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Help: Patrick O'Brian's Desolation Island

Related threads:
BS: Lord Cochrane-O'Brians inspiration? (19)
Tune Req: Distressed Men of War (from Bodleian) (13)
OBIT: The Passing of Patrick O'Brian (9)


JedMarum 17 Apr 01 - 10:11 AM
Peter T. 17 Apr 01 - 10:18 AM
MMario 17 Apr 01 - 10:30 AM
JedMarum 17 Apr 01 - 10:37 AM
JedMarum 17 Apr 01 - 10:39 AM
JedMarum 17 Apr 01 - 10:47 AM
Les from Hull 17 Apr 01 - 11:00 AM
MMario 17 Apr 01 - 11:01 AM
Charley Noble 17 Apr 01 - 12:04 PM
Steve Parkes 17 Apr 01 - 12:11 PM
MMario 17 Apr 01 - 12:15 PM
Little Hawk 17 Apr 01 - 12:54 PM
Charley Noble 17 Apr 01 - 01:08 PM
Lynn W 17 Apr 01 - 02:46 PM
MMario 17 Apr 01 - 03:09 PM
Peter T. 17 Apr 01 - 05:30 PM
Les from Hull 18 Apr 01 - 06:04 AM
Gervase 18 Apr 01 - 06:14 AM
sledge 18 Apr 01 - 07:04 AM
Les from Hull 18 Apr 01 - 07:09 AM
Gervase 18 Apr 01 - 07:11 AM
Les from Hull 18 Apr 01 - 07:16 AM
Steve Parkes 18 Apr 01 - 08:06 AM
GUEST,Matt_R 18 Apr 01 - 08:17 AM
JedMarum 18 Apr 01 - 09:37 AM
JedMarum 18 Apr 01 - 09:47 AM
Mudlark 18 Apr 01 - 10:59 AM
Charley Noble 18 Apr 01 - 11:54 AM
JedMarum 18 Apr 01 - 01:20 PM
MMario 18 Apr 01 - 01:26 PM
Les from Hull 18 Apr 01 - 01:32 PM
MMario 18 Apr 01 - 02:29 PM
JedMarum 19 Apr 01 - 11:04 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 19 Apr 01 - 11:13 AM
Peter T. 19 Apr 01 - 11:25 AM
JedMarum 19 Apr 01 - 12:12 PM
JedMarum 19 Apr 01 - 12:14 PM
Les from Hull 19 Apr 01 - 12:25 PM
JedMarum 19 Apr 01 - 12:38 PM
Charley Noble 19 Apr 01 - 04:51 PM
JedMarum 19 Apr 01 - 05:03 PM
Greyeyes 19 Apr 01 - 05:43 PM
Les from Hull 20 Apr 01 - 07:04 AM
Wotcha 20 Apr 01 - 09:34 AM
Peter T. 20 Apr 01 - 09:58 AM
Les from Hull 20 Apr 01 - 10:07 AM
JedMarum 20 Apr 01 - 10:11 AM
Steve Parkes 20 Apr 01 - 10:25 AM
Steve Parkes 20 Apr 01 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 20 Apr 01 - 10:31 AM
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Subject: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: JedMarum
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 10:11 AM

My father turned me on to a wonderful series of books by English author, Patrick O'Brien. The 19th century historical novels follow the exploits of a ficticious English Captain, Jack Aubrey and his ship's Irish surgeon and Steven Maturin. One of those books, Desolation Island tells the adventure of the very near demise of these two heros and their ship, when they were very nearly destroyed by a Dutch Man-of-War in high seas in the Antarctic. The ducth ship was called, I believe the "Voxenhied" - my question is, since I no longer have the book, and since I have written a song about this encounter is how do yo spell, Voxenheid?? Are there any Patrick O'Brien fans out there in Mudcat land? Does anyone else remeber this marlvelous story?


