O'Pinions & O'Bservations O' O'Bscure O'Briania


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The Fortune of War

From: Don Seltzer
Sent: Sunday, March 10, 2002 3:02 PM
Subject: GRP:FOW The Cover

On Sun, 10 Mar 2002 13:18:08 -0800, Marshall Rafferty wrote:

Not to really start discussion, but I notice that on the Norton paperback cover the guns seem to be on the larboard side, while I believe on the original GH painting they were starboard. (Though I may have that direction reversed--are we looking forward?)

Readers of the Norton edition will notice a surprising number of left-handed sailors on the cover. Even the marine is firing his musket as a lefty, a dangerous practice since it places the flintlock and flashpan directly in front of his eye. Those with the Harper Collins edition have none of these problems, and their hawsers are not cable-laid, as their cover is as Geoff Hunt painted it, with the guns on the starboard side. The Norton cover is reversed to better accommodate the title block.

The scene is looking forward, from the main deck in the middle, or waist of the ship. The foremast and a head sail (jib or forestay sail) are visible through the smoke. In this part of the frigate, the upper deck is not planked over, except the narrow gangway over at the side, on which the marine is standing. Normally, the ship's boats would be stacked on the large beams overhead, but they are probably being towed astern for the battle to avoid the hazard of splinters. The dark shape far forward is the galley stove. The guns have flintlocks, suggesting that this might be the Shannon in battle with the Chesapeake, but I don't notice anything definitive that would rule out the earlier battle aboard the Java.

Don Seltzer


From: Adam Quinan
Sent: Sunday, March 10, 2002 3:13 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW The Cover

Th Fontana (HC) FOW paperback of the late 1980s has Geoff Hunt's cover picture reversed (also HMSS). I suspect that Norton took the layout from HC when they started republishing them. Has HC redesigned their covers to get the pictures the right way round as Don seemed to indicate?

Adam Quinan

'Grab a chance and you won't be sorry for a might-have-been'
Commander Ted Walker R.N.
Somewhere around 43 46' 21"N, 79 22' 51"W
For some of my family history see
http://www.cronab.demon.co.uk/quin.htm


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Sunday, March 10, 2002 5:29 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW The Cover

on 3/10/02 6:02 PM, Don Seltzer at dseltzer@DRAPER.COM wrote:

Even the marine is firing his musket as a lefty, a dangerous practice since it places the flintlock and flashpan directly in front of his eye.

Damn the marine and his musket. Some superior members of the gunroom are right handed but left-eyed.

Like me. Part way through aerial gunnery school I was firing with wondrous form, and explaining everything that was going on in my gun, but I wasn't hitting much (hard though it may be to believe.)

One of my buddies gives me the old hold a finger at arm's length, point at the target, and close your eye. The target, damn it, jumps and giggles. My instructor, probably a Japanese spy, confesses that I'm left eye'd--ain't that dang strange? And he shows me a lefty way to hold a righty gun. Thereafter you may imagine the near-miraculous (well, sort of) improvement in my scores. Flintlock and flashpan a fig!

Charlezzzzz, wondering if ambidextrous applies to vision and smell and touch and taste


From: Gary W. Sims
Sent: Monday, March 11, 2002 5:40 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW The Cover

Charlezzzzz, wondering if ambidextrous applies to vision and smell and touch and taste

Oh yes. Cindy teases me everytime we go to a Chinese restaurant when I order the sour-and-sweet pork...

Gary W. Sims, Major, USAF(ret)
--------------------------------------------
Lurking hull-down At or about 3442' N 11808' W


From: Karen von Bargen
Sent: Tuesday, March 12, 2002 8:25 PM
Subject: Re: Groupread: FOW

Hi, All!

Wandering through Fortune of War here and I have a question:

On pg. 47 of the Norton paperback, Jack is talking to Stephen about the invitation Stephen has just received to dine with the captain of La Fleche. Stephen is protesting his inability to ignore the captain and go on with stowing his things.

"Why not, for all love? Oh, for a decent ball of string." (this is Stephen speaking)

"The immemorial custom of the service requires that it should be accepted. It as as who should say a royal command; and a refusal is near as a toucher mutiny." (sez Jack)

And so, can anyone tell me what a toucher mutiny is?

Karen von Bargen
nit picking
San Martin, CA


From: losmp
Sent: Tuesday, March 12, 2002 9:39 PM
Subject: Re: Groupread: FOW

And so, can anyone tell me what a toucher mutiny is?

Probably one of those POB franglais expressions, using "near as a toucher" to mean a refusal in the circumstances is close to, or tantamount to mutiny, toucher being touch in French.

Lois


From: homermeyn
Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2002 12:31 AM
Subject: Re: Groupread: FOW

The word toucher is used in some games, such as bowls, to describe a ball that is so close as to touch another.
Peace

John

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning." --Catherine Aird


From: Janet Cook
Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2002 2:43 AM
Subject: Re: Groupread: FOW

I believe 'toucher' is used here as a noun, not an adjective. From OED: Toucher. colloq.or slang.(a) A case of close contact, an exact fit. (b) A very near approach; in phr. as near as a t., very nearly, all but. 1828

Janet


From: Gerry Strey
Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2002 5:44 AM
Subject: Re: Groupread: FOW

Karen, are you practicing on us. This phrase is like the Japanese baseball team the "Nippon Ham Fighters." They're sponsored by Nippon Ham; they don't fight ham. "Near as toucher" means all but or practically and can be applied to any word.

Gerry Strey
Madison, Wisconsin


From: Karen von Bargen
Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2002 7:59 AM
Subject: Re: Groupread: FOW

Gerry:

I am as stupid as stupid gets. Not practicing at all. Sorry to disappoint...

Karen


From: Don Seltzer
Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2002 5:41 AM
Subject: GRP:FOW The Softer Side of Jack

Here's a side of Jack and Sophie's marriage that we rarely see.

Jack, admitting that he is not a great reader, however:

'Every novel that I have ever looked into is all about love; and I have looked into a good many, because Sophie loves them, and I read aloud to her while she knits, in the evening. All about love.'

FOW p. 53

Don Seltzer


From: brumby6
Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2002 5:48 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW The Softer Side of Jack

And what a beautiful way to end his remark - "All about love." What better expression of the enduring love relationship between a married couple than to sit quietly together in the evenings, enjoying each other's company? And POB makes that point so subtly and so gently.

Linda


From: MacKenna Charleson
Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2002 6:19 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW The Softer Side of Jack

I agree. Also, there's something in Jack's dialogue that suggests his continuing state of bemuse where women are concerned. He loves Sophie, but even this passage suggests an outsider looking in to a gender he never really understands.

(By the way, this is something I *could* see Crowe playing very well -- even brilliantly -- though, as I understand it, the women of the canon get short shrift in the film, so we're unlikely to see such. Which we can scoot this comment over to the DCT thread with ease, and probably should.)

-=MacKenna, who rarely reads novels about love, but doesn't mind the occasional good tight ECU on a face that expresses it


From: Steve Ross
Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2002 7:11 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW The Softer Side of Jack

I think MacKenna, as so often, is "spot on" here . . . Jack's closing comment, "All about love," is a "subtle and gentle" way to characterize those quiet homey evenings between man and wife -- for us, and for POB. But that was not Jack's conscious intention! It seemed to me that his tone was, "Sheesh ... all this 'love' business! What a bore!" After all, his point is that he doesn't read novels for his own enjoyment--and not at all, except for those evenings with Sophie. So, one can be a loving spouse and not necessarily enjoy all the mooning and swooning. I guess that is the main point, huh?

--------------------
a complacent pragmatical worldly fellow (HMSS p. 196) . . .

Steve Ross
30 24' 32"N
91 05' 28"W


From: Mary S
Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2002 9:55 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW The Softer Side of Jack

I too was just about to copy in something bearing on this topic when you, shipmate, furnished me with a ready-made subject heading. Something we should remember when we are speculating on strains and difficulties in the Aubreys' marriage:

Jack has just reported in to the Admiral at Pulo Batang, who says he had a note from Mrs Aubrey.

"The sight of that familiar hand struck Jack with astonishing force, and for a moment he could have sworn he heard her voice: for this moment it was as though he were in the breakfast-parlour at Ashgrove Cottage, in Hampshire, half the world away, and as though she were there on the other side of the table, tall, gentle, lovely, so wholly a part of himself."

The admiral proceeds to make a rather coarse speech to the effect that "all wives were the same .. wives were all the same."

" 'Not mine,' said Jack; but not aloud..."

Dear Sophie.

And it comes in all the better as we have just been reminded of certain other types of females, with the Admiral's bevy of "cooks" (about whom I have my doubts) and his strongly embarrassed response to the name of Louisa Wogan. (In fact, Jack has even been so benevolent as partly to approve Herapath's flight, seeing that it was done for love.)

a wicked contumelious discontented froward mutinous dog,[FSW1]
Mary S
35 58' 11" N
86 48' 57" W


From: Mary S
Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2002 9:55 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Witticisms

Towards the end of Jack's colloquy with the Admiral in Ch. 1, POB begins to entertain us and himself.

Jack, being told he must give up his "followers" as the Adm is short of men, cries out upon losing so many "in one fell sloop?"

To which the Admiral: "What sloop, Aubrey?"

"Why, as to that, sir, I do not mean any specific vessel: it was an allusion to the Bible." Norton pb p. 17

Which of course it is, rather, =Macbeth=... slightly mangled. I love both the mangling and the misattribution. And POB puts the kicker to it when a page or two later the Admiral says

"You remind me of that old Sodomite."

"Sodomite, sir?" cries Jack, [obviously flushing and wishing he could take offense at an Admiral] while the Admiral retorts [doubtless pleased as Punch w/himself]

"Yes. You who are so fond of quoting the Bible, you must know who I mean."

And now, moving onwards (but not nearly caught up with those who are on p. 53) I find myself greatly amused by Maturin's straightforward greeting to the political adviser, Wallis, which I will leave you, however, to discover for yourselves (p. 20).

gluppit the prawling strangles, there, [FoW8]

Mary S
35 58' 11" N
86 48' 57" W


From: Steve Ross
Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2002 11:12 AM
Subject: Trice Happy! (WAS Re: [POB] GRP:FOW Witticisms)

These comical passages are wonderful, as is the pokerfaced greeting Maturin gives Wallis on their first meeting; thanks, Mary, for reminding us of these. On this reading, in fact, for some reason I felt as if FOW is on the whole much more lighthearted than any of the other early novels--this despite the gloom of British mariners faced with reversals in the American war, and despite the sinister aspects of Stephen's activities. Flashes of humor abound, from those noted in Chapter 1 on through to the end--including of course the zany antics of the inmates of the Asclepia hospital/asylum, and the time when Jack practises upon the poor Mr. Evans, telling him Stephen 'is an Irish Papist himself, ha, ha, ha! Drunk as a lord every morning by nine o'clock, and never a shoe to his name.'

And then toward the end, when Stephen, Diana and Jack . . .
>
>
>
>
>
SPOILER WARNING
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

. . . have escaped to the _Shannon_, and Stephen is in conversation with the ship's surgeon:

'She had just slipped out from Marblehead, and there she was, right under our lee at dawn, and we snapped her up in a trice.'

'In a what?'

'A trice.'

Wonderful stuff! And a wonderful book.


From: Susan Wenger
Sent: Friday, March 15, 2002 7:12 AM
Subject: GROUPREAD:FOW:themes

When O'Brian starts to explore a theme, he'll show it in various aspects, from different points of view. Perhaps a key theme of FOW is how different people see the same situation differently. When Stephen discussed to progress of the war with Cut Wallis, we saw how the English, the Americans, and presumably everyone else had a valid beef, a reason for their actions. Early in the book, Jack and Stephen and Yorke are dining, and Stephen says "I have never yet heard two accounts of the battle of Trafalgar that consist with one another in their details." I think that sums up a theme of this book: everyone sees things from their own perspective. We still don't even know how the fire started on Fleche: both Stephen and the Fleche surgeon were shown to be careless with their smoking materials; either could have started a fire, or it could have been something else entirely.

