Posts filed under ‘marryat’

Books/resource: Marryat’s collected works – more original German 19th century illustrations!

You might remember this post, the one with the illustrations for “Midshipman Easy”. Thanks to the kindness of Secret Handshake, who sent me an attic find of hers, I can now share more illustrations with you. The books she’s sent me also dates back to the late 19th century, and contains a collection of stories (translated to German) by Captain Frederick Marryat:

  • Peter Simpel (Peter Simple)
  • Jakob Ehrlich (Jacob Faithful)
  • Die Favoritin des Sultans (The Pacha Of Many Tales)
  • Der himmelblaue Domino (The Sky-Blue Domino)

There are many illustrations, scanning them all would have taken up too much time, so I only picked the naval-related ones. While I’m a little doubtful about the accuracy of the uniforms etc., I still think they are great resources, and if nothing else, some of them are pretty funny. ūüôā So, have fun, and thanks again to SH!

Cover
marryat01

Peter Simple: Sea Chest
marryat02

Peter Simple: Big Fish
marryat03

Peter Simple: Duel
marryat04

Peter Simple: Spy Glass
marryat05

Peter Simple: Putting to Sea
marryat06

Peter Simple: Below Deck
marryat07

Peter Simple: Lady’s Visit
marryat08

Peter Simple: Young Love
marryat09

Jacob Faithful: Old Tom
marryat10

Jacob Faithful: Outrage!
marryat11

Jacob Faithful: Swift Kick up the Backside
marryat12

Jacob Faithful: Apology
marryat13

Jacob Faithful: Dismiss!
marryat14

9 September, 2009 at 9:00 pm Leave a comment

02.03.2009: Molly Joyful’s List Of Useful Resources has been updated!

Molly Joyful’s List Of Useful Resources

has been updated! Many new links for you, on all aspects of life in the 18th century, with focus on life at sea and British history and daily life.

As usual, the list is neither complete (will never be), nor can I guarantee you that all information on those websites is 100% correct. New links are marked with a bright red "new" sign.

If you should have a link you’d like to share or feel there’s one filed in the wrong category, please let me know. Thanks!

Categories:

FASHION
MUSIC
SEXUALITY
MEDICAL SERVICES / HYGIENE
CHILDREN
ART
LIFE AT SEA
18TH CENTURY GENERAL (MOSTLY) BRITISH HISTORY
SOCIETY, DAILY LIFE
NAVAL HISTORY
BLACK HISTORY / PEOPLE OF COLOUR / SLAVERY IN THE 18th CENTURY
LAW AND PUNISHMENT
RANKS AND UNIFORMS
SHIPS
LANGUAGE
PEOPLE
COMMUNITIES
LIVING HISTORY
SHOPPING
AUTHORS (Age Of Sail)
BOOKS

Enjoy your research!

2 March, 2009 at 3:26 am Leave a comment

Books/resource: Marryat’s Midshipman Easy – original German 19th century illustrations!

Between a pile of grandma’s crocheted doilies and boxes full of stamps and postcards, a book caught my eye at the local fleamarket. “Jack” by some “Franz Hoffmann”. Never heard of, but…

you can’t expect me to walk past an old children’s book with a cover showing people getting eaten by sharks!
Plus there were a ship and an uniform.

easyjack08

When I opened the book, I realised to my greatest surprise that, while announcing the adventures of “Jack, der tapfere Midshipman” (“Jack, the brave Midshipman”), it actually was a German translation of Captain Frederick Marryat’s “Midshipman Easy”! (You remember Marryat? The Royal Navy Ghostbuster?) So that‘s how you came to fame back in the 19th century, folks – by doing a (pretty bad) translation and slap your own name on it!

(more…)

27 January, 2009 at 9:25 pm 2 comments

Resource: Captain Frederick Marryat – RN ghostbuster!

When asked what genre my original writing is, I should reply that it’s “Age of Sail” adventure with humour and mystery and drama and gay romance and supernatural elements. I should, but I don’t, because the next question will be: “QUOI?” and so I’ve settled for either “I write Georgian ghost stories in a naval seeting” or “Penny Dreadfuls which are not dreadful and cost more than a penny.”

“Supernatural themes” and “Age of Sail” shouldn’t be that odd a “pairing”, though. Folk lore is full of ghost ships and spooks of all kind connected with the sea and those conquering it. Today I went through some of my books to look up some details about the Brown Lady of Raynham for a friend of mine. This is certainly one of the most famous “hauntings” ever; it’s well documented and there is even a very clear photography of the ghost, which you can see HERE.

Now imagine my surprise when I realised that Captain Frederick Marryat – you will probably remember his drawings of a Midshipman’s life and his book Mr. Midshipman Easy – had a run-in with the Brown Lady and had to learn that dealing with a ghost the “good old Navy way” doesn’t work. This might be an old story for some of you, but I just had to share; it gives a nice insight into Captain Marryat’s character.

The “Brown Lady of Raynham Hall” in Norfolk is believed to be the ghost of Lady Dorothy Townshend. From all we know, she was a rather wicked lady, and this reputation is the reason why experts still argue what really happened to her. Did she die of natural causes, as is the official version? Did she commit suicide? Was she murdered by her husband, throwing her down the great stairs? Did her husband secretly lock her up in her room until the day she died? Or was it smallpox – not very exciting or romantic, but probably the version closest to the truth?