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Peter T.
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 10:18 AM

Not to be too picky, but it is "O'Brian" -- we fans hate the misspelling. Read them all. The earlier ones are better than the later ones, I think. He was a weird cat, made up all kinds of stuff about his life. The premiere Web site is: here.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: MMario
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 10:30 AM

Waakzaamheid.

source = http://www-personal.umich.edu/~hfc/pob/aw.html


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: JedMarum
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 10:37 AM

Waakzaamheid?? Hmm, shouldda known! Thanks, MMario. Ok Ducth speakers; what's mean??


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: JedMarum
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 10:39 AM

Oh, Peter T. I know better about the spelling of his name. I guess I'm cross brained today! Sorry about that! thanks for the link.


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: JedMarum
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 10:47 AM

Well - here are the lyrics:

My name is Liam Devlin,
in Galway I was born
In eighteen hundred seven
to the English Crown I was sworn
I sailed with Captain Aubrey
in the prime of his bold career
A terror to all rival trade
was the English privateer

With Cockney, Moore and Irish lads
We made a handsome crew
Our ship was called the Leopard
And her officers brave and true
Our strength at sea was matched by few
And we made our way without fear
A terror to all rival trade
Was the English privateer

Chorus:
Low moans the wind, the cold Antarctic wind
Low moans the wind, the cold Antarctic wind

'Twas well below the Southern Cross
Bound for Botany bay
With a score of Irish prisoners
And the bounty sacked on the way
"Sail Ho, Sail Ho" the lookout called
three miles off to the larboard side
that's when I feared we'd met our match at last
the Dutchman Waakzaamheid

Chorus

We turned and ran before the wind
In a race straight toward the pole
The Waakzaamheid was thrice our size
And her captain bold as our own
For four longs days we ran from her
'til a mountainous sea rose high
that's when I feared we'd met our match at last
the Dutchman Waakzaamheid

Chorus -Instrumental

The Dutchman closed to a thousand yards
And let her cannon roar
We'd taken damage fore and aft
Captain Aubrey was wounded sore
But with one blessed shot her fore mast smashed
And the Dutchman rolled hard on her beam
And with all brave hands she sank beneath
The cold Antarctic sea.

Chorus

c Jed Marum 2001


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Les from Hull
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 11:00 AM

I hope that nice Captain Aubrey doesn't hear himself described as a privateer! You'll get a checked shirt at the gangway.

Fine words, though.

Les


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: MMario
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 11:01 AM

well - the online dictionaries show that all the words ending in -zaamheid are things like courage, intractibility, sutbborness, fidelity, etc.

bezwaar is "trouble"

"waak"doesn't show in my dictionary as a word or a prefix. it shows only as a suffix in "slovak"

My sense of Waakzaamheid as a name is "DOOM"


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 12:04 PM

Hi, Jed! Nice ballad. What's its name?

I too would strongly suggest reworking the ballad so you can avoid the term "privateer" even if it does rhyme nicely; you'll avoid unnecessary broadsides from the more nautically sophisticated. As I recall "the horrible old Leopard" (be nice to get that line in somewhere) was a fourth-rate, a 50-gun heavy frigate. Good luck!


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 12:11 PM

"Letter of marque" is the expression we're all struggling for! Let us know the moment you write any more songs, Jed (Liam?).

Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: MMario
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 12:15 PM

okay - I don't know the book - but if they sailed under a Letter of Marque - then by common practice and nomenclature they WERE privateers. if without they would be pirates.


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 12:54 PM

Of all the place to sink, I should think Antarctic waters would be among the worst. I've read a couple of the Aubrey-Maturin stories, and they're very good, if a bit long-winded at times on the conversational end.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 01:08 PM

Trying to resist a broadside...The HMS Leopard was a regular naval heavy frigate, not a "letter of marque" or a "privateer" or a "pirate ship." It's true that later in the series Capt. Aubrey does take command of the former frigate HMS Surprise as a "letter of marque" but that's not the
The Aubrey/Maturin series is one of the best nautical series written for getting the flavor of the Nepolianic War period. Yes, there's lots of talking and digressions, and some of the most dramatic action curiously takes place off stage. Addicts like myself read and reread the books, and look forward to no other life.