One such perspective issue I love comes on pages 57-59 Norton (right after the comment about different accounts): Jack writes to Sophie "People may say that Yorke is no great seaman, but he is a very good fellow, and he drank his two bottles without turning a hair." And then Stephen writes in his coded diary "Captain Yorke seems a polite, amiable, and literate man, no mere sea-officer."

Two perspectives, both seeing much the same characteristics, interpreting them differently. Great stuff!

- Susan

=====
To learn about "The Port-Wine Sea," my parody of Patrick O'Brian's wonderful Aubrey-Maturin series, please visit http://www.sea-room.com


From: Rowen 84
Sent: Friday, March 15, 2002 8:15 AM
Subject: Re: GROUPREAD:FOW:themes

Interesting observations, Susan. I began the reread yesterday, and had noticed some similar spots. On pages 15 Jack describes the aborted chase of the American ship: "but I was advised - that is to say, I considered it my duty not to chase, in view of the fact that Mrs Wogan was an American citizen...." and on p. 26 Stephen gives us HIS take on it: "And even then, the zeal of my captain very nearly defeated me: this whaler, clearly recognizable on the horizon, appeared early one morning before I was about, and it was only by representing to him that I should certainly hang myself from the mainyard-spritsail-gubbins or something of that sort if he did not desist that I persuaded him to resume our course..."

And of course we have the two points of view of wives: Admiral Drury's "wives are all the same" and Jack's "not mine" that Mary mentioned before.

As another 'theme' of FOW, I think O'Brian consciously emphasized the farcical bits at the beginning. We have the wombat eating the gold lace. We have the Admiral, with his misunderstanding of "What sloop", "Sodomite" for Abraham, argument with Jack over retaining his men, his obvious 'connection' to Louisa Wogan. (By the way, has anyone ever seen someone with YELLOW eyes?). We have Stephen's opening to Mr. Wallis. We have the cricket match, the great scene with the specimen-alcohol drinking Flitches tossing eggs back and forth while Stephen is frantic, and then, to cap it all, Stephen's "near as toucher mutiny". All of this makes a striking contrast with the tragic events to come. We are plunged from the tropical heat and humor into the icy waters of the Atlantic and the spirit-crushing defeat of the Java with the abruptness of a Finnish sauna. The warmth of the first two chapters seems to make the pain of the second two doubly hard to bear.

Although O'Brian continued to insert sections such as the "cuts no ice" scene, Jack's "insanity" and the Indian's question to Stephen later on, it is in the first two chapters that he really lays the humor on with a trowel.

Rowen


From: Alec O'Flaherty
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 4:04 AM
Subject: Re: GROUPREAD:FOW:themes

From: Susan Wenger

We still don't even know how the fire started on Fleche: both Stephen and the Fleche surgeon were shown to be careless with their smoking materials; either could have started a fire, or it could have been something else entirely.

Surely Stephen can be absolved from any blame? He had been trying to get to sleep for some time while the midshipmen were singing their 'bawdy' phosphorus song . He was roused from his sleep by Jack- the fire had started in a different part of the ship.

If Stephen felt he was to blame,would he not subsequently have expresssed some remorse for the fact?

I think the clear implication is that McLean,whom Stephen had left with his pipe in his mouth, was responsible.

Just my opinion

alec


From: Susan Wenger
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 5:54 AM
Subject: Re: GROUPREAD:FOW:themes

Could have been. Or maybe not. Stephen was careless with his smoking, could have dropped a spark or an unextinguished butt, which then smoldered while he slept, and eventually enflamed, and he would have been blissfully unaware. Or it could have been something else.

Interesting that "Fleche" sounds like flesh, and the ship went the way of all flesh.

And them men called themselves "flitches." Bacon. Hogs to be roasted. How neat.


From: Mary S
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 7:58 AM
Subject: Re: GROUPREAD:FOW:themes

In a message dated 3/15/02 10:16:51 AM Central Standard Time, Rowen84@AOL.COM writes:

On pages 15 Jack describes the aborted chase of the American ship: "but I was advised - that is to say, I considered it my duty not to chase, in view of the fact that Mrs Wogan was an American citizen...."

Of course this is a fast cover-up on Jack's part, not just a statement of his point of view. Jack must be seen to make his own decisions as Captain, and also he must not let out Stephen's secret to the unknowing.

I note another example of balance: during the chess game between Stephen and Mr Evans of the American vessel, the subject of republicanism vs. monarchy is canvassed, with arguments adduced for both sides; and even the game itself results not in a win-lose situation, but a stalemate.

"Morally you won," said Stsephen. "But at least this time my king was not discomfited."

That is (I interpret, perhaps too rashly) republicanism may be morally superior, but through his own cleverness, Stephen deviously carries the day (as is obvious from the description of his play) - and the monarchy whose interests he has espoused, yet which is not fully his own nor even his heart's preference, is not "discomfited" in the person of a chess king.

And we are reminded that Evans and Maturin are two reasonable men, unlike "the excitable passionate Frenchman, whom no one would take seriously."

And yet whom we are subtly invited on the very same page (p. 137) to take seriously, to suspect, as an espionage agent must suspect everyone.

pragmatical and absolute, [FoW8]

Mary S
35 58' 11" N
86 48' 57" W


From: Bill Nyden
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 9:32 AM
Subject: Re: GROUPREAD:FOW:themes

Mary S wrote:

That is (I interpret, perhaps too rashly) republicanism may be morally superior, but through his own cleverness, Stephen deviously carries the day (as is obvious from the description of his play) - and the monarchy whose interests he has espoused, yet which is not fully his own nor even his heart's preference, is not "discomfited" in the person of a chess king.

I think, in this case, you're reading too much into the statement. The whole point had been made in the earlier conversation. Here Stephen is just making a joke about the ending of the game, but alluding to Evans' prior comments.


From: J. Bennett
Sent: Friday, March 15, 2002 9:45 AM
Subject: Re: GROUPREAD:FOW:themes

(By the way, has anyone ever seen someone with YELLOW eyes?).

I have! A secretary to a Dean at College of DuPage in Illinois had yellow eyes. They didn't jump out at you any more than light hazel would. I knew her at least a year before she said they were yellow and then they registered on me. I truly am not unobservant.

Jill


From: Alec O'Flaherty
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 6:25 AM
Subject: GRP:FOW Stepen's question

Stephen asks Jack( about American ships) Page 75 harper

'When you say heavier than anything we possess,do you mean in physical bulk,or in the magnitude of their artillery?'

Somehow I just cannot get Stephen to say these words(in my mind).They just don't ring true for me.

Am I on my own?

alec


From: Mary S
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 9:27 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Stepen's question

I hadn't thought about that, Alec, though I did think that in that part of the novel, conversation =was= being used for exposition.

For my part, I'm having trouble believing in Jack's extremely detailed and sometimes even poetically phrased letters to Sophie, in this same volume. They read, in part, as though O'Brian wrote them for him.

Yes, I know Jack is not stupid, but neither is he a literary cove.

Deeply, obstinately ignorant, self-opinionated, and ill-informed,

Mary S
35 58' 11" N
86 48' 57" W


From: Alec O'Flaherty
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 6:40 AM
Subject: GRP:FOW Learning

Forshaw's punishment(pg 71)

'Bonden,' he called,and his coxwain who was waiting outside the door with sailcloth and rope-yarn to LEARN(my caps) the young gentlemen to make foxes,walked in.

I wonder why dod POB use the word 'learn' rather than 'teach'?

Learn is used in slang here(ireland) in the 'teach' mode

e.g. If you hurt yourself doing something you shouldn't be doing a quip might be 'That'll learn you'

But I thought that as a rule 'learning' was for those being taught-not the teachers?

alec


From: Adam Quinan
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 7:52 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Learning

I am pretty sure ts in the Wind in the Willows that Ratty, Mole and Toad together with Badger set out to "learn" the ferrets and weasels and stoats about their occupation of Toad Hall. It is certainly in A.A Milne's dramatization which i performed in at school some thirty five years ago. When corrected badger responds no we aren't going to teach them we are going to "learn" them. The implication being that teaching may happen but learning may not!

Adam Quinan
Stoat Cortez


From: Mary S
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 9:26 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Learning

Alec asks

I wonder why dod POB use the word 'learn' rather than 'teach'?

I am thinking that in this passage he is assuming Bonden's voice - phrasing it the way Bonden would have.

Using "learn" instead of "teach" was also a part of US vernacular - "That'll larn him"! is an expression still used, pronounced as I have indicated. The Badger, too, was considered gruff and uneducated - though with great personal status of course.

gluppit the prawling strangles, there, [FoW8]

Mary S
35 58' 11" N
86 48' 57" W


From: Helen Connor
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2002 3:19 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Learning

I saw it more as employing the words Bonden himself would have used. Just another instance of his amazingly good writing, and incredibly light touch

H


From: Alec O'Flaherty
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 6:41 AM
Subject: GRP:FOW Forshaw's good looks

Doesn't O Brian lay on Forshaw's good looks just a little too heavily?

Page 36-'an absurdly beautiful child called Forshaw' (sent to get Stephen for the cricket game). POB

Page 58 'Forshaw is a good boy -far prettier than his sisters'(Jack in his letter to Sophie) (a statement which seems a bit out of character for Jack)

Page 67 'with his teeth flashing in his sunburnt face and his hair streaming in the wind, he looked uncommon fetching' POB

This is immediately followed by Warner's question (of the ship/sea) 'Can you imagine anything more beautiful?'

Is this another area where POB is trying to see ,or get us to see, things from a different viewpoint- maybe hrough Warner's eyes?


From: Don Seltzer
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 7:02 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Forshaw's good looks

A slightly cynical lissun once observed that the absurdly handsome young midshipman is the POB equivalent of that bit character on Star Trek (Trekkies will know instantly whom I mean) who wears a certain color uniform and is a member of the away team. Almost certainly he will soon meet a bad end. Perhaps we should begin a list of these unfortunate young men of good looks.

Lt. Warner is another type of recurring character, but one who differs significantly from book to book. The first of numerous paederasts was Mr. Marshall in M&C. None come close to the modern stereotypes, and each seems to be unique. Warner is portrayed as a hard driving first Lt, "shut up day after day with such a longing in a ship, where everything is known; and where this must not be know; where there must be no approach to an overt act."

Don Seltzer


From: Robert Fleisher
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 11:16 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Forshaw's good looks

The only character, as far as I can recall, who is described this way other than the occasional doomed midshipman is Jagiello, upon his introduction in "Surgeon's Mate." His abnormal beauty seems to serve O'Brian two primary purposes: to help advance the plot by attracting love-struck maidens, and to provide a little humor. Remember Jack shaking his head and saying that he just can't see what the women see in him. My recollection is that once these authorial needs are past, in later books where Jagiello is a peripheral character, his physical appearance goes without comment.

Bob Fleisher

Houston, TX


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2002 6:17 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Forshaw's good looks

And there's a recurring character called the "handsome sailor" who stands for whatever Melville needs at the moment.

Charlezzzzz


From: Susan Wenger
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2002 2:01 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Forshaw's good looks

I'd hate to think that Jagiello lost his beauty to old age.

Age cannot wither, nor custom stale his infinite variety.


From: Mary S
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 2:09 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW: arriving in Boston

Two comments on this section.

