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Frederick Marryat

Book Overview: 

This is a quite amusing nautical tale of the British Navy of the around the year 1700. While, as with much early 'humor', it is somewhat heavy-handed, the sympathies of the author are clear and good, and cruelty is often averted by good fortune or background characters. First published under the title 'The Dog Fiend', the primary characters are an evil captain of a cutter and his dog. The dog seems indestructible, as is the poor cabin boy who is the butt of the captain's ill humor, and who often is chewed on by the dog. The cutter is sent against smugglers, transporting ' Alamodes and lute strings' - a term for foreign silks. But, the smugglers really are Jacobites plotting against King William, and much of the action relates to politics of that time.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .much more vivacious and otherwise more inventive nations.

[2] The author has here explained keel-hauling as practised in those times in small fore and aft vessels. In large and square-rigged vessels, the man was hauled up to one main-yard arm, and dropped into the sea, and hauled under the bottom of the vessel to the other; but this in small fore and aft vessels was not so easily effected, nor was it considered sufficient punishment.

And now the reader will perceive why Corporal Van Spitter was in a dilemma. With all the good-will in the world, with every anxiety to fulfil his duty, and to obey his superior officer, he was not a seaman, and did not know how to commence operations. He knew nothing about foddering a vessel's bottom, much less how to fodder it with the carcass of one of his fellow-creatures. The corporal, as we said before, turned round and round the compass to ascertain if he could compass his wishes; at last, he commenced by dragging one-rope'. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Feb 2010 - Very funny.

Great book! This is a Nautical Fiction book originally written in the early 1800's by Captain Frederick Marryat. Lt. Cornelius is a sniveling, weakly, coward who commands a small vessel that hunts for smugglers in the English Channel with his vicious dog is named Snarleydog in 1699. The author used

An historic novel set in 1699-1700. This book was written in the late 1800's and set in the above mentioned time. This is a mystery with a dash of comedy splashed in. If you don't mind the archaic language I would recommend this book as a unique distraction from the current mysteries that grace the

If you're expecting a wild animal story here, you'll be sorely disappointed. Oh, Snarleyyow the devil dog had a significant role in the story, and if PETA were around in those days they would have been all over Frederick Marryat, but it isn't really about him. Marryat explains why he used the infamo

Great it was