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Under the Meteor Flag Log of a Midshipman during the French Revolutionary War   By: (1851-1922)

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Under the Meteor Flag Log of a Midshipman during the French Revolutionary War

By Harry Collingwood This is well written and full of action. The formula is very much the same as Kingston's gales, shipwrecks, rafts, hand to hand battles, and above all, a super smart midshipman who doesn't even shave yet, but who has influence in the Navy.

It is a good yarn, but there are a couple of things I do not like about it. One is the habit of giving people surnames that are also parts of the ship. I know that Marryat did it once or twice, and Kingston did it, but it jars each time. I suppose the virtue of doing this is that you are unlikely to find anyone in real life with that surname, so confusion with actual people is avoided.

The other thing I don't like is the bringing in of descriptions almost word for word from other books by the same author. I suppose that's better than bringing in descriptions by other authors.

A very strange thing is the title of the book. The word "meteor" is mentioned only once, and on that occasion the meteor flag was waving while they committed someone's body to the deep. I do think the title ought to have something to do with the book, but at the time this book was written there didn't seem to be a strong rule about it.

It is a longish book, and the audiobook is easy to listen to, but the action goes so fast that you must not let your mind drift while you are listening. NH. UNDER THE METEOR FLAG LOG OF A MIDSHIPMAN DURING THE FRENCH REVOLUTIONARY WAR



On board the "Scourge."

On the 9th of March, 1793, his Britannic Majesty's gun brig "Scourge" weighed, and stood out to sea from the anchorage at Spithead, under single reefed topsails, her commander having received orders to cruise for a month in the chops of the Channel. The "Scourge" was a 16 gun brig, but having been despatched to sea in a great hurry, after receiving somewhat extensive repairs at the dockyard, she had only eight long 6 pounders mounted, and, for the same reason, she was considerably short handed, her crew amounting only to seventy men and boys, of whom quite one half were eminently "green" hands. War with France had just been once more declared, the various dockyards were busy night and day preparing and turning out ships for service, and the officers were glad to get hold of almost any class of men for their ships, provided only that they were strong and able bodied.

In this dashing little brig, I Ralph Chester held the exalted and responsible post of midshipman; my appointment, on the morning in question, being exactly one week old. I had only joined the ship, however, three days before, and in the interval had been made the victim of almost every practical joke which the ingenuity of my fellow mids could devise. It is not my purpose to recount these tricks, for stirring times were at hand, and adventures of a sterner and far more interesting nature were to meet me at the very outset of my career, crowding thick and fast upon each other's heels; and it is in the recital of these adventures that I hope to excite and gratify the curiosity of my readers. A few and only a few words are necessary by way of personal introduction. My father the Reverend Henry Chester was rector of the parish of , which, as everybody knows, enjoys the advantage of being located in the heart of the loveliest scenery in Hampshire. Our family was not a large one; there were only four of us two boys and two girls exclusive of my parents; which was a decidedly fortunate circumstance, for if my father's family was moderate, his income was still more so, and my poor mother's ingenuity was often taxed to the utmost to make both ends meet, and at the same time maintain for us all such outward tokens of respectability as became the rector's family... Continue reading book >>

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