1) POB's strictures upon tobacco chewing as an American habit can't be too stern for me, but I do think spoon-bread gets a bum rap here (p. 164). It would be hard for even Louisa's slipshod household staff to mess it up that badly. The spoon-bread =I= know is a) in no wise associated with molasses or any of the other things he mentions and b) absolutely scrumptious, a melting, golden, dish fit for the gods. I wonder if POB ever tasted the genuine article. In my imagination Diana Villiers (who I am sure =never= had a weight problem) scarfs it down every day with delight while she is staying with Johnson at his Maryland estate. "Lumps of an amorphous grey substance," indeed!

2) I noted an interesting choice of quotation by this much-quoting author, and very apposite. But would =Stephen= have known it, I wondered?

On p. 179 a man referred to as "Broad-brim," clearly a Quaker, befriends Stephen and to one of his kindly cautions, Stephen replies:

"He that is down needs fear no fall, he that is low, no pride."

This is from one of the poems in John Bunyan's PILGRIM'S PROGRESS. Bunyan as a Baptist Dissenter was not quite the same thing as a Quaker, but somewhere in Friendly proximity enough to make this an aptly chosen line.

(I also wonder how many Quakers there were in Boston at that time, their

principal hang-out being Philadelphia.)

For intelligence, there is nothing like a keen-witted, handsome woman, [DI 2]

Mary S
35 58' 11" N
86 48' 57" W


From: Batrinque@AOL.COM
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 4:30 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW: arriving in Boston

In a message dated 3/16/02 5:10:53 PM Eastern Standard Time, Stolzi@AOL.COM writes:

(I also wonder how many Quakers there were in Boston at that time, their principal hang-out being Philadelphia.)

I don't know about Boston, but Nantucket in this era was a bastion of Quakerism.

Bruce Trinque
4137'52"N 7222'29"W


From: Susan Wenger
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 4:43 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW: arriving in Boston

The Wenger clan was settled in the Linville-Edom area of Pennsylvania in the 1700's.

- Susan Wenger, married into the lot


From: Susan Wenger
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 4:50 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW: arriving in Boston

This post wouldn't make sense without I clarify: they weren't Quakers, but Mennonites, which was probably more similar in those days than it is now.

- Susan


From: Doug Essinger-Hileman
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 6:38 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW: arriving in Boston

On 16 Mar 2002 at 16:50, Susan Wenger wrote:

This post wouldn't make sense without I clarify: they weren't Quakers, but Mennonites, which was probably more similar in those days than it is now.

Not really.

Doug


From: Mary S
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2002 6:22 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW: arriving in Boston

In a message dated 3/16/02 6:32:08 PM Central Standard Time, Batrinque@AOL.COM writes:

I don't know about Boston, but Nantucket in this era was a bastion of Quakerism.

Oh, that's right (remembering now the early chapters of MOBY DICK)

A sad, brutish grobian, [IM, p45]

Mary S
35 58' 11" N
86 48' 57" W


From: Alec O'Flaherty
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2002 3:51 AM
Subject: GRP:FOW Scoundrels-hang the whole shooting- match

The French sometimes get a bad 'press' from O'Brian but isn't it interesting that this was the prevailing view of Americans held by a senior navy personage!

'An American' cried the Admiral. There you are-all of a piece! Damned rascals-convicts themselves, for the most part, piebald mongrels for the rest-they lie with black women, you know, Aubrey; I have it on good authority they lie with black women. Disloyal-hang the whole lot of them, the whole shooting match..

..That's American gratitude for you. All of a piece.

.and what did they do ? I'll tell you what they did, Aubrey; the bit the hand that fed them. Scoundrels.

HeHeHe

BTW wouldn't Admiral Drury be a great part for a senior English actor to play. In the sequel/prequel,seeing as FSOW is a tentpole(!) project! Live and learn.

Happy St Patrick's Day

alec


From: Adam Quinan
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2002 4:36 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Scoundrels-hang the whole shooting- match

I can assure the good Admiral that not all Americans are disloyal piebald mongrels. In the language of the day, the loyal ones migrated north (or perhaps more sensibly, south) to get away from the disloyal piebald ones and their descendants inhabit the northern parts of this continent to this day. However, I must admit that some Canadians do lie with black women. Non-piebald Canadian with few convictions.

Adam Quinan


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2002 6:11 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Scoundrels-hang the whole shooting- match

The admiral's small tirade could give rise to answers in several directions. Here are a couple of thoughts:

1. Samuel Johnson, who did not much care for Americans, and who was amazingly difficult to refute: "How is it we hear the loudest yelps for liberty from the drivers of negroes?"

2. Sam Panda.

Charlezzzzz


From: DJONES01
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2002 9:49 AM
Subject: POB: Group Read (FOW)

Have the typo gremlins struck again, or is it just brain-fade on my part? On p 48 Stephen is rushing to dine with the Captain and ..."they saw him pass at a shambling run, SQUARE-RIBBED [my caps] and fairly trim ..." Should this be square-rigged?

POB keeps up a steady supply of humour after the comical opening scenes. I particularly liked Stephen's (deliberate?) misunderstanding about the President on p96 "A most unfortunate choice, sir. No bottom, weak, easily blown from side to side." SNIP "I was referring to the ship, sir, to the frigate President."

Also on p105 when Jack has laboured up to the crosstrees "What a flat I should look, was I to drop down among them like an act of God". Flat as a pancake, indeed.

Elaine Jones
Walsall, England
52 36' 01" N 1 55' 46" W


From: Jean A
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2002 3:44 PM
Subject: Re: Groupread : FOW

As previously noted, there were lots of Quakers in Nantucket, and also in New Bedford, where Moby Dick begins.

Quakers also abounded in the surrounding town, as did meeting houses.

I particularly remember the Apponegansett Meeting House, in neighboring South Dartmouth. It is a perfectly preserved 18th century Quaker structure. It is opened once a year for services. I remember attending one in the early 1950s.

There are separate entrances for men and women, and a unique wooden partition that could, if lowered, separate the structure down the middle. That particular meeting was memorable for its peace and quiet. The only sounds were from insects buzzing around outside the open windows.

At one point an elderly gentleman rose and spoke briefly about something that had occurred to him, and then sat down. (In recent years I discovered that he was the uncle of a woman I know.) He was the only person who felt so moved.

There were some guests who were introduced and spoke - I believe they were from Africa.

Altogether a lovely quiet afternoon.

Jean A.


From: losmp
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2002 5:11 PM
Subject: Re: Groupread : FOW

There has been active Quaker worship everywhere i've lived in the past twenty years, Connecticut, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Maryland.

And there's a kind of sweet mystery series with a Cambridge, MA Quaker detective, 3 good books, the fourth, well, the first three are nice reads in the genre, starting with Quaker Witness, by Irene Allen.

Lois


From: Rowen 84
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2002 7:36 PM
Subject: Re: POB: Group Read (FOW)

In a message dated 3/17/02 11:54:57 AM, DJONES01@DEMJ.FREESERVE.CO.UK writes:

"they saw him pass at a shambling run, SQUARE-RIBBED [my caps] and fairly trim ..." Should this be square-rigged?

Sounds like 'square-rigged' to me.

I wondered the same thing about a phrase on p. 23, "She was an agent of no great importance, but a loyal,WELL-PLUCKED one, not to be bought;"

Is this a phrase I'm not familiar with, did they get rid of all the pinfeathers, or should it have been 'well-picked'?

Rowen


From: Adam Quinan
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2002 3:17 AM
Subject: Re: POB: Group Read (FOW)

I read the phrase "well-plucked" as meaning plucky or brave almost automatically. It seemed to fit in well enough.

Adam Quinan


From: Alec O'Flaherty
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2002 4:14 AM
Subject: Re: POB: Group Read (FOW)

I think the meaning 'picked' or 'outsorted' is better. Certainly it can mean that here-to give an instance-in Hurling if the ball is flying through the air and a few players jump with hands up to catch it the commentator might say :

'and the sliotar has been plucked from the air by the fantastic D J Carey'.

And in the old days you could certainly 'pluck' a girl from the line of them standing against the back wall in the Ballroom!

I take it to mean singled out and expertly captured!

alec


From: Ruth Abrams
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2002 5:12 AM
Subject: Re: POB: Group Read (FOW)

I thought "a rare plucked 'un" was used throughout the canon to mean someone brave. Hence, "well-plucked" seems sort of a prettied-up colloquialism.

Though pluck has that meaning, the OED does not list any such usage for "plucked."

Ruth A.


From: Steve Ross
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2002 8:55 AM
Subject: GRP FOW Rare Plucked Ones

Rowen asks about the use of "plucked":

POB actually uses this phrase quite often, usually putting it in Jack's mouth, and usually with the slangy "'un" rather than "one." It seems to mean "having remarkable dash and spirit," and can describe a woman like Mrs. Wogan:

"It seems she offered to pistol the prime minister or blow up the Houses of Parliament -- something very shocking, that was obliged to be played pianissimo; so I had a curiosity to see her. A rare plucked 'un, of that I am very sure: an ugly four days' blow, and her cabin as neat as a pin!" -- DI pp. 83-84

. . . or a sea captain:

"You will tell me that the Minerva is the heaviest of the two, and that the Magicienne only carries twelve-pounders; but Lucius Curtis is a rare plucked 'un, a damned good seaman." -- TMC p. 178

. . . or even a fighting cock (where you must admit "plucked" is an interesting choice of words! I have wondered whether the origin of the phrase may not actually be in cock-fighting):

"He was a rare plucked 'un, and he went on even when there was no hope at all. I am not sorry I backed him: should do it again. Did you say there were letters?" --PC p. 81

--------------------
"With these bestial Goths, these drunken Huns all about me -- I could weep from mere vexation." -- FOW p. 47

Steve Ross
30 24' 32"N
91 05' 28"W


From: Edmund Burton
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2002 9:50 AM
Subject: Re: POB: Group Read (FOW)--plucked

Alec O'Flaherty wrote:

I think the meaning 'picked' or 'outsorted' is better.

I don't think so, not in this case. In the OED, the first definition of 'plucked' is 'Having pluck or courage; usually in comb., as good-plucked, rare plucked, well-plucked; so bad plucked, deficient in courage.

1846 Thackeray, Van. Fair xxxvii, What a good plucked one that boy of mine is.'

Pluck III 6. The heart, liver, and lungs (sometimes with other viscera) of a beast, as used for food.

7. colloq. (orig. app. pugilistic slang) The heart as the seat of courage; courage, boldness, spirit; determination not to yield but to keep up the fight in the face of danger or difficulty.

1785 Grose Dict. Vulg. T. s.v. He wants pluck, he is a coward.

E. Burton


From: Rowen 84
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2002 10:11 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW Rare Plucked Ones

Steve, to me the two phrases had seemed quite different, although you may be right here. I'd associated "rare plucked 'un" with the notion of "plucky", spunky, full of fight. The description of Mrs. Wogan on the other hand, sounds like it means "well-selected". While "plucked" can mean chosen, picked, it just doesn't sound right to me in this context, although I could just be quibbling about the non-slangy presentation employed by Wallis in this particular sentence.

Is there any mention in the OED of either version of the phrase: "rare plucked 'un" or "well-plucked"?

Rowen


From: Rowen 84
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2002 10:17 AM
Subject: Re: POB: Group Read (FOW)--plucked

Oops...I'm afraid I replied to Steve and asked about the OED before I read this post or the one from Ruth. Thank you Mr. Burton and Ruth A. "Pluck" as in "courage" seems to be the correct meaning here. Thanks for helping clarify it.

Rowen


From: Alec O'Flaherty
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2002 11:55 AM
Subject: Re: POB: Group Read (FOW)--plucked

From: Rowen

Thank you Mr. Burton and Ruth A. "Pluck" as in "courage" seems to be the correct meaning here. Thanks for helping clarify it.