But whatever the reasons, Lady Dorothy has reportedly haunted her old home for centuries. It’s said she even frightened King George IV who paid a visit to Raynham – quite obviously, she shared the general dislike for said gentleman. She appeared next to the King’s bed, looking all scary and dishevelled and pale, and his Majesty, used to the charms of Mrs. Fitzherbert (ah, the gossip of ye olden days!) was not amused. Much yelling ensued.

Enter Captain Frederick Marryat, Royal Navy, officially not prone to superstition and convinced that the Townshend family wasn’t dealing with a ghost but smugglers or poachers. Considering that the haunting was well-documented and going on for many, many years already, this was not very likely, but we can assume that Curageous Fred wanted to make a point that “such nonsense” didn’t exist. My personal opinion is that he just couldn’t resist the thrill of chasing down a ghost. Men and their fancies…

Anyway, Marryat was invited and insisted in sleeping in the room where the portrait of Lady Dorothy hung on the wall. One night, the two sons of Lord Townshend knocked on his door and wanted to show them a new pistol that had been recently bought. Marryat agreed and took his own loaded pistol with him, joking about a man having to be armed just in case a ghost should cross his path.

The pistol was inspected, found to be of good quality and the two young men jokingly offered Marryat to escort him back to his room – just in case a ghost should cross his path. In the dark corridor, they suddenly saw a woman approaching, carrying a lamp. Marryat, not wearing much more than his breeches and a shirt, didn’t want to embarrass the lady of the house or any other female by running into a half-naked Captain in the middle of the night, so he and the two lads quickly stepped into an empty room and hoped they wouldn’t be noticed.

Alas… the lady stopped and turned to them. Marryat recognised her immediately, for she wore the same brown dress as she did on the portrait in his room. So he had finally met the ghost – Lady Dorothy obviously wanted to leave a lasting impression on our great naval hero, and held the lamp up so he could see her face more clearly. Pretty but wicked she was, with an evil smile.

What would a captain of the Royal Navy do when confronted with such horror? Cry out in fear? No, that’s what Kings do. Faint? That’s for chamber maids. Saying a prayer? No. He made a step forward, aimed his pistol at the ghost and pulled the trigger.

Deeply offended by such behaviour not fitting a gentleman, Lady Dorothy vanished into thin air with a huff and a grim smile, and didn’t make any further appearances for many a decade. One can argue that it’s rather pointless to shoot at a ghost, as one of the basic requirements for a ghostly existence is already being dead. And we’ll never know whether this was an act of outstanding bravery on Captain Marryat’s part or the reaction of a man who was scared witless. Let’s be kind and assume the latter.

So that’s the story, and all that was left after the incident were a sulking ghost, a very puzzled captain and a bullet hole in the door…

Having grown-up in a “haunted” house, I feel with the family. Either you arrange yourself or you move out, there’s not much else you can do. Anyway, compliments to Captain Marryat for trying to help the Townshend-family getting rid of the annoying lady, and thanks for leaving us with this interesting story.

17 February, 2008 at 10:07 pm 3 comments

Molly Joyful’s List Of Useful Resources has been updated!

Molly Joyful’s List Of Useful Resources

has been updated! Many new links for you, on all aspects of life in the 18th century. Be it dentistry or the splitting of prize money in the Royal Navy: here you’ll find it. Hopefully.

As usual, the list is neither complete (will never be), nor can I guarantee you that all information on those websites is 100% correct. To make navigation easier, I’ve marked the new links with a bright red “new” sign.

Also, I have added three new categories. If you should have a link you’d like to share, please post it here. Cheeyaz!

WordPress visitors, please note: some of these links lead to entries on LiveJournal rather than to the identical entry here on my blog. It would have been too time-consuming to change all links. If you’d rather see the entry on WordPress, just click the respective tags.

FASHION
MUSIC
SEXUALITY
MEDICAL SERVICES / HYGIENE
CHILDREN
ART
LIFE AT SEA
18TH CENTURY GENERAL (MOSTLY) BRITISH HISTORY
NAVAL HISTORY
LAW AND PUNISHMENT
RANKS AND UNIFORMS
SHIPS
LANGUAGE
PEOPLE
COMMUNITIES
BOOKS

New categories:

SOCIETY, DAILY LIFE
AUTHORS (Age Of Sail)
SHOPPING

Happy surfing! ūüôā

10 January, 2008 at 5:18 pm Leave a comment

Resource: the secret diary of a midshipman

In 1820, Captain Frederick Marryat (author of “Mr. Midshipman Easy”) made a series of drawings about his life as a midshipman. His “career” as a middie started in 1806, so we can assume that these drawings describe events between 1806 and 1812.

