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by Frederick Marryat
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From Kirkus Reviews
paper 0-8050-5565-7 The enduring popularity of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin novels has fortuitously stimulated Norton's new Heart of Oak Sea Classics. This first installment (along with Dudley Pope's nonfiction The Black Ship, a vigorous tale of a notorious 1797 mutiny, and James Norman Hall's entertaining collection of nautical tall tales, Doctor Dogbody's Leg) includes Marryat's charming 1834 novel, a robust Dickensian romance about a ``simple'' young midshipman's growth to manhood at sea during the Napoleonic Wars. The adventures of Peter, a kind of Don Quixote kept alive by the raffish wit of his shipmateSancho Panza Terence O'Brieninclude imprisonment and narrow escapes from worse fates in France and the West Indies, a struggle to reclaim his inheritance from a deliciously wicked blood relation, and a satisfyingly improbable happy ending. This is one of the most attractive and neglected early Victorian novels, and its selection alone bodes well for a very promising series. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
1902. With an introduction by David Hannay. English novelist who began writing after a distinguished career in the British Navy. From the Introduction: When Marryat composed Peter Simple in 1834, he had no need to do more than look back on his recollections of service in the Imperieuse and other ships during the great war...It will never be allowed by sound criticism that his knowledge of the sealife was Marryat's merit, and not merely his, and our, good fortunes. Yet his greatest admirer will hardly claim for him that he belonged to that highest class of novelists who can create characters which live by their mere human truth...His recollections supplied him with a great deal more when he wrote Peter Simple. They came spontaneously, and in abundance. It is impossible not to believe that he must have enjoyed the writing of the book almost as much as three generations of men and boys have enjoyed the reading. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.
About the Author
Frederick Marryat (1792-1848) actually lived the life of a sailor and fighting captain in the Royal Navy. Such was the acclaim upon publication of Peter Simple that he gave up his commission to become a full-time writer.
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