Ok ,I concede gracefully(bit like Stephen coming up side of ship heheh)

Seriously-I see I was wrong.

alec


From: brumby6
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2002 10:49 AM
Subject: GRP: FOW Those Indians - they have a different word for everything!

Stephen is talking to Mr. Evans as they sail to Boston. He mentions a phrase spoken by Mr Adams: "Hominy grits cut no ice with me," and wonders about the source and meaning of such an expression.

Mr. Evans attributes it to an Iroquois expression, "katno aiss' vizmi", meaning "I am unmoved, unimpressed."

I am thinking this is not entirely accurate.

Of course this is also the bit where Mr Evans and Stephen compare the speech patterns of Southerners and Northerners, with those from the South having a lisping delivery and being difficult to understand. (Should we Southerners be insulted here?) Mr Evans is quick to explain that in Boston, English is pure and undefiled, the only colonial expressions deriving from intercourse with the Indians. Maybe this explains the inclusion of that curious Iroquois expression above.

Linda


From: Bill Nyden
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2002 11:01 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW Those Indians - they have a different word foreverything!

Evans is having a joke. Cutting, storing and shipping ice to the south was a lucrative business in New England until the invention of artificial refrigeration. I believe the phrase "cuts no ice" derives from it.


From: brumby6
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2002 5:30 PM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW Those Indians - they have a different word foreverything!

Was he joking, or was he covering up? After all, he had just finished saying there were no colonial expressions used in Boston. So he was about to get caught.

Linda


From: Adam Quinan
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2002 6:30 PM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW Those Indians - they have a different word foreverything!

His explanation cuts no ice with me.

As far as i am concerned, he was well and truly caught out but quick wittedly improvised a bit of Iroquois sounding mumbo-jumbo to cover up.

Adam Quinan


From: Bill Nyden
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 12:22 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW Those Indians - they have a different wordforeverything!

POB was a deep file, with many levels to his humor. Perhaps both interpretations can be true.


From: John Finneran
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 1:00 AM
Subject: GRP: FOW: Richardson

Dean King's PO'B biography has some interesting background to what was happening in PO'B's "real life" at the time he was writing FOW. See the end of chapter 17 and beginning of chapter 18 (about pp. 237 - 245 of the hc).

Of particular note (from p. 238):

In late October 1977, Patrick and Mary O'Brian travelled by autombile from Collioure to England. PO'B hand delivered the manuscript of Desolation Island to his editor, and the couple then went on to attend a wedding. Following the wedding, the couple (with Mary at the wheel) were involved in a car crash, which nearly killed them both. Patrick was in the hospital for one month and Mary for two.

Here's King:

"But Mary was badly injured in the wreck. She lay unconscious in the hospital for days, with two broken legs and a concussion. Trying to bring her back to reality, Patrick, who was also banged up but not so severely, read to her from a Samuel Richardson novel. This, they both believed, helped revive her."

PO'B's interest in Richardson at this period is reflected early in FOW when Captain Yorke and Stephen discuss Richardson and his works (pp. 51-52).

John Finneran


From: Don Seltzer
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 5:30 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: Richardson

And also brings up the image of Jack reading these novels aloud to Sophie.

"All about love."

Don Seltzer


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 8:53 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: Richardson

Four great novelists of the high 18th century: Fielding, Smollet, Richardson, Sterne.

Smollet: was a doctor of medicine, and shipped out on a 74 as surgeon's assistant for one of England's disastrous sieges. Scots, of course, and so his first novel "The Adventures of Roderick Random" (1748) made him many new enemies since most of the unpleasant characters (with names such as Crab, Potion, and Gawkey) were recognized as fellow writers. For a libel on a British admiral - "an engineer without knowledge, an officer without resolution, and a man without veracity" - Smollet served three months in prison. Certainly well worth reading (Humphrey Clinker) but vy strange to the modern ear.

Richardson: tell truth now, has any lissun ever read through any of Richardson's novels? Consider Clarissa Harlowe (a title with an odd resonance for us Trueloves): it's about 2000 pages of sensibility. Jeez! Sam'l Johnson, praising Richardson's grip on female psychology, said words to the effect that if you were to read Richardson for the plot, you wd hang yourself.

Fielding: his first book was a parody on Richardson's Pamela: Shamela. His Tom Jones is one of the great books of the century.

Sterne: Tristam Shandy is one of the great books of any century, and I seldom hear the clock strike on a Saturday night without I... never mind.

Charlezzzzz


From: Mary Arndt
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 9:06 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: Richardson

Richardson: tell truth now, has any lissun ever read through any of Richardson's novels? Consider Clarissa Harlowe (a title with an odd resonance for us Trueloves): it's about 2000 pages of sensibility. Jeez! Sam'l Johnson, praising Richardson's grip on female psychology, said words to the effect that if you were to read Richardson for the plot, you wd hang yourself.

Mrs Wogan had much the same opinion...Pg 164 DI....""she had actually read right through Clarissa Harlow without hanging herself (though that was sometimes only for want of a convenient hook)..."

--
Mary A
4236'53" N
7120'43" W


From: losmp
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 9:57 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: Richardson

From: Charles Munoz

Richardson: tell truth now, has any lissun ever read through any of Richardson's novels?

Yes, Charlezzzzz.

But the rest of the truth is that it happened to be a mandatory college course read. In the days before grade inflation.

Lois


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 10:24 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: Richardson

Dear me, what a requirement! What was the course? 18th century novel? Even then, if I were setting up a full semester of 18th century novels, I cd omit Richardson, I think, merely letting Joseph Andrews point backwards to Pamela, and maybe assigning parts of Pamela for reading...badly put, but I know what I mean.

Charlezzzzz


From: losmp
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 10:34 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: Richardson

Dear me, what a requirement! What was the course?

Dear me, dear me. I'd have to dig up an old transcript, to remember. But this reminds me of a comment on another, arguably lesser author I once also read entire works of for a paper: Gaboriau. Of him it was said--maybe by Gide-- that in his day, his works were perfect for a train trip, but that in those times, the train took a lot longer than it does now.

Lois


From: Alec O'Flaherty
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 3:04 PM
Subject: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans

The battle Java v Constitution -conclusion Pge 124 Harper

'No' said Chads in a dead voice. 'It will not do.' He looked at Jack,who bowed his head:then he walked aft,as a resolute man might walk to the gallows,walked between the sparse gun crew,silent now, and hauled the colours down.

I just wonder what American readers reaction is to this passage. Is there a cry of 'yippee'. Another blow against the Royal Navy.

Or has O Brian got all readers so involved with Jack and the Royal Navy that you feel feel a little( or not so little?) tinge of regret for Chads,Jack and the Navy .

I certainly found it an emotional passage.


From: brumby6
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 3:20 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans

I'm ashamed to say I wanted the Java to blow the Constitution to kingdom come.

Linda


From: Bob Saldeen
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 3:36 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans

on 3/19/02 17:04, Alec O'Flaherty at oflahertyalec@HOTMAIL.COM wrote:

I just wonder what American readers reaction is to this passage. Is there a cry of 'yippee'. Another blow against the Royal Navy.

Geez, Alec. You're Irish--aren't you supposed to be yelling "yippee" with us Yanks? ;-)

For my part, I always like it when "we" win. Can't help it, Jack or no Jack.

bs


From: Rowen 84
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 4:45 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

In a message dated 3/19/02 5:05:23 PM, oflahertyalec@HOTMAIL.COM writes:

I just wonder what American readers reaction is to this passage. Is there a cry of 'yippee'. Another blow against the Royal Navy.

Or has O Brian got all readers so involved with Jack and the Royal Navy that you feel feel a little( or not so little?) tinge of regret for Chads,Jack and the Navy .

What an interesting question! Never in life, sir! I can't recall feeling anything but the same anguish and shock that Chads and Jack felt! Cheer for the enemy? Blasphemy, sir. (I have to admit that when reading about this battle for the first time my own historical ignorance had left me unprepared for Java's defeat, an eventuality which smarter coves no doubt foresaw, and I was absolutely devastated by Jack's despair on the way to Boston.)

I don't think this is entirely the result of fine writing though. I doubt that even O'Brian would have been able to give me that same feeling if he'd placed Jack in the French navy.I don't know if I speak for all of us colonials, and I'd never consider myself a right Tory, nor even a strong anglophile, but when I read O'Brian I consider England, and the Royal Navy, as "mine". Our common (or uncommon) language, our shared history and culture, the knowledge that England has been a good and true ally during most of our recent existence, all lead to the feeling that we are cousins, with common interests, and make it easy to focus on the characters rather than the nationalism.

Would you have found it difficult to rally to Jack and Stephen if they had been Americans, fighting the British Navy?

Rowen


From: brumby6
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 4:42 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

Whew! Thanks, Rowen. Now I don't feel so much like (Across-the-) pond scum.

Linda


From: Alec O'Flaherty
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 5:05 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

From: Rowen

Would you have found it difficult to rally to Jack and Stephen if they had been Americans, fighting the British Navy?

Let's just say that we Irish had our own difficulties with the British fighting forces in the late 18th/early 19th centuries.(No love lost).

But I felt 'lump in throatish' for Jack,Chads and the pride of the Navy at the lowering of the Java colours -and I have credit O'Brian with that not inconsiderable achievement.

Thanks for the considered reply.

alec


From: Larry & Wanda Finch
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 6:14 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans

brumby6 wrote:

I'm ashamed to say I wanted the Java to blow the Constitution to kingdom come.

As a student of American History, I knew the outcome as soon as the Java sighted the Constitution :(

Larry

--
Larry Finch
::finches@bellatlantic.net larry@prolifics.com
::LarryFinch@aol.com (whew!)
N 40 53' 47"
W 74 03' 56"


From: Greg White
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 6:15 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

I just wonder what American readers reaction is to this passage. Is there a cry of 'yippee'. Another blow against the Royal Navy.

Interesting question. At no point in the canon did I root for my countrymen, quite the opposite, in fact.

Greg

4232'34.5" N
7120'13.2" W


From: Bill Nyden
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 12:32 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans

Alec O'Flaherty wrote:

I just wonder what American readers reaction is to this passage. Is there a cry of 'yippee'. Another blow against the Royal Navy.

I never "cheer" at the results of battles in the canon. There is some vicarious satisfaction when Jack or Stephen succeeds at a difficult task; but both battles in FOW, the Constitution v. Java and Chesapeake v. Shannon, end with a desolation caused by the deaths of so many men, regardless of the victor.

When I first read FOW, I was unaware of the Constitution-Java encounter, but, having visited "Old Ironsides" in Boston as a squeaker, and knowing she had never lost a battle, q.e.d., I knew the outcome before reading it.

One more question if I may The next page -The burning of the Java; the vast pall of smoke that rose over her as she blew up... Was the Java set on fire by the crew of the Constitution or were the flames as a result of the battle?

Java was too damaged take in as a prize, and splitting the Constitution's crew to handle both ships would have made Commodore Bainbridge vulnerable to a takeover by the English prisoners. So he burned her.


From: Don Seltzer
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 6:57 PM
Subject: GRP:FOW Dreaded Mowett Poetry Thread

As has been previously discussed, most of Mowett's nautical poetry is taken from "The Shipwreck", an epic poem written by WIlliam Falconer in the mid 18th century. POB was sufficiently fascinated to occasionally repeat certain portions. It was in M&C that Mowett first recited,

"While o'er the ship the gallant boatswain flies,
Like a hoarse mastiff through the storm he cries,
Prompt to direct the unskilful still appears,
The expert he praises, and the timid cheers"

In FOW, p. 220, the above verse is repeated, but with two more lines appended:

"Still through my pulses glides the kindling fire
As lightning glances on the electric wire."