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Lynn W
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 02:46 PM

I always assumed Waakzaamheid meant "wakefulness" or "watchfulness" (like English "Vigilant") but I don't know if this is correct. I've read all these books several times and never get tired of them. I particularly like the unexpectedness- he never signals what's going to happen beforehand so when a ship sinks you get a complete sense of shock.


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: MMario
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 03:09 PM

*grin* As I said, I don't know the book. But a regular ship of the line certainly wouldn't be a "privateer", agreed.


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Peter T.
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 05:30 PM

He certainly had to sail as a private ship at one point in the series, because he got into some mess, but it was some time ago when I read them, so I forget which one.
One of the best things about the series is how much music there is in it. The fact that officers set up string quartets and so on as onboard hobbies never occurred to me until I read the series, and I was told that it was absolutely true during the period.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Les from Hull
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 06:04 AM

Charley - actually the 'horrible old Leopard' was a 50gun ship, a small two decker, not a frigate. These ships were used on detached duty, or on convoy escort, or sometimes as a flagship on a detached station where there were only small frigates or unrated vessels used.

Originally this class of vessel was part of the line-of-battle, but for many years they had been too small. The last of them built for the Royal Navy were built during the American Revolution (as we like to call it!) as they could work closer inshore than a 74 and it was unlikely that they would have anything bigger to fight. Which was true until the rest of Europe joined in!

I agree with you entirely about the Aubrey/Maturin books. They are the finest of their kind. Little Hawk, I like the conversations because of the flavour of the language used, which seems to fit the period better than any other books on the same subject. O'Brian's command of the subject was alao without equal.

I'm sorry to go on about all this, but the Napoleonic Royal Navy is my special interest, as by groaning bookshelves will bear witness.**BG**

Les


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Gervase
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 06:14 AM

As I recall, the Leopard was a hidous naval freak - a ship with what appeared to be a bow at both ends, originally designed as a floating bombardment vessel but never used in that role. Certainly Aubrey had mixed feelings about her - but she was a regular RN vessel and he didn't sail her under a Letter of Marque.
But that's nit-picking for you. I like the song Jed - what's the tune?


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: sledge
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 07:04 AM

Gervase, that wasn't the Leopard but some other beast.

Sledge


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Les from Hull
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 07:09 AM

Not that one, Gervase. You're thinking of Polychest, the 'Carpenter's Mistake', a post ship that Aubrey had commanded earlier.

The real HMS Leopard had a mixed career. She fired into an unprepared American frigate to compell her captain to hand back some seamen who had deserted. This was in about 1808, and was one of the causes of the American War of 1812.

Aubrey's mixed fealings were that he was not in a frigate (with better opportunities of prize money) or in a line-of-battle ship (which carried more kudos).

Les


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Gervase
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 07:11 AM

Oops! That's one of the problems with the O'Brian books - they're so addictive that you can't help but become a "pusher", lending them to all and sundry.
As a result, most of mine are are on friends' bookshelves so I wasn't able to do a check.


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Les from Hull
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 07:16 AM

Well my reply was just from memory. How sad is that?


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 08:06 AM

Well, trice my pudden to the weather cat-harpings! Dr. Maturin inherited squillions of pesetas from his rich old uncle and bought the Surprise from the Navy. Capt. Aubrey, being on the beach through the wicked connivance of his land-bound enemies, then obtained a letter of marque to harry the King's sea-going enemies. If you haven't read this far, I'm sorry if I gave the game away. Leopard turns up later, as a rather down-at-heel transport ferrying troops back from the continent. Maturin is feted by the crew when they find he's an old Leopard, and has to recount the famous sea-battle (I forget which one!) which he didn't actually see, as he was below, tending the wounded. You really do need to read the books, you know!

Anyway, what is the tune?