They are definitely not “high art”, but that’s exactly the charming thing about them – they are honest and straightforward, without the pathos and glorification of the paintings atthe National Gallery or the Maritime Museum. They show how Marryat saw the world as a middie, and while he certainly exaggerated or satirised some bits and pieces, I think we can take these drawings as a rather realistic look on the life of a midshipman in the very early 19th century. ūüôā

Midshipman Marryat

Here’s a – eh – “self portrait”, showing his mother weeping because his departure is near. He’s poking his sister in the backside, and the sea chest is being packed with all the things a young gentleman might need at sea (“powdre, green tea, portable soup, holy bible, cherry brandy, meat”.) He’s marked the sea chest with “Mast. Will. C….. – H.M. Ship Hellfire, West India Station”. Please note the painting of Nelson over the mantle. ūüôā

Midshipman Marryat

Young Frederick drops his hat in shock as he sees where he’ll spend the next six years of his life. The older midshipmen are smoking, drinking rum or playing the flute, while a young middie is cleaning his boots. Another is napping, and one of his “brother officers” obviously plays a prank on him.

middie02.jpg

Here you can see a midshipman who’s been “masted”. That’s a light punishment which means he has to spend a couple of hours in the masthead. The young gentleman is napping (he has tied himself to the cross tree so not to fall down). Usually this meant to miss a meal – unpleasant, but not harmful. However, when the weather was rough, it was not really fun to sit in the masthead! No captain would have risked a midshipman to fall to death in a storm, though, so it’s not like one of the lads would have been sent up there just before a hurricane…

Midshipman Marryat

Badly secured cannon balls are rolling dangerously across the deck during rough seas, and the midshipmen try to get a hold wherever possible. It was NOT easy to keep balance under such circumstances, as you can see on the picture!

Midshipman Marryat

Now look at this poor, dripping wet and freezing middie in the front of the picture! Poor lad – the others had more common sense (or the means) and wrapped up in thick cloaks and coats. A ship’s boy is bringing some rum for the officers on watch to warm up.

Midshipman Marryat

A midshipman is serving his lieutenant a cup of tea. The lieutenant, spy glass under his arm, supervises the daily holystoning of the deck.

Midshipman Marryat

Once a midshipman passed his lieutenant’s exam, he was allowed to partake in the – eh – “festivities” in the officer’s mess. Some of the officers are already completely plastered, one is throwing his cup after the ship’s boy and – well. I don’t want to know what’s going on in the background, and as I’ve been to parties like that, I guess I just post the picture and shut up now. ūüėČ

Midshipman Marryat

Hope you liked them! ūüôā
''

5 November, 2007 at 1:15 am 3 comments

Flee market-finds – and they are even naval-related!

I love going to flee markets. Half of my furniture comes from there or the local second (third, fourth, fifth!) hand shops.

Today was a very successful day – and I found some bits which I’d never, ever expected to find here!

(more…)

27 October, 2007 at 10:06 pm Leave a comment

Book rec.: "The Command of the Ocean"

A Naval History of Britain, 1649 – 1815
by N.A.M. Rodger

Navy boys

If you’re living in my country, you don’t get naval history taught at school. Not a word, in all the 13 years I went to school. Instead, you’ll learn all about the French revolution. Six times, at least. Sometimes, the 2nd World War gets a brief mention, but first of all, it’s the French revolution, because, quite obviously, the French revolution is the only event in history worth being mentioned. Vive la France!

The only way of learning more about history (beside the French revolution) is reading. As a child I loved books about travelling and animals. I remember that I had three favourite (picture) books: Daktari (yeah, yeah, I know, I just had a weak spot for the cross-eyed lion), Ivanhoe and some book about the journeys of Captain Cook.

Honestly? I can’t remember the content of the books. I was three or four at that time, but at least I knew that there IS a thing as the sea and yes, there are ships larger than the rowing boats on the local duck pond.

For people like me, and those who prefer to read their history books in a language they can understand without enrolling at university themselves first, I’ve found the perfect book: “The Command of the Ocean – A Naval History of Britain, 1649 – 1815” by N.A.M. Rodger, and I can only recommend it. Not only is it written in an informative yet also entertaining way, you’ll also learn a lot about everyday life aboard a ship, the life if the simple seamen (because yes, history does not only consists of admirals!), the way wars were really fought, and all this with great illustrations (some scans below).

The book also corrects many errors about naval history and gives you insights into little known facts (you’d be surprised how many babies were born on British battle ships. No, seriously.), introduces historical figures with respect, but yet also with a healthy dose of realism.

Very helpful for a landlubber like me, “The Command of the Ocean” comes with an extensive chronology, glossary, statistics, dates and names etc. Naval finance? Read all about it. Manpower per year? It’s in there. Rates of pay? Admirals and officers? Look in the appendix.

Cover Command of the Ocean

Ship

Ship

Ship

Ship

Ship

Ship

Navy lads

Quarterdeck

Navy lads

Old tars

Boat

Midshipman’s horror

Wardroom

John Crawford, sailor

Marine and sailor

Edward Boscawen

Lord Howe

Admiralty

Plymouth Dockyards

Capture of Curaçao

St. Vincent

Ship

At £ 12.99 (Penguin History) this is great value for your money.

Oh, and the French revolution is also mentioned. Just in case anybody wondered.

20 November, 2006 at 8:05 pm Leave a comment


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