But these are not the next lines in Falconer's poem. They do appear, but 1000 lines later! The later scene is a lightning storm,

"E'en now my ear with quick vibration feels
The explosion burst in strong rebounding peals;
Still through my pulses glides the kindling fire
As lightning glances on the electric wire:
Yet, ah! the languid colours vainly strive
To bid the scene in native hues revive."

Can any of our resident poets explain why POB chose to link these lines? Together, they don't make any logical sense to me, and it doesn't seem to improve the poetry to join them.

Don Seltzer


From: brumby6
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 7:05 PM
Subject: GRP FOW: Despair

I am finding this book very grim going. I see that many, myself included, are haunted by the picture of Jack at the rail of the Constitution. His despair, his dumb suffering, his constant seeking for rescue, his broken heart, his pneumonia - heavy stuff! Most of us have never felt the relentless pain he felt from that musket ball wound. I know from my own smashed arm, even with morphine, nothing is more debilitating than pain. His entire personality changes, as he alienates everyone around him. Ordinarily, even though the seamen surrounding him are his enemies, they would like and respect him. It chills me to see him among common men who dislike him.

Linda


From: John Germain
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 7:25 PM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW: Despair

His death by the overwhelming forces of weevils in the next book will have you hanging from the nearest hook.

[oops, spoiler]

John Germain

[which he could tell you of horrors....]


From: John Finneran
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 2:29 AM
Subject: GRP: FOW: String

On p. 47 (Norton pb), Stephen is trying to secure his vast collections of natural objects aboard ship and he asks Jack, "would you have another piece of string in your pocket at all?", and, later, "Oh, for a decent ball of string."

(Rather oddly, since Stephen would presumably need chains or heavy ropes to really secure his crates and other heavy objects: string would seem utterly inadequate.)

Then, near the book's end, when Stephen must leave the Acturus to go onto a boat bound for the Shannon, he asks again, "Jack, have you a piece of string in your pocket? I cannot climb down without doing up my parcel." (p.271)

This odd repeated question parallels the ending of PO'B's short story "The Rendezvous", where the narrator comes across a mysterious stranger and ask him twice, "Have you a piece of string?" The stranger replies, "Yes, a whole ball of string. A whole ball of string. Twine."

What the significance of all this is, I don't know (I'm torn as to whether I should end my post here or conclude with an awful pun; oh, all right, here's the pun:) but I'm tw'ine to figure it out.

John Finneran


From: Sandlund, Ragnhild
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 2:10 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: Richardson

I just read the whole of Pamela for the second time... Pity me, messmates, though I must admit to skimming bits this time around. Both times it's been for a university course, of course. Last time in Manchester for 18th C. novels and this time for "The Early English Novel" - we read Shamela to follow, which made some of us very happy after having wanted sorely to strangle Pamela (or Richardson, makes no odds which one) for a few weeks...

And now we're into Tristam Shandy. Oh joy!

Ragnhild


From: Peter Mackay
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 2:59 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: Richardson

And now we're into Tristam Shandy. Oh joy!

Mindful of My Brother Jack, I often used to read Tristram Shandy - sounds like a cooling drink - on army activities. I bought a fresh one last weekend, though I fear a paperback TS isn't worth a real lot.

[checks] Just as I feared - prices start at 10c.

A wonderful read, with the humour shining through on every page. I love the way that the book starts halfway through, Sterne declaring that he's only been sort of clearing his literary throat previously.

So many great characters and superb lines!! And I doubt that there's another book short of the Bible so alluded to in other works.


From: brumby6
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 4:38 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: Richardson

OK, I was thinking about checking into some of those All About Love novels that Jack was reading to Sophie, just to get the authentic flavor of course, but yall are starting to scare me. Is this not something we would do for quiet entertainment nowadays?

Linda


From: Ladyshrike@AOL.COM
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 5:27 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans (and DI spoiler)

In a message dated 3/20/02 0:33:04, w.a.nyden@WORLDNET.ATT.NET writes:

I never "cheer" at the results of battles in the canon. There is some vicarious satisfaction when Jack or Stephen succeeds at a difficult task; but both battles in FOW, the Constitution v. Java and Chesapeake v. Shannon, end with a desolation caused by the deaths of so many men, regardless of the victor.

Well said, Bill: you have stated my thoughts entirely. And I'm reminded of the general desolation Jack feels at the sinking of the Waakzaamheid:

"My God, oh my God," he said. "Six hundred men." (pg 236, Norton paperback)

"But it filled him with sorrow, a strange abiding grief." (pg. 237)

(Can you tell where I am in the GroupRead?)

Alice


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 5:50 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: String

on 3/20/02 4:29 AM, John Finneran at John.Finneran@PILEOFSHIRTS.COM wrote:

The stranger replies, "Yes, a whole ball of string. A whole ball of string. Twine."

What the significance of all this is, I don't know

John, I bet we worked it out when we discussed Rendezvous. But I'm in one of those moods where I won't look anything up, so I'll give you a new answer.

Hemingway.

As where Hemingway refers to Huck Finn as the fundamental, indispensable American novel, and without you've read Huck Finn you ain't read nothing.

Mark Twain...the whole megillah...whole shooting match...whole ball of string. Life on the Mississippi. Whose name wasn't Mark Twain at all, the creature. MT=POB. See? It all ties together.

Charlezzzzz


From: Karen von Bargen
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 5:38 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

Was the Java set on fire by the crew of the Constitution or were the flames as a result of the battle? I don't recall any mention of fire prior to the hauling down of the colours.

Here it is, on page 120 of the Norton PB:

" The Javas, undismayed, fired like demons, streaming sweat under the smoky sun, often with blood: and the stabbing flames from almost every shot they fired set light to the tarred wreckage hanging over the side: fire-buckets, powder, fire-buckets, powder, the remaining officers had them running in a continual stream."

Sounds like they sort of did it to themselves.

Karen von Bargen


From: Don Seltzer
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 5:51 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

Like the defeat of the Guerriere by the Constitution some months earlier, the Java was too badly damaged to take as a prize. Both ships were burned deliberately by the Americans, after transferring prisoners and items of value.

The couch of Capt. Dacres of the Guerriere graces the great cabin of the Constitution today, and the Java's wheel was carried across to replace the one that Jack and his cohorts shot away at the beginning of the battle.

Don Seltzer
which he felt some of the emotion of Chads and Aubrey when it came time to strike


From: Karen von Bargen
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 5:52 PM
Subject: Re: Groupread:FOW Stephen taking advantage of Diana

Hi, All!

Just wondering, did anyone else find it amusing that Stephen took advantage of Diana's seasickness to get coffee the way he liked it? I think it funny that neither Jack nor Stephen are willing to tell Broke that his coffee left something to be desired, something like strength! Norton PB, pg. 299 "Jack nodded, but no more, for Broke was at hand, politely asking for news of Mrs. Villiers. Stephen said that the most distressing symptoms were over, that a tonic draught, such as coffee of triple or even quadruple strength, followed by a small bowl of arrowroot gruel, reasonably slab, would set her up by the afternoon."

Oh, hor, hor, hor!!

Karen von Bargen
easily amused


From: brumby6
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 5:46 PM
Subject: Re: Groupread:FOW Stephen taking advantage of Diana

Finally Stephen gets some use out of Diana!

Linda


From: John Germain
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 6:39 PM
Subject: Re: Groupread:FOW Stephen taking advantage of Diana

By God, Madam Brumby, if you were a man I should call you to account for those words.

As it may be, I must forgive your feminine humours.

I beg you, Madam, to ask your husband to remind you of the care that must be taken of the reputations of married women.

Which, Mrs. Villiers is.

My respects to your husband.

I am &c.

John Germain

Jersey
British Channel Islands
4911'30"N
0206'12"W
WGS84


From: brumby6
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 6:40 PM
Subject: Re: Groupread:FOW Stephen taking advantage of Diana

Well, turnabout is fair play, don't you think? And they ain't married yet!

Linda


From: Don Seltzer
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 6:42 AM
Subject: GRP:FOW The Rites and Wrongs of Spring

In honor of the vernal equinox, can you spot POB's astronomical mistake in FOW? It is very subtle, but one that a knowledgable seaman like Jack would have detected immediately, and it is crucial to the plot.

Don Seltzer


From: brumby6
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 6:54 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans (and DI spoiler)

I think we can all agree on the sentiments below by Bill and Alice.

But the original question sort of has two parts to it. Part 2: If it is an "Us or Them" situation, who is "Us" and "Who" is them? In other words, if you had to rush into a burning building to save Jack and Stephen, or several hundred Americans you don't "know", who would you pick?

As I have read further into FOW, a post earlier this week describing Lawrence and the Chesapeake was brought home, now that I "know" Lawrence. Viewing the site of that battle must have been moving indeed.

Linda


From: Rowen 84
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 7:16 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans (and DI spoiler)

In a message dated 3/20/02 7:53:07 AM, brumby6@SWBELL.NET writes:

In other words, if you had to rush into a burning building to save Jack and Stephen, or several hundred Americans you don't "know", who would you pick?

Ethical questions like this always depend upon HOW you ask the question.

friends or strangers?
countrymen or foreigners?
two humans or several hundred humans?
eminent scientist and noteable Captain of the Navy or three hundred transportees?
two men past their prime or several hundred children?
fictional characters or real people?

And then, of course, why is it "either/or"? Is there a way to save all?

;-)

Rowen


From: Boyce Kendrick
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 7:47 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW The Rites and Wrongs of Spring

My compliments to Mr Seltzer and desire him to say what the letters GRP (in the Subject line) mean


From: losmp
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 8:35 AM
Subject: Re: [POB] GRP: FOW: String

John, I bet we worked it out when we discussed Rendezvous. But I'm in one of those moods where I won't look anything up, so I'll give you a new answer.

Ah, yes.

I think we discussed a portion of the Rendezvous as the Theseus and Ariadne and Minotaur myth turned on its head, where POB's protagonist gets the string to lead out of the labyrinth at the end of his torturous walk through marshy land, after he's traversed his labyrinthine path, rather than when he enters it.

As for the other tie-up-your-parcel string references, maybe sometimes a string is just a string.

Lois


From: Linnea
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 8:53 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

Yes, a very interesting question, and Rowen's reply took the words right out of my fingers, if I were able to articulate the way she does. Lovely reply.

I almost sneer when an American hoves into view (heaves? hives?), when I'm reading POB, I am Royal Navy, or at least a visiting particular friend.

I have problems as it is with being a flag-waving American--after a quarter century living in Panama, I was surprised at the views espoused back here, mostly by my NC neighbors, re "furriners," and that sort, and most people truly have no idea of how the Third World is struggling with disease, corruption, poverty, all the ills. I'm having even more problems with things as they stand after 9/11 but won't get into politics (although I already have, I see.) Mumpish this morning.


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 8:54 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: String

on 3/20/02 10:35 AM, losmp at losmp@EARTHLINK.NET wrote:

As for the other tie-up-your-parcel string references, maybe sometimes a string is just a string.

Never! Too easy! No fun!

A string is an umbilicus.

That ties POB to Lawrence Sterne. Hemingway to Mark Twine. Jack to Stephen.

Charlezzzzz, thinking of the omphalos at Delphi, and scorning the idea that string is merely string. And pondering a study of string theory, wch may comprise the entire universe. And is not a string a clew?


From: Jean A
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 9:08 AM
Subject: Re: Question for Americans

I must credit Don Seltzer with some kind of prescience because I was just going to ask him about Java's wheel on Constitution.

If I remember, it is a 'double" wheel.

