The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #126347 Message #2826047
Posted By: Lighter
30-Jan-10 - 09:34 PM
Thread Name: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
I should have said "Gosse" not Erskine. I read Erskine's book long ago so do not recall much about it. The picture of the author in 1842 suggests that the account, copyright 1890, is generally authentic. A faker in 1890 would be unlikely to fake a daguerrotype of himself as a youngster simply to support his account. Why bother? Few would question it anyway.
FWIW, Nathaniel Philbrick accepts Erskine's book as genuine in his "Sea of Glory" (2002).
Without committing myself on the book as a whole, it wouldn't be too surprising if Nordhoff and Gosse's accounts had not refreshed Erskine's memory of something he'd heard long before - or thought he could have heard.
However, it would be wise not to assume that Erskine's account of the songs is independent testimony.