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Jacob Faithful

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By: (1792-1848)

Rebelling against the career chosen for him by his wealthy family, Frederic Marryat joined the Royal Navy in 1806 at the age of 14. He first served as a midshipman in the 38-gun frigate "HMS Imperieuse" commanded by Lord Cochran, 10th Earl of Dundonald whose real life exploits were used by Marryat in his fiction and which formed the basis for other famous fictional characters like Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey. Having survived more than 50 sea battles and attained the rank of Post Captain, he resigned from the Navy and devoted the rest of his life to writing, drawing a good deal on his distinguished career in the Navy and is now considered the Father of Modern Nautical Fiction. He is also noted as the inventor of an effective lifeboat and a widely used system of communicating at sea by the use of flags.

Jacob Faithful is a tale centred on the lives of the Thames watermen who made their living along the tidal reaches of that river and in the Port of London. Particularly it deals with the story of young Jacob literally born and raised on the river. He is orphaned in bizarre circumstances, gets an education, is apprenticed to a bargeman and then to a wherryman before being "pressed" into the Royal Navy. The book gives an interesting insight into the life of London and it's great river at the beginning of the 19th Century.

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Jacob Faithful, by Captain Marryat.

Captain Frederick Marryat was born July 10 1792, and died August 8 1848. He retired from the British navy in 1828 in order to devote himself to writing. In the following 20 years he wrote 26 books, many of which are among the very best of English literature, and some of which are still in print.

Marryat had an extraordinary gift for the invention of episodes in his stories. He says somewhere that when he sat down for the day's work, he never knew what he was going to write. He certainly was a literary genius.

"Jacob Faithful" was published in 1834, the fifth book to flow from Marryat's pen. The story tells the life and adventures of a boy who was born and brought up on a lighter (small river barge) on the River Thames as it flows through London. It gives an extremely interesting contemporary picture of life in London and on the river in the early part of the nineteenth century.

This e text was transcribed in 1998 by Nick Hodson, and was reformatted in 2003, and again in 2005... Continue reading book >>

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