I had wondered how and why it had survived Java's burning.

Jean A.
(I am sure that Don knows where we can find a picture.)


From: Steve Ross
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 9:22 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: String

ZZZZZ wrote:

Charlezzzzz, thinking of the omphalos at Delphi, and scorning the idea that string is merely string. And pondering a study of string theory, wch may comprise the entire universe. And is not a string a clew?

That's you, Z, from clew to earing! Howsoever, I must admit, there may be something to what you say. And here I was chugging along, under the naive impression that Stephen's plaintive requests for string to hold down his multifarious possessions were simply another way to characterize him as the very opposite of a practical mariner!

But that theory is now growing somewhat threadbare, I will allow.

--------------------
a complacent pragmatical worldly fellow (HMSS p. 196) . . .

Steve Ross
30 24' 32"N
91 05' 28"W


From: Bob Saldeen
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 9:12 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

Yikes. So far I think I'm the only American that roots for the U.S team!

The last time I was completely outnumbered was when I voted for Wired magazine in the "what should the teenager get as a gift magazine subscription" contest.

Outnumbered once again, but standing firm,

bs


From: losmp
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 9:08 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: String

Charlezzzzz, thinking of the omphalos at Delphi, and scorning the idea that string is merely string. And pondering a study of string theory, wch may comprise the entire universe. And is not a string a clew?

What occurs to me this morning, Charlezzzzz, are the words: high strung.

Lois


From: Ginger Johnson
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 10:46 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: String

ZZZZ is stringing us along.

Ginger


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 11:02 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: String

on 3/20/02 11:22 AM, Steve Ross at skross@LSU.EDU wrote:

That's you, Z, from clew to earing! Howsoever, I must admit, there may be something to what you say. And here I was chugging along, under the naive impression that Stephen's plaintive requests for string to hold down his multifarious possessions were simply another way to characterize him as the very opposite of a practical mariner!

Oh, dear me. Did I ever deny that point? That's the main thing...the rest are hidden, subaqueus, subconscious--soggy strings that nevertheless help tie the story to the universe. But mainly, it's a joke on Maturin's unsalty view of the world. Next he'll ask Bonden for a safety pin.

Charlezzzzz, pointing out that Freud somewhere recommends over-analysis.


From: Don Seltzer
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 11:22 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: String

At 1:02 PM -0500 3/20/2002, Charles Munoz wrote:

Next he'll ask Bonden for a safety pin.

No, he asked Lt. Keyne in chapter 7 of FOW.

Don Seltzer


From: Mary S
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 2:38 PM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: String

In a message dated 3/20/02 9:54:38 AM Central Standard Time, Charlezzzzz@COMCAST.NET writes:

A string is an umbilicus.

I hate to contradict the doyen of our List, even in the cause of precision, but an umbilicus is ... a belly-button. Like the omphalos at Delphi (belly-button of the world, I suppose).

You're just stringing us along, Charlezzzzz.

Losing the thread of my discourse,

Mary S
35 58' 11" N
86 48' 57" W


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 4:51 PM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: String

on 3/20/02 4:38 PM, Mary S at Stolzi@AOL.COM wrote:

I hate to contradict the doyen of our List, even in the cause of precision, but an umbilicus is ... a belly-button. Like the omphalos at Delphi (belly-button of the world, I suppose).

You have the right of it. I shd have written "umbilical cord," shd I not? That wd have had the additional grace of roping cord and string together in one line of words.

Charlezzzzz


From: Martin
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 11:58 PM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: String

But never mind that; it was a fine navel metaphor.

Martin @ home:
50 44' 58" N
1 58' 35" W


From: Karen von Bargen
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 9:36 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

Bob:

Er, me too. Go Navy!

Karen


From: Pawel Golik
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 9:41 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

On Tuesday 19 March 2002 08:15 pm, Greg White wrote:

Interesting question. At no point in the canon did I root for my countrymen, quite the opposite, in fact.

It is interesting indeed. I'm neither English nor American. and for historical reasons should probably root for the French, but obviously find myself siding with the RN throughout the Canon.

However this points to a very interesting and appealing quality of POB's writing - the way in which he describes "enemy". He is as far from a straight, black-and-white, "us-good, them-bad" description as possible, which is another thing setting him way above other writers, like CSF or Kent.

Each time Americans are mentioned, they are portrayed as noble and honourable (Johnston being the only possible exception, although one can understand his motives), and many times in DI and FOW Jack expresses his admiration for American commanders and uneasiness at having to fight them. It is very clear especially in the final chapters of DI. Same thing with the French, with the exception of the agents that question Stephen in Port Mahon, and later in Paris in SM, they are portrayed as men no different than our heroes, just hapening to be on the other side. Christy-Paillere and Duhamel are good examples. Obviously this makes fighting them more difficult morally, and it shows in Jack's moods after each action, in the way he tries to prevent unnecessary casualties on either side, the way he treats prisoners of war etc. Actually it's interesting to notice that more often than not, the true "villains" of the Canon are Englishmen (Ledward and Wray!).

I find this complex, multi faceted and humane view of war one of the most appealing qualities of POB's writing, so far above your run of the mill "war adventures".

Pawel

--
Pawel Golik
http://www.gen.emory.edu/cmm/people/staff/pgolik.html
Currently at 3348'53"N 8419'25"W
Home is at 5212'25"N 215'37"E


From: Don Seltzer
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 9:46 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW The Rites and Wrongs of Spring

At 9:47 AM -0500 3/20/2002, Boyce Kendrick wrote:

My compliments to Mr Seltzer and desire him to say what the letters GRP (in the Subject line) mean.

I do not recognize your name, and assume that you are newly arrived. If so, welcome aboard, and join the line of other new lissuns who are patiently awaiting recognition by the official list greeter, who is apparently detained by more pressing duties.

GRP is just a notation used to distinguish posts which are related to our "Group Read." Some of us are rereading the canon, discussing and picking apart one book a month. Currently, we are working on Fortune of War (FOW). Please feel free to jump in with any observations, questions, or vile clenches.

Don Seltzer


From: Steve Ross
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 10:07 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

FOW, p. 154 Norton [after Jack tells Stephen of the Hornet's sinking of the Peacock]:

'"Oh," said Stephen. There was a curious stab at his heart: he had not known how much he felt for the Navy.'

In this case, isn't Stephen in much the same position as the American readers whose sympathies lie with the defeated English sailors? Of course he is not on the "enemy's" side in this particular battle, but ultimately his political loyalties (to the extent that he has any) are with Ireland and/or Catalonia. He *thinks* he serves the Navy only as a means to the greater end of defeating Napoleon; but in fact a friendship and liking has grown up between him and his shipmates over the years, and by extension he feels a sympathy for the (Royal) Navy as a whole.

The point is this: such sympathies can exist apart from and alongside of either our dismay and sadness at the loss of life, or our feelings about which "side" is in the right. Certainly, in both FOW and DI, Stephen--as well as some Englishmen--have stated that England, by its own actions, brought the war upon itself! So you can be "for" one side, and still feel sympathy for the sufferings of the other side. This is in line, IMHO, with Pawel's good comments on POB's portrayal of war (though I sometimes wonder if the gentlemanly dealings with enemy commanders like Christy-Palliere are not a bit idealized).

--------------------
"These are mere whimsies, my dear, vapours, megrims." -- DI p. 67

Steve Ross
30 24' 32"N
91 05' 28"W


From: losmp
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 9:52 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

I think POB is reflecting an attitude which continued through the First World War, in which solidarity among leaders in a particular calling--even when those leaders served different nations--was greater than their certain inter-class affiliations in their own nation. See the custom of having the captured enemy officer join his "peers" at table, which Jack observes and benefits from.

This attitude is depicted in that great must-see film, Grand Illusion, among other works.

Lois


From: Steve Ross
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 10:30 AM
Subject: GRP FOW: "katno aiss' vizmi" again

In earlier discussions of Mr. Evans' interesting Iroquois "etymology" for the colloquialism "cut no ice," the opinion has generally been that Evans was simply having a joke, practising upon the poor naive Stephen. I agree with this interpretation, but the fact is that nobody seems to be certain. There is an apparent shortage of Native American linguists on the list, and in the absence of an authoritative opinion, the possibility has been generally left open. Even Gary Brown's admirable "Guide for the Perplexed" website, which has no problem giving translations for most other non-English phrases in POB, says of "katno aiss' vizmi":

"(Well.... it might be Iroquois!)"

Therefore I think it worthwhile to quote the passage at slightly greater length (FOW p. 139 Norton):

" 'But in what does the figure consist? Is it desirable that ice should be cut? And if so, why? And what is the force of with?'

After barely a moment's pause, Mr Evans said, 'Ah, there now, you have an Indian expression. It is a variant upon the Iroquois katno aiss' vizmi-- I am unmoved, unimpressed.' "

If the Indian etymology were correct (or, another possibility, if it were false but Evans believed it to be correct), there would be no reason for him to "pause" before giving his reply. In fact, however, he has come up with this red herring on the spot, and he produces it smoothly and convincingly enough that Stephen does not think of questioning it. That he did so with "barely a moment's pause" demonstrates his high degree of wit, and makes this passage even more humorous than it already is. So (in the absence of any contrary opinion), we may now consider this question closed, may we not?

Apologizing for wasting the group's time on trivialities ... but then, of such are doctoral dissertations made!,

Steve Ross
in 30 24' 32"N, 91 05' 28"W --which has suddenly become a hotbed of POB enthusiasts


From: Ginger Johnson
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 10:28 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: Richardson

I confess to having read the whole of Richardson's Pamela. I've tried to read Clarissa but never gotten very far with it.

But there are other interesting 18th century novelists. Fanny Burney, for one, Elizabeth Inchbald, Robert Bage, Ann Radcliffe. It's surprising how much is available. There's also Sarah Fielding, sister to Henry - also a novelist.

Ginger Johnson


From: Ginger Johnson
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 10:41 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: Richardson

On Wed, 20 Mar 2002, brumby6 wrote:

Is this not something we would do for quiet entertainment nowadays

Some of us would.

Some of us have odd tastes in reading, too.

Speaking for herself,

Ginger


From: Mary S
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 2:38 PM
Subject: Re: GRP: FOW: Richardson

In a message dated 3/20/02 5:36:59 AM Central Standard Time, brumby6@SWBELL.NET writes:

Is this not something we would do for quiet entertainment nowadays?

Well, you might prefer Fielding's TOM JONES, which has a lovely heroine named... Sophia.

Richardson is difficult I think, and Fanny Burney somewhat so. Bet you could find Gutenberg texts on-line to give you a sampling.

a wicked contumelious discontented froward mutinous dog,[FSW1]

Mary S
35 58' 11" N
86 48' 57" W


From: Mme Bahorel
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 10:56 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans

on 3/19/02 17:04, Alec O'Flaherty at oflahertyalec@HOTMAIL.COM wrote:

I just wonder what American readers reaction is to this passage. Is there a cry of 'yippee'. Another blow against the Royal Navy.

Not for me, but then, I've been through so many phases of British sympathies that I just tend to sympathise politically with the protagonists in the books I'm reading.

Plus, any blow for the RN at that point is not good because Boney is still a threat until 1815, and with the hindsight of history, I can dislike Boney to my heart's content and feel any reversals for the RN to be in Boney's favour.

Mme Bahorel
5130'N, 06'W
http://www.angelfire.com/mb2/mmebahorel

"Rivers belong where they can ramble; eagles belong where they can fly. I've got to be where my spirit can run free, got to find my corner of the sky." - Pippin


From: brumby6
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 11:19 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans (and DI spoiler)

if you had to rush into a burning building to save Jack and Stephen, or several hundred Americans you don't "know", who would you pick?

