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By the Mast Divided.

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By the Mast Divided.

Post by Tony de Villiers on Fri 10 Feb 2012, 15:25

I have recently started the "Pearce Series". Certainly a different approach to Naval Fiction, which I,m finding fairly enjoyable. I bought three volumes at once so heres hoiping. The author seems to know his 19th century Navy and I enjoy his dialogue of the times. One puzzle however, and that relates to the ship, HMS Brilliant.

That"" Brilliant"" is a frigate we are left in no doubt, but can somebody enlighten me as to which Class of frigate she might be. We are told a couple of times the master's cuddy is adjacent the wheel. We are also told the Poop is a raised deck! In fact, the hero is flogged on a grating erected against the poop with the Captian and his Missus looking down! To try and uncover the mystery I referred to"' Gardiner"' who does not list a frigate with a raised poop. It's a small thing but it tends to play on the mind re authenticity and what questions lie in store.??!! Anyone asble to shed some light??
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Re: By the Mast Divided.

Post by reb01501 on Fri 10 Feb 2012, 21:06

Wow! Good eye - i completely missed that one! I think that's a good question for the author if we can figure out how to contact him.

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Re: By the Mast Divided.

Post by Provost on Fri 10 Feb 2012, 23:21

Through the publishing company would be the best bet, unless he has an official website.
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Re: By the Mast Divided.

Post by reb01501 on Sat 11 Feb 2012, 12:48

I submitted the question here but it appears the last question was answered a year ago so I'm not too hopeful - it hasn't appeared on the page yet if that means anything.

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Re: By the Mast Divided.

Post by Astrodene on Sat 11 Feb 2012, 12:55

Whilst many of the new authors are contactable via the internet some, usually those with titles going back a number of years, do not use it so have to be contacted via their publisher or publicist. David Donachie is one such.

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Re: By the Mast Divided.

Post by reb01501 on Sat 11 Feb 2012, 13:04

Well, that is the website of the publisher, and the writer of the page "promises" to submit the questions to the authors, so ... I'm still not hopeful. But we'll see.

update - 21-Feb
I've just received a reply from the publisher website that my question has been forwarded to the author, so perhaps there is hope after all.

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Re: By the Mast Divided.

Post by Kade1301 on Thu 25 Sep 2014, 11:54

Given that the frigate also has mess tables between the guns I'd be curious to know what the author has to say for himself! (Not much, I suspect...)

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Re: By the Mast Divided.

Post by reb01501 on Thu 25 Sep 2014, 14:33

@Kade1301 wrote:Given that the frigate also has mess tables between the guns I'd be curious to know what the author has to say for himself! (Not much, I suspect...)
I've abandoned hope for a reply

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The silence is deafening!

Post by Tony de Villiers on Thu 25 Sep 2014, 14:37

I think Mr Donachie"s silence speaks volumes. A tad rude, I feel, when his livelihood stems from our pockets!
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Re: By the Mast Divided.

Post by Kade1301 on Thu 25 Sep 2014, 19:42

Mr. Donachie has also confused top and cap ("a point a third of the way up the mast where a constricted hole led to a platform, which the bosun termed the cap") and what do you think of this passage?
"The second bosunís mate sprung up to the ropes and ascended ... almost racing until he reached that hole. But ... he didnít go through it, he transferred his body to another set of shrouds that lay near vertical, ..."

As far as I can see, the lower end of the futtock shrouds is quite a bit below the top, at the height of the catharpings, and for them to be "near vertical" the ship would have to heel over quite a bit.

I'm beginning to wonder why I bother reading this, but now I've started I want to know how it will end. Besides, double-checking the facts does wonders for my nautical education (that's why I bought Lavery's Nelson's Navy, after all. A pity Donaghie hasn't...).

But I've given up hope that I will find really good fiction (according to my definition) with the common seaman as hero and have placed an order for "Jack Tar".

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Re: By the Mast Divided.

Post by Kade1301 on Wed 01 Oct 2014, 13:54

Thank goodness, I'm through, and I will NOT continue with the series. The book is a collection of bloopers, how do you like: "into the wind but twenty points free"?

And whereas I haven't yet found out what the crew ate in the evenings, I think beef at noon at pork at night extremely unlikely (not to say impossible). I also doubt that comfrey would do a lot for a bruised back (I know it for broken bones and open wounds), the story about the "soft, fresh hemp cat" doesn't sound lilkely, either and Ushant is not a headland, but an island (l'isle d'Ouessant, known for its small black sheep of difficult character and greasy, double-coated fleece).

Has Mr. Donachie got anything right?

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