Steve "Awkward" Parkes


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: GUEST,Matt_R
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 08:17 AM

So THAT'S where he got the name "Liam Devlin"!


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 09:37 AM

WOW - I love this place! I checked into Mudcat this morning nearly forgetting this thread - and was floored by all the wonderfull info!! Thanks all.

Yes, I believe the O'Brian series of books about Aubrey and Maturin are marvelous, and can see how they would be addicting. My Dad read them all and sent me a couple, and I have loved them as well. And when I first came across this story about the sinking of the Waakzaamheid - I knew I had to write the song. It's been fermenting in my head for quite some time.

Privateer is a major change to the lyric, but I know I must make the change. I am so glad I posted the lyrics now. I would not want to have recorded the song with such a mistake. I am not sure even where I came up with the word, except it was probably my own interpretation ... so thanks very much, y'all for catching that and speaking up.

I amazed at the detail so many have remembered! Thanks all for the comments. Please continue posting or PM if you have any further comments. I have an excellent melody for the song, I believe - I hope to get it on a recording soon, though unpublished until the next record. Still I will provide a tape copy to any who have an interest, once I have a chance to get the demo recorded (within the month).

Thanks again - y'all!


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 09:47 AM

oh - I haven't decided the name yet. I like the Ballad of Desolation Island or just Desolation Island - because the are simple and they link the song directly to the book. But I'd love to hear suggestions for a name!


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Mudlark
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 10:59 AM

Dear Jed...

Thanks so much for starting this thread, and to all mudcatters who have added to it. My husband turned me on to this series...I resisted for a long time, thinking them "guy" books...but have now read every one in the series, and many 2 and 3 times. The characters are wonderfully drawn and the action, when it comes--on land or at sea--is always sprightly.

I loved your ballad, and it reminded me of the great scenes in the books where poetry was spouted over the remains of spotted dick and old port....

Nancy


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 11:54 AM

Thanks, Les. Happy to be corrected on "the horrible old Leopard" as she was, indeed, a two-decked 50-gun vessel during the Desolation Island episode. Much later in the series she appears again as a stripped down transport. Maybe, we could work up a naval ballad the equivalent to "The Cat Came Back" given the persistent of this ship.

DRIFT ALERT! I once ran a thread on the Patrick O'Brian site trying to find out what people knew about the re-curring expression in the series of "kicking up Bobs-a-dying"; most folks agreed that it meant the sailors were ashore raising hell again, and that there may be a dance tune called "Bob's A-Dying" although nobody's been able to dig it up (so to speak). I do use that expression in the chorus of a song I use to introduce members of our sea songs group Roll&Go, if anyone is interested.


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 01:20 PM

I had some lyrics in an earlier version about the 50-gun vessel, and considered working in some language about the size of the cannonballs (the Waakzaamheid not only outgunned the Leopard, but had much bigger cannon, as well) - but I found my first versions were written only for those who knew the story, and did not work on the level that most listeners could appreciate. So I simplified language, and took a more elemental approach.

I am curious, though since so many knowledgeable Mudcatters have contributed to the thread; I simply put one line in describing the crew; "with cockney, moore and irish lads we made a handsome crew" - I was out on a limb here - trying to show the mix of backgrounds. The Leopard, at the time of the Waakzaamheid incident had some "black portugese" hands - through poetic license and for simplication I said moores - also the term cockney may never have been used in those early times. No one picked me up on thse terms - but are there any comments?


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: MMario
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 01:26 PM

It doesn't take much poetic license to allow "moor" for Portuguese or Spanish

And as far as the lines about the cannons and the balls - we all know that it's not the size that matters.


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Les from Hull
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 01:32 PM

Only that I would spell it without an 'e'. But as an adjective moorish would be more usual. This would more usually describe North Africans, but they weren't so knowledgable in those days.

The only really descriptive term I can think of, still in use today, is 'Lascar', a seaman from East India.

