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Frank Mildmay

Frederick Marryat

Book Overview: 

Marryat was a midshipman under Captain Cochrane and this, his first naval adventure, is considered to be a highly autobiographical telling of his adventures with one of Britain's most famous and daring naval captains.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .en to me—it was late in the evening, and the hurry was so great that the keg of spirits intended for myself and crew was not put on board. This was going from one extreme to the other; in my last ship we had too much liquor, and in this too little. Naturally thirsty, our desire for drink needed not the stimulus of salt fish and calavances, for such was our cargo and such was our food, and deeply did we deplore the loss of our spirits.

On the third day after leaving the frigate, on our way to Gibraltar, I fell in with a ship on the coast of Spain, and knew it to be the one Murphy commanded, by a remarkable white patch in the main-topsail. I made all sail in chase, in hopes of obtaining some spirits from him, knowing that he had more than he could consume, even if he and his people got drunk every day. When I came near him, he made all the sail he could. At dusk I was near enough almost to hail him, but he stood on; and I, having a couple of small three-pounders on board, w. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Captain Marryat was a midshipman under Lord Cochrane during the Napoleonic Wars -- and Lord Cochrane is the real life inspiration for many fictional naval heroes from Horatio Hornblower to Jack Aubrey. Marryat's first novel was widely believed to be autobiographic, and is an exquisitely detailed...more

Marryat, the father of nautical/naval tales, wrote this book, his first, while still serving in the British Royal Navy. It was such a success that he left the navy (where he had been for long enough) and went on to write 21 further novels.

I have wanted this book for some time, as I wanted to dis...more

Painfully preachy, but a decent story.

2.5* Not up to the standard of Faithful, but I believe this was Marryat's first novel, and you've got to start somewhere. Somehow I couldn't bond with the main character. I didn't have a sense of where he was going. The point seemed to be that our actions inevitably catch up with us. All fine, bu...more

It's a fun read, if a little meandering and long - it's a bit like The Count of Monte Cristo, in that much of it is inconsequential but entertaining, a common occurrence in old and/or serialised novels from that time, I find. The real attraction for me is that this book was written by an actual s...more