular order you need to read them in, unless you're interested in seeing how his writing style developed over time. Perhaps someone else has an opinon?

I started out with The King's Own only because it was the first one I bought. In Chamier's opinion, it is "the very best naval novel ever penned."

By the way, in the same paragraph, Chamier also mentions Post Captain (which I know you have read). He calls it "a most excellent specimen of nautical life."

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Tue Jul 12, 2005 11:49 pm
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Post Marryat
I have only read three of his books: King's Own, Midshipman Easy, and Naval Officer/Mildmay, and that was some time ago. I enjoyed them but they did not seem to "connect" in any way that would require reading them in some order. Susan's suggestion of publication order sounds reasonable.

First let me say that I absolutely detest eBooks. I really dislike having to stare at the computer screen to read a book. Sometimes I like reading in bed, the tub, or traveling, and desktop computers are just not convenient. Hand-held electronic books are better but I like the texture of holding a book in my hands and turning pages. If an eBook could be downloaded and printed, then things would be a little better, but that is not normally possible.

That being said.... Project Gutenberg CLICK HERE is an interesting place on-line where some of Marryat's out-of-print books are available. Most are not only available as an eBook but also can be downloaded and printed. The books are free since they no longer have copyright protection.

If anyone is having trouble finding one of his books, try there.

Don


Wed Jul 13, 2005 12:50 am
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The following is an extract from the United Service Journal, No.17, May, 1830 in the section “The Editors Portfolio.”

“THE KING’S OWN – Whatever blemishes may have been imputed to ‘The Naval Officer,’ they are amply redeemed in ‘The King’s Own.’ A more vigourous, original, and characteristic performance of its class, has not appeared in our time.

Equally distinguished by professional excellence, and its trenchant views, of human nature, ‘The King’s Own’ at once places Capt. Marryat at the head of his competitors at home; and, were it not for Cooper’s scarcely disputed sovereignty, would entitle him, as a Naval Novelist, to reign ‘nulli secundous.’ We shall review this production next month.”



I still haven't got on and read Marryat although I did start on King's Own.

For those who have read both the Marryat's mentioned, are the comments above justified? Did FM need to 'redeem' himself after writing The Naval Officer ?

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Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:08 am
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Mil Goose wrote:
For those who have read both the Marryat's mentioned, are the comments above justified? Did FM need to 'redeem' himself after writing The Naval Officer ?

Did the reviewer mention what he felt the "blemishes" were?

I'm currently reading Percival Keene, one of Marryat's later works.

Interesting that the reviewer mentions Cooper. I picked up a whole bunch of his books but haven't read any of them yet. Maybe I should after I finish the Marryat.

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Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:49 pm
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susan wrote:
Mil Goose wrote:
For those who have read both the Marryat's mentioned, are the comments above justified? Did FM need to 'redeem' himself after writing The Naval Officer ?

Did the reviewer mention what he felt the "blemishes" were?


..... no, the "blemishes" were not stated, unfortunately. I suppose I shall have to get on and read them both, if my eyes can withstand the squitty print.

Quote:
I'm currently reading Percival Keene, one of Marryat's later works.


... I just checked my half-dozen volumes and Percival Keene shares a volume with Frank Mildmay.


Quote:
Interesting that the reviewer mentions Cooper. I picked up a whole bunch of his books but haven't read any of them yet. Maybe I should after I finish the Marryat.


.... I have just the one by Cooper, Water-Witch, sharing the volume with The Pioneer. Again, the size of the print will defeat me unless my eyes are very fresh or I try reading with a magnifying glass again. :(

Mind you, while on the subject of the size of font, the Clayton/Craig book on Trafalgar, is almost just as bad!

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Thu Sep 29, 2005 9:03 am
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