Les


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: MMario
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 02:29 PM

and regarding "cockney" This is from THE HISTORY OF COCKNEY RHYMING SLANG at http://fun-with-words.com/crs_history.html

"The Cockneys were - and are - working class Londoners. The word comes from cockeneyes (14th century) which means eggs that are misshapen, as if laid by a cock. The word went through a series of usages over the centuries, and it came to be used to refer to city folk, ignorant of 'real life'.
Nowadays the definition of Cockney is often one which originated during the 17th century. It refers to anyone born within the sound of Bow-bells. These are the bells of St. Mary-le-Bow Church in the City of London. "


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: JedMarum
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 11:04 AM

MMario - you are just a fountain of useful info!!! Thanks for the web research! And Les, I'll change the spelling of Moor - I wondered that, but wasn't bothered since I don't normally write the songs but sing them.

I've been considering the privateer term.My first inclination was to change it - but; it has been integral to the first part of the song; conveying the idea to non-historical types who would undertsnd the term immediately and would require no further explanation. Additionally there is precedent in recent folk-style music for its use so I benefit from connonation as well.

Is it not true that outsiders would have considered Aubrey and companty to be privateers? Say the American's whose British sailors were pressed, or the Ducth of French ships whose trade was disrupted by Aubrey's 'appropriation' of their goods? And what would an Irish seaman of perhaps mixed loyalties think of the term?

I would like some more feedback from you history buffs and/or O'Brian experts. I am sure, though - that Jack Aubrey would find the term highly insulting - and I may not want to piss him off, even if he is just a ficticious hero!


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 11:13 AM

Should the accompaniment be flute and cello?
RtS


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Peter T.
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 11:25 AM

Given that many of the greatest British sailor/heros were privateers, Aubrey would scarcely have minded.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: JedMarum
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 12:12 PM

Thanks Peter - you're a gentleman and a scholar, no matter what Rick Fielding says! ;-)

Roger - I think the accompaniment is primarily frailing banjo, with solos from fiddle and banjo and guitar maybe mando backup, maybe even bass. It is a lively melody.

I know Aubrey and Maturin would have chosen a very different melody with very different accompaniment.


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: JedMarum
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 12:14 PM

I just had a thought. With a bit of luck, perhaps I can persuade Max and Bert to allow me to call in and play the song on Mudcat Radio next week. I'll send a note to Max and see how he feels about it.


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Les from Hull
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 12:25 PM

Jed - I don't want to pour cold (sea) water on your sterling efforts, but for someone to call a Royal Navy captain of that (or any other) time a 'privateer' was a very great insult. O'Brian points this out in his books when 'Surprise' ships a crew of privateersmen from the (imaginary) village of Shelmerston, and the shame Aubrey feels when he was out of the Navy. Even he preferred the term 'letter of marque'. Privateer might have been a term that was acceptable to Drake and Hawkins, but to no one after that period in the English/British service. I'm trying to find a modern day equivalent - probably like calling someone who serves in their National Armed Forces a 'mercenary'.

The correct term for a career naval person of this time (other than officers who were Naval officers, or officers in the Navy) was Man-'o'-War's-man. Many songs of the time use 'Captain bold' or 'bold Captain'.

Hoping that this helps rather than hinders, Les


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: JedMarum
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 12:38 PM

Les - that is very helpful info. I have to weigh the expression in light of how it was used/perceived by the men from Aubrey's days against its current use - and perhaps more importantly, how much info it gives with a single word. I am torn. It sounds like I should rewrite the first two verses and develop a new approach to convey the same info. But the fact that Aubrey would have strenuously objected to the term (as he railed against captaining a ship whose main mission was transportation) does not mean that modern listeners might get what I'm talking about, and never notice the insult.

I have to let the idea ferment a bit. Maybe it'll be easier to rework then I think.

Thaks for your insight!


