View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:11 am



Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
 Harry Thompson: This Thing of Darkness 
Author Message
Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 2:32 pm
Posts: 2960
Location: Hawaii
Post Harry Thompson: This Thing of Darkness
This book was released as To the Edge of the World in the U.S.

I'm about a quarter of the way through. I've found it to be readable so far.

Don pointed out one possible error in the thread "Reading in" a new captain. That was odd.

There are also some other bits here and there that have been bothering me. For example the use of "prow." While it's technically correct, it just seems odd. It reminds me more of Viking and other older vessels, than a ship like Beagle. I guess I'm just used to bow. I also have a problem with the navy men singing chanteys.

Also, would officers allow their beards to grow long? I can understand that happening in the case of polar explorers or if they don't have access to razors/water. However, from what I've read, the officers were quite particular about being clean-shaven. I remember seeing a set of razors, one for each day of the week at a museum (can't remember which one)...could be mistaken with regard to time period. Maybe that was more modern.

_________________
I have the honour to be, &c.
susan


Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:42 am
Profile YIM
Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 9:02 am
Posts: 2747
Location: Cambridgeshire, England
Post Re: Harry Thompson: This Thing of Darkness
I'm resurrecting this one as I've just started reading this novel, and wondered if anyone has the answers to Susan's questions?

_________________
- Mil -
aka Mary ....


Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:33 am
Profile YIM
Lieutenant
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:27 am
Posts: 108
Location: East of everywhere, Canada
Post Re: Harry Thompson: This Thing of Darkness
"Prow" is in the 1801 Mariner's Vocabulary by J.J. Moore, as the "beak or pointed cutwater of a xebec, galley, &c." Whereas the bow is the "rounding part of a ship's side forward, beginning where the planks arch inwards and terminating where they close, at the stem or prow".
It's also in Falconer's dictionary, 1780, but specifying polacre, xebec, or galley. I suppose in common use, they might have used it for any ship, in referring to the pointy bit in front. :)

_________________
Alison

...life on land is DRY :(


Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:46 am
Profile
Lieutenant

Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:13 am
Posts: 106
Location: Sussex, England
Post Re: Harry Thompson: This Thing of Darkness
In the same way that newer words in common usage at a certain time might not have found their way into a dictionary, old fashioned or obsolete terms may still be used by some, possibly as an affectation, or through personal style. I have not read Thompson, but it is possible that he is intending to "mark" a character by mode of speech. As an example "gramophone" and "wireless" are still used, often by folk for whom it was the correct term originally, or by others who like to be seen to be different.

Recently I had an unnerving experience when driving in my car (top down, of course); my passenger asked if he could turn on the "fire"...

_________________
Badger


Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:26 am
Profile WWW
Lieutenant
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:48 pm
Posts: 151
Location: South Cambridgeshire, UK
Post Re: Harry Thompson: This Thing of Darkness
Badger wrote:
Recently I had an unnerving experience when driving in my car (top down, of course); my passenger asked if he could turn on the "fire"...

Do you drive a Stanley Steamer ?

Martin


Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:42 pm
Profile WWW
Lieutenant

Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:13 am
Posts: 106
Location: Sussex, England
Post Re: Harry Thompson: This Thing of Darkness
No, but it would probably be warmer.

_________________
Badger


Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:20 am
Profile WWW
Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 9:02 am
Posts: 2747
Location: Cambridgeshire, England
Post Re: Harry Thompson: This Thing of Darkness
I am completely engrossed in this book, but am so often reminded of Aubrey and Maturin within its pages. Did PO'B base his series on Fitzroy and Darwin, does anyone know?

_________________
- Mil -
aka Mary ....


Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:05 pm
Profile YIM
Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 9:02 am
Posts: 2747
Location: Cambridgeshire, England
Post Re: Harry Thompson: This Thing of Darkness
Just adding my two penn'oth as I conclude reading this really excellent novel; a true page-turner. Some books, I am sorry to finish, and this is one of them.
:(

_________________
- Mil -
aka Mary ....


Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:32 pm
Profile YIM
Lieutenant
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:48 pm
Posts: 151
Location: South Cambridgeshire, UK
Post Re: Harry Thompson: This Thing of Darkness
susan wrote:
This book was released as To the Edge of the World in the U.S.

[snip] I also have a problem with the navy men singing chanteys.

Also, would officers allow their beards to grow long? I can understand that happening in the case of polar explorers or if they don't have access to razors/water. However, from what I've read, the officers were quite particular about being clean-shaven. I remember seeing a set of razors, one for each day of the week at a museum (can't remember which one)...could be mistaken with regard to time period. Maybe that was more modern.


To return to Susan's first message, it is also my understanding that chanteys/shanties were not used as work-songs in the RN. Only a fiddler or piper at the capstan. During off-duty hours was another matter, when song and dance was encouraged.

As far as beards are concerned, I think Susan is right for the majority of 18th and early 19th century naval officers. Try doing a search for 'portraits' at the National Maritime Museum's Online Collections. The vast majority of portraits of officers showed them clean shaven in that period. Beards were commoner in the 17th century and earlier, and again in the late 19th century.

Martin


Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:44 pm
Profile WWW
Commander

Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:27 am
Posts: 389
Location: Australia
Post Re: Harry Thompson: This Thing of Darkness
susan wrote:
This book was released as To the Edge of the World in the U.S.

I'm about a quarter of the way through. I've found it to be readable so far.

Don pointed out one possible error in the thread "Reading in" a new captain. That was odd.

Also, would officers allow their beards to grow long? I can understand that happening in the case of polar explorers or if they don't have access to razors/water. However, from what I've read, the officers were quite particular about being clean-shaven. I remember seeing a set of razors, one for each day of the week at a museum (can't remember which one)...could be mistaken with regard to time period. Maybe that was more modern.




Perhaps we should allow the author some slack on this matter. I have seen drawings by Lort Stokes of himself and other officers of the BEAGLE on the coast of Australia and they are clearly bearded. I think some of Owen Stanley's sketches from the RATTLESNAKE's voyages from ten years later also show beards. These were not chest length beards but it would have taken them a few months to grow them. Perhaps the surveyors gave themselves permission to stop shaving when they were away from civilization. :wink:


Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:44 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 10 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware for PTF.