Linda - looking at Stephen, looking at Jack, thinking of Jack in a fireman's carry, saying, C'mon, Stephen, let's go!!


From: homermeyn
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 11:31 AM
Subject: SPOILER please ignore previous draft

Steve wrote

...(though I sometimes wonder if the gentlemanly dealings with enemy commanders like Christy-Palliere are not a bit idealized).

Maybe.

It was as you say 'Gentelmanly' behavior but the word has now almost lost it's 18th/19th century meaning.

This was and is a class thing and more than that, a breeding thing, in the most literal way.

The ruling class at that time were aristocrats and chauvanists, not democrats, and their bloodlines were of vital importance to them. One could not become a gentleman, one was born a Gent or a commoner. The social divisions that we in England until very recently called the 'Middle class' and the 'Working class' did not and still do not exist for them. It was, and still is, 'Us' and 'them' and very much in that order.

Think of it as a racist thing and you will be near the mark.

Jack would have allowed his daughter to marry Christy-Palliere's son, but not Bonden's or Napoleon's or Canning's

Within the Aristocracy there were many degrees, and even a Marriage below one's station was not possible for many Aristocratic men and even today, the old rules are still there.

When Princess Diana was first linked with Charles there were murmurings about this, 'Royal should marry Royal' and so on but in the end she was found to be acceptable. It has been suggested that the reason Camilla Parker Bowles did not marry Charles was a breeding thing. I couldn't possibly comment

Stephen's whole life was shaped by his bastardy, because it meant so much more at that time. He was a Fitz, but 'from the wrong side of the blanket'. This is why he grew up in Catalonia, possibly the result of a liason with some one below one's station, but not a peasant. Had his mother been a commoner, he would never have been acnowledged.

Peace

John

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning." --Catherine Aird


From: brumby6
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 11:46 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

Reminds of Das Boot, a German film about a German U-boat during WWII. Easy to find yourself against your own countrymen, before you realized what was happening.

Linda


From: Alec O'Flaherty
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 12:06 PM
Subject: GRP:FOW Quick question

Can someone explain this line:-pg 156 Norton

'A man was killed,or died,or at all events lost the number of his mess:'

Does 'lost the number of his mess'- mean killed?

thanks

alec


From: Don Seltzer
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 12:54 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW The Rites and Wrongs of Spring

At 1:53 PM -0500 3/20/2002, Boyce Kendrick wrote:

Incidentally, in checking the online OED to make sure that masters and master's mates were the ones responsible for assisting with navigation, I noticed that under the word master, was listed the obsolete form, "master and commander," of which OED says "until 1814 the title of the officer in the navy since called COMMANDER.

How often does one get to correct the OED? The correct year is 1794. After 1794, the commissioned rank formerly called "Master and Commander" was shortened to simply Commander, removing the confusion with the warrant rank of Master.

And Alec O'Flaherty wrote:

Does 'lost the number of his mess'- mean killed?

Yes. A seaman had several numbers assigned to him, a ship's number, a hammock number, but by far the most important was the number of his mess. Without it, one did not get fed!

Don Seltzer


From: Susan Wenger
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 1:14 PM
Subject: Rites of Spring

Don asked:

In honor of the vernal equinox, can you spot POB's astronomical mistake in FOW?

As I recall from prior discussion of this subject, it had to do with when Jack and Stephen could have seen the Southern Cross?


From: Don Seltzer
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 1:23 PM
Subject: Re: Rites of Spring

Good try, but the reference to the Southern Cross in FOW only has Forshaw talking of it aboard Fleche, not actually observing it. He might well have been commenting that it was too far south to observe.

No, the error I'm thinking of involves a fundamental skill of seamanship, and is one that sailor Dudley Pope would not likely have gotten wrong.

Don Seltzer


From: Adam Quinan
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 3:46 AM
Subject: GRP FOW Re: Rites of Spring

I don't know what the tidal constant is for Boston Harbour (and I am too lazy to look it up), but the moon is setting when the tide is full when Jack decides to to take to the ebb tide in the Joe's small fishing boat out to meet Shannon (p 270ish). Usually the tide would be full when the moon is high in the sky. There are exceptions usually caused by the particular geographic land shapes and how far from the open sea the harbour is which is why I would want to look up the tidal constant.

Adam Quinan


From: Don Seltzer
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 7:22 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW Re: Rites of Spring

Adam is right on the mark. To a seaman like Jack, it was fundamental that the times of tides were linked to the phase of the moon (or Age of the Moon, as Jack would say). Any sort of navigation in restricted waters, whether weighing anchor in Shelmerston or fleeing Boston Harbor in a fishing scow, would require him to know the state of the tide. A rising tide would cause water to flow into a harbor, making it difficult to leave. An ebb tide would create a current that could carry a ship to sea despite light or even adverse winds. Few things upset Jack as much as missing his tide, which forced a 12 hour wait until the next high tide.

This is precisely what Jack is considering on p. 269 of FOW. He is watching the moon, sky, and the currents to judge the time of high tide, so that they can use the subsequent ebb current to carry them out to sea. He almost certainly knows that for Boston high water comes in late morning on days when the phase of the moon is full, and can estimate from that.

But POB has described the moon as gibbous, setting about an hour or so before sunrise in late May. This places it as just a day or two before the full moon. When Jack, Stephen, and Diana depart in the scow at about 3 am in the middle watch, they are are actually leaving at or shortly before low tide. Before they reach the sea, they will be battling the incoming current from the rising tide.

POB reverses the situation the very next day, when the Chesapeake weighs anchor to put out to sea. Again he observes that it is timed to take advantage of the ebbing tide, but now he properly places it in late morning.

Don Seltzer


From: Susan Wenger
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 1:10 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

losmp wrote:

Each time Americans are mentioned, they are portrayed as noble and honourable

Maybe POB knew where his bread was buttered? I believe a substantial portion of his income derived from American sales : }


From: Pawel Golik
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 1:25 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

While usually I'm always the first with a cynical explanation, I don't believe this was the case. After all, if I'm not mistaken, the success of his books in the USA came quite a while after the first volumes were written. I also don't know the sales figures from France, but I don't think they were economically as important as US and UK. And I can easily imagine a French person reading POB and not cringing (with the possible exception of Stephen's Port mahon ordeal), while the same with CSF is hard to imagine (they still did translate the Hornblower novels into French - I wonder how they were received).

Pawel


From: Don Seltzer
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 1:31 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

CS Forester admitted to that same influence, deliberately stationing HH away from any possible encounters with Americans during the War of 1812.

POB had several reasons to be complimentary towards Americans. It was a Philadelphia publisher that "commissioned" the first three books of the canon. In fact, there is a kindly mention of a Philadelphia publisher in FOW, who is agreeable to publishing Herapath's translations.

Don Seltzer


From: Michael R. Ward
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 3:19 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

At 03/20/2002 10:17 AM -0800, Bob Saldeen wrote:

Yikes. So far I think I'm the only American that roots for the U.S team!

Well, I wasn't exactly pulling for the US team so much as I was unsteady in my support for Jack.

Mike, fair weathered fan
40 05' 27" N 088 16' 57" W


From: Michael R. Ward
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 3:22 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

At 03/20/2002 12:42 PM -0800, Pawel Golik wrote:

While usually I'm always the first with a cynical explanation, I don't believe this was the case.

I agree with Pawel and offer another reason. Only a generation or so earlier these Americans were British. There is a common history, tradition, culture, and sometimes family. The degree of separation would have been less than fighting Canadians or Australians, but likely less than most European opponents. Perhaps POB was capturing some of this ambivalence in his characters reactions.

Mike

"heavy, graceless, dark-faced, rude, domineering, inefficient, rich and mean," [THD p. 45 describing Captain Ward]

40 05' 27" N 088 16' 57" W


From: Andy Hartley
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 3:30 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans

During all the battles with Americans, I find myself terribly conflicted. Always hoping something will come up to prevent their coming to blows. Though I do feel terribly guilty when Jack beats them and I find myself pleased. I get a similar feeling watching "Das Boot" when I can't quite bring myself to root for the destroyers.

Andy


From: Chris Glover
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 3:52 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans (and DI spoiler)

Going back to Alice's comment, could someone tell me the English translation of "Waakzaamheid"?

Chris
51.31.22N
01.08.42W


From: Bill Nyden
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 12:22 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans (and DI spoiler)

Literally, wakefulness - alert(ness)
waak = wake
zaam = suffix "ful"
heid = suffix "ness"

pronounced wak' zam hate (the "w" is somewhere between (English) "v" and "w")


From: Jan Hatwell
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 3:55 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans

In a message dated 3/20/02 5:56:48 PM GMT Standard Time, mmebahorel@LAPOSTE.NET writes:

I just tend to sympathise politically with the protagonists in the books I'm reading

I think this is true; if I enjoy an author I try to see the point of view he has given his characters. I am American and English and my life is one constant giddy round of seeing the other side.

BTW, does anyone else take what I do from the Jack reading to Sophie scene -- "All about love" ? Surely he must be wishing they could be doing something other than reading about it?

Jan
51 29' 25" N
00 08' 01" W


From: Mary S
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 4:04 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Drabogues

On p. 224, Stephen applies this term to some "trollops."

POB again indulging his fancy for exotic words; this one I had not noted

before. I find "drab" in the Oxford Universal, but "drabogue" only in the etymology - said to be from the Irish "drabog."

On the very next page, we have some fun when Jack speaks of Broke's stoicism, "like ... a patient on the Monument, as they say."

gluppit the prawling strangles, there, [FoW8]

Mary S
35 58' 11" N
86 48' 57" W


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 4:46 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

on 3/20/02 12:07 PM, Steve Ross at skross@LSU.EDU wrote:

The point is this: such sympathies can exist apart from and alongside of either our dismay and sadness at the loss of life, or our feelings about which "side" is in the right.

It's worth considering , too, the skill with which POB makes good fellers out of both sides. Not accidental. It's not only our own sympathies that are called up here; it is POB's manipulation of them.

Charlezzzzz


From: Stephen Chambers
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 5:16 PM
Subject: Re: Question for Americans

At 11:08 AM -0500 3/20/2002, Sherkin@aol.com wrote:

I must credit Don Seltzer with some kind of prescience because I was just going to ask him about Java's wheel on Constitution.

This brings to mind the following vision.

Young 'urchin' in RN blue knocks on the door of the White House, "Please sir, can we 'ave our wheel back?"

Stephen Chambers
50 48' 38"N 01 09' 15"W
When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is no longer our friend.


From: Alec O'Flaherty
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 5:50 PM
Subject: Re: Question for Americans

What's your name son?

Foreshaw,sir Midshipman Foreshaw of The Starship Surprise(away team).

Beam me up Bonden!

alec


From: Alec O'Flaherty
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 5:36 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans

From: Andy Hartley

I get a similar feeling watching "Das Boot" when I can't quite bring myself to root for the destroyers.

Good point-yeah I felt for those German submariners. And got to like and admire them.

It makes you think, doesn't it?

How really imbedded are our 'inner feelings'- when we can empathise with U boat sailors.

I'm sure that if there was a good TV series on the life of Napoleon we(I) would start to get to like him too.

Not tonight though.

alec


From: Alec O'Flaherty
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 6:14 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans (and DI spoiler)

The word itself means 'Vigilence'.

I remember checking it our before and finding it also had some medical inferences -but I can't find that line tonight.

Anyway 'Vigilence' would have been the idea/theme when the ship was being named.

alec


From: brumby6
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 6:20 PM
Subject: GRP: FOW Jack and Diana and Stephen

On pg 269, as they are escaping, Jack is thinking that Diana is unlucky, that she brings bad luck and that he does not want to be around her. But maybe Stephen has earned a chance with her.

