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Hurricane Hurry   By: (1814-1880)

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Hurricane Hurry, by W.H.G. Kingston.

This rather long book is definitely an historical novel. In the edition used there are 470 pages, not above size for one of Kingston's books, but the text on the pages is tall and wide, while the font is small. All this builds up to 1.1 megabytes of text. In addition the inking was not always good, though the type in the corners of the page was not particularly damaged, as is common in Victorian printings. As a result producing this e text was rather difficult, and there may still remain some errors, though not, we hope, many.

The main action takes place in the years around 1780.

There are some rather strange aspects to the narration. For example, the hero's name is Hurry, except that on two occasions in Chapter 8 and one in Chapter 9, his name is mysteriously change to Poynder. Also in Chapter 9, the young Miss Carlyon is referred to as having gone to live with her aunt, Mrs Tarleton, on the death of her father. Yet the latter figures strongly in the later stages of the book, so we conclude that Kingston wrote the book with parts being pulled in from previous notes, but that he did not go back and re read the book with a critical eye.

However, those are but passing observations which it is necessary to make. The book is about the war between the British and the American Royalists on the one hand, and the American rebels on the other. The author is probably sympathetic to the rebels, but certainly to the cause of Freedom, and he makes his hero, Hurry, sympathetic to their cause, yet always observant of his duty as an officer of the King's Navy. While there are the usual fights between ship and ship, or between ship and weather, as always so beautifully expressed by Kingston's pen, we find that by chapter 9 Hurry has fallen in love with an American young lady, and the rest of the book contains episodes in which he is in contact with her, though she is the daughter of a Colonel active on the Rebel side. It won't spoil the story if we say that they marry in the last paragraph, five lines from the end.

Slightly annoying is the fact that we are made interested in the fate of Harry Sumner, a very young midshipman, alone in the world, who is wounded in a minor skirmish, and by Chapter 8 is met with in a sick berth, fully expecting to die. But does he die, or was that but a childish fancy? We never find out.

This book is probably one of the very best historical novels about the American Rebellion, seen from the naval point of view, and as such is well worth reading by both British and American subjects.

HURRICANE HURRY, BY W.H.G. KINGSTON.

CHAPTER ONE.

MY BIRTH, PARENTAGE, AND EDUCATION. MAKE THE ACQUAINTANCE OF TOM ROCKETS. SENT TO SEA ON BOARD THE FOLKSTONE CUTTER, ANNO 1764. NUMEROUS VOYAGES. MY FRIENDS AND I APPEAR ON THE QUARTER DECK OF THE TORBAY, 74. JOIN THE FALCON. MY ONLY DUEL. ADVENTURES IN THE WEST INDIES. THE CARIB WAR. BOAT CAPSIZED. FATE OF HER CREW. APPOINTED TO THE WOLF.

On the north east side of the street, about midway between the fish and flesh markets in the seaport town of Falmouth, and at about the silent and solemn hour of thirty six minutes past one by my father's watch, on the morning of the 28th day of December, of the year of grace 1752, His Gracious Majesty George the Second being King of Great Britain and Ireland, (it is necessary in important matters to be particular). I was introduced with the usual forms and ceremonies into the ancient family of the Hurrys, as the undoubted child of my father Richard and my mother Joan, the ninth, and as it subsequently proved, the last of their promising offspring. On the 29th day of the January following, the Reverend Edward Walmsley, rector of the parish, baptised me by the names of Hurricane, with the addition of Tempest, which were selected by my parents, after numberless consultations, in compliment to my maternal grand uncle, Sir Hurricane Tempest, Alderman of Bristol, though it did not appear from his remark when informed of the occurrence that it was likely to benefit in the remotest manner from the delicate attention which had been paid him... Continue reading book >>




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