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 04:51 PM

I would emphatically agree with Les on the inappropriateness of the term "privateer" as referred to the HMS Leopard. One could use that term for the Surprise, whether Aubrey objected or not, at various times during her career. But then again, there's only a few thousand or so of us who really care and would take the trouble to track you down and beat you up. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: JedMarum
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 05:03 PM

LOL Charley - I'm nearly conviced that it must be changed. Accuracy over brevity! I'll see what I can do over the next few days ...


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Greyeyes
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 05:43 PM

"Jack Aubrey would find the term highly insulting - and I may not want to piss him off, even if he is just a ficticious hero!"

Although fictional, many of Aubrey's exploits were based on the real life adventures of Admiral Lord Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald. Any Aubrey/Maturin fans would find one of the numerous biographies of this extraordinary character fascinating reading. A new one was published last year:- "Cochrane: the Life and Exploits of a Fighting Captain" by Robert Harvey.

A couple of descriptions of this series I particularly like: "Jane Austen for blokes", and "Cocaine for intellectuals". & one of mine, possibly the greatest series of historical novels ever written.


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Les from Hull
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 07:04 AM

Cochrane was in some ways even more incredible than Aubrey. He was an Admiral in the navies of four separate countries (United Kingdom, Greece, Chile and Brazil). I believe that Chile still provides an honour guard on his tomb on their National Day.

The exploits in Master and Commander and the Reverse of the Medal are based on Cochrane's career.

Les


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Wotcha
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 09:34 AM

Jed,
I second the recommendations to read Robert Harvey's book about Lord Cochrane. He was quite the character: always short of money, always quarrelling with the Admiralty, and leading some naval action (with very little loss of life on his side which endeared him to his crews).
Cheers,
Brian


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 09:58 AM

Forgive the ignorance (I gave away all the books some time ago) -- in the story under discussion is the ship the Surprise, and Aubrey still legit? Or the Leopard and Aubrey out of the service temporarily? If the first then privateer or letter of marque or whatever makes no sense, and Jed should rightly be flogged. If the second, then Aubrey might complain, but he might have a romantic bone in his overstuffed body, and anyway he isn't the singer of the song, is he? On the other hand, hands tended to be even more sticklers than their captains about their status. As long as we get to flog Jed, I am happy.

yours, Peter T. (whose nautical information is more along the lines of Stephen's).


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Les from Hull
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 10:07 AM

Aubrey's in service, commanding the Leopard.

I'm not sure which of the Articles of War you wish to invoke for Jed's punishment. Perhaps you'll have to use 'All other crimes not capital...' the famous 'Captain's Cloak'!

Les


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: JedMarum
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 10:11 AM

In the song, Aubrey is Captain of the Leopard, I don't know if he is out of service ... I know his primary assignments are the transportation of prisoners to Botany Bay, and a stop over at Bligh's new home to resolve yet another mutinous dispute in which Bligh has found himself. Of course, the Leopard captures a merchant ship or two along the way.

I used the term privateer because of its easy modern conotation, but agree that Aubrey would not like the term. I do believe that Aubrey's opponents would not mind the word, and perhaps a sailor on board of mixed loyalties could stomach the term ... but since I am casting Aubrey and crew in a positive, even heroic light - the expression is troublesome ... even my Irish sailor singing the song, who was likely not highly favorable of the British ruling classes had obvious respect for his English Captain and officers .... the trouble is the word works so well in the telling of the tale!

... still considering options and alternative, and this conversation is most heplful!


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 10:25 AM

Oh dear, not poor old Lieutenet (sic) Bligh again! See here for the most recent commentary on the most mistunderstood-by-posterity man in the RN!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 10:29 AM

Ahem! That should, of course, have read Lieutenant (sic) ... sorry!


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Subject: RE: Help: Patrick O Briens Desolation Island
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 10:31 AM

Steve, does that mean I'll have to stop doing my impression of Tony Hancock doing Charles Laughton as Captain Bligh?
"Mistah Christian! I'll live to see you hanged from the highest yardarm in the British Navee."
RtS (probably misquoting!)


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