Did he feel that she had brought bad luck to him, or to Stephen, or just in general?

Linda


From: Thistle Farm
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 6:34 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans

Ahh, but don't we always empathize with the underdog? Who ever wanted to be the cowboys when the Indians were on the run and ran lighting raids on the settler's camp? Isn't part of the reason we love and admire Jack precisely because Britain with it's tiny population stood alone against the huge juggernaut of France?

A desperate stand is always more romantic than an evenly matched battle or a huge advantage that is easily fulfilled. The U-boats become charming by their very attrition rate. That is how we can simultaneously feel for Custer at Little Big Horn, and the Black Kettle at Washita.

Sarah


From: Adam Quinan
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 6:32 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

From: "Michael R. Ward"

Only a generation or so earlier these Americans were British. There is a common history, tradition, culture, and sometimes family.

There were also a good many British people who thought that the Americans were in the right during the War of Independence and sympathised with them. Even a generation later in 1812 I should imagine that there would still be reasonably strong connections of kinship. There may have also been some sympathy with some of the US war aims in 1812, after all the British did abandon the practice of one of the prime casus belli before the war even started by stopping the press of American sailors.

Adam Quinan


From: Ruth Abrams
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 9:57 PM
Subject: GRP:FOW:Bostonians on the margin

One thing I love about Fortune of War is the characterization of early 19th century Boston. Three characters stick out for me in particular: the Indian doorkeeper, the passing Quaker, and the "Negro stranger." All three help Stephen, and all three share his outsider status.

Stephen also doesn't understand their position in the society he's visiting. He continually says "Ugh" to the Indian, until the man explains to him that Indians say ugh to white people to express disgust. (Hilarious!) Stephen doesn't expect the Quaker to offer him money, and has to stop himself from being offended.

POB is most overt about this "stranger observing the Other" trope in the vignette in which a passing black man offers Stephen help with directions. Here is the passage:

"Yet before he had time to knock he found he knew the place: although the fog removed it from its context and altered its perspective, it was the tavern where he had met Mr Herapath and his friends. The place was open, and as he pushed the door a rectangular flood of orange light lit up the fog. 'Come in and drink a cup of coffee, friend,' he said to his companion.

'But I am a nigra, sir, a black man,' said he.

'That is no very heinous crime.'

'Oh brother, you sure are a stranger here,' said the Negro, laughing, and he vanished into the fog, laughing still." FOW Norton PB pp.238-239.

In all three of these incidents, POB combines gentle humor, social commentary and some kind of information about Stephen's character. I'm not sure what POB was trying to say about race in these books. It shows up as an issue in nearly every book, but never as the foreground. Very interesting.

I also like seeing this view of the city where I live, a backward view in time. The fog alters its perspective, but it is the tavern where I had a coffee with John Finneran(:->)

Ruth A


From: Ted
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 6:55 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

I doubt there was much sympathy with the US invasion of Canada, however...

Ted

(Empire Loyalist)

;)


From: Linnea
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 7:03 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans

Chiming in again on this. I had intended to write this morning, also, that during these encounters, whether French vs. British or RN vs. Americans, I find myself more and more empathetic to the common sailors, wounded and dying and being patched up by Stephen as best he can, amputating without anesthesia. Those men lived very hard lives, perhaps brutal lives in the sense that there was no time to refine any aesthetic sense; and they died very hard deaths. If so badly wounded that they couldn't work aboard a ship, what did they do on land, what could they do? The first time I sailed thru the books, I tried not to think of them too much, but now, older and wiser, it does bother me. I quit reading or watching sea stories after Billy Budd--couldn't stand the floggings, so at least POB avoids such needless cruelties.

It's interesting that we aren't allowed into the minds of any of the common sailors, and it's a saving grace, really, in reading the novels.

~~ Linnea


From: Adam Quinan
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 7:03 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

It must be admitted that the British troops in Canada invaded parts of the territories claimed by the United States and captured Fort Detroit and Mackinac Island before the Americans invaded Upper Canada. But the sentiment in Upper Canada (now Ontario whose motto is "Loyal she began, loyal she remains") where the population included a large number of Empire Loyalists was definitely not pro-American. Some Americans may have believed that the Canadians (and recent American immigrants lured by offers of free land) were aching for republican liberty while being crushed under the Hessian boots of their British masters. In fact they weren't so unhappy and the War of 1812 is considered as a war of Canadian Independence in some circles.

Adam Quinan


From: Rob Schaap
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 8:26 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans

G'day Sarah,

A desperate stand is always more romantic than an evenly matched battle or a huge advantage that is easily fulfilled. The U-boats become charming by their very attrition rate. That is how we can simultaneously feel for Custer at Little Big Horn, and the Black Kettle at Washita.

All on the mark, of course, but I think the decisive factor is who you're with. They're fully human to you - subjects, not just objects. People never met are not.

The first propaganda move is always to 'other' the enemy (goes back to the likes of Lasswell, that insight). But the propagandist finds it a lot harder to demonise people we know than people we don't. And might not manage it at all if there is no already-there prejudice with which to resonate. I find prejudices in Sydney that are not there in the much more conservative Hobart. I'm of the opinion that this is because Sydney is big enough to support and produce enclaves (the suburb of Cabramatta is called 'Vietnamatta' for instance) - whereas Hobart is not. There the peoples live beside below and above each other, drifting into each other's experience daily.

Same with Das Boot and Stephen 'n' Jack. I think even Stephen would have found a soft spot for The Tyrant had he had a chance to watch Rod Steiger's unlikely but not altogether unsuccessful portrayal of him in 'Waterloo' (and in which Wellington is no more likeable than he is anywhere else, imho).

Anyway, Stephen and Jack are really good blokes

Cheers,
Rob.


From: Rick Ansell
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 9:08 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Question for Americans

On Wed, 20 Mar 2002 20:32:21 -0500, Adam Quinan wrote:

the British did abandon the practice of one of the prime casus belli before the war even started by stopping the press of American sailors.

I was interested to read 'the other side of the story' on this in Popes 'Life in nelsons Navy'. Apparently US protections, unlike those the British issued, contained only a cursory description, just height and apparent age. They could be obtained very easily, all a man had to do was swear before a Notary that he was American and he got one. From 1796 he only had to state to a customs official that this was the case. There was no check that he was who he said he was.

As a result a trade in fraudulent US documents built up, GBP 5 being the going rate.

With the US refusing to 'clean up its act' American protections were looked upon with great distrust and the US government as actively conniving at starving the Royal Navy of men.

Then in 1790 aliens could claim US citizenship after two years under residence or, after 1795, five years under US jurisdiction, which included service in US ships.

But, under British law, British born meant British till death. Whatever that US protection said, if you were born in Britain, or in the US before independence, you were liable for pressing (according to the British).

So what was a poor Lieutenant of a shorthanded ship, whose very life might depend on better manning, sent aboard a vessel and finding right seamen with American documents to do?

Rick
--

Aboard Invincible
Off Woodham (by 4in)
51 Deg 20 Min 33 Sec N
00 Deg 30 Min 14 Sec W


From: Marian Van Til
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 6:48 AM
Subject: Sympathy for the underdog (was: RE: [POB] GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans)

I'm not sure everybody instinctively feels for the underdog, but among us civilized folk here I would hope we do. There are underdogs and underdogs, however. For whatever reasons (I haven't quite figured them out) I've *never* had sympathy for Custer (no doubt in large measure because of his arrogance; whether he was actually as arrogant as he's been portrayed, I admit I've not bothered to find out). While watching *Das Boot,* my heart sympathized with the individual Germans until my conscious mind began to remind me that, whatever the circumstances, these guys were part of the Nazi machine which was trying it's damndest to destroy civilization, not to mention all the Jews who were a part of it.

In FoW, I find, it's far, far easier for an American to sympathize with the RN's losses at American Navy hands. As someone else pointed out, there was a bond between the two, as being from the same source, the same culture, as having many of the same values, and the same language -- family, really -- which did not obtain regarding the French and the English (as Jack thinks to himself later).

My reaction when I read those passages is one of emotional conflict. How can one not sympathize deeply with Jack as a man we've come to love, and because of that, with the institution, the Royal Navy, he represents (and with Philip Broke, e.g. -- partly because he's Jack's friend and cousin)? But his surly unfriendliness after capture also highly irritates me, though I understand it's source. On the other hand, Lawrence is also an extremely sympathetic character as POB portrays him.

As Charlezzzz pointed out in this thread, POB is extremely skillful in manipulating our sympathies for both sides. That's true throughout the canon. In fact, I had absolutely NO interest or sympathy with naval or military matters of any kind, and thus, no interest in any individual navies (or any armed forces) before I read O' Brian. But how can one not develop some interest in the Royal Navy itself when it is Jack's life and animates his soul in the way it does in the books? (And then, by extension, the U.S. Navy). O' Brian is responsible for a substantial change in my outlook in that regard.

Marian


From: Isabelle Hayes
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 8:47 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans

Lovely post Linnea. I especially liked your phrase "there was no time to refine any aesthetic sense" so their lives were perhaps brutal;

occasionally I think about what life was like for my ancestors of only several generations ago; my mother, for example, was born in what is now the Ukraine, and was living there during WWI, when her townspeople were evacuated by the Austro-Hungarian empire to which they belonged, when the Russians were invading, and she never forgot the march out of town, seeing it being shelled across the river; she never forgot the mud either.

No telephones, cars, washing machines, etc. No time. Lots more brutality.

Isabelle Hayes


From: Isabelle Hayes
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 8:47 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans

Alec O'Flaherty wrote:

I'm sure that if there was a good TV series on the life of Napoleon we(I) would start to get to like him too

You can probably rent a video of Abel Gance's "Napoleon", which should do it for you, in terms of appreciating the early man.

Isabelle Hayes


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 9:45 AM
Subject: Re: Sympathy for the underdog (was: RE: [POB] GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans)

on 3/21/02 8:48 AM, Marian Van Til at rxbach@EARTHLINK.NET wrote:

While watching *Das Boot,* my heart sympathized with the individual Germans until my conscious mind began to remind me that, whatever the circumstances, these guys were part of the Nazi machine which was trying it's damndest to destroy civilization, not to mention all the Jews who were a part of it.

Marian has the right of it.

The writers, directors, actors, all skillfully made me sympathize with the individuals in that submarine. I wanted no harm to come to them. I wanted them to do no harm, either. They were people in a deep predicament, and any of us, given the conditions of 1944, might have found ourselves aboard: I believe that submarine sailors in Germany were drafted aboard--not volunteers.

And yet I've hunted those bastards, hunted them loaded and ready to drop, and wd have dropped whooping with pleasure if I'd ever found one. Because they were fighting for a cause wch I still believe was evil if any cause was ever evil.

Charlezzzzz


From: Mary S
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 10:40 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Mourning Doves

Wondering whether this bird did indeed hang around Boston, I did a websearch which tells me that yes, indeed it might. Also learned these interesting facts which impinge upon the Canon at certain points and also refer back to our recent discussion of scientific naming:

Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura

Scientific name: The genus name Zenaida was coined from the name of the wife (Zenaide) of Charles Bonaparte, a French ornithologist who lived and worked in the early 1800s.

Not as early as our period, however, he being born only in 1803. He was a nephew of the Corsican Ogre, and it tells more about him at this informative page:

http://www.goldengateaudubon.org/EducResources/EarlyBirds/BonapartesVictories. htm

Or shorter link http://makeashorterlink.com/?A2341509

A sad, brutish grobian, [IM, p45]

Mary S
35 58' 11" N
86 48' 57" W


From: David Hipschman
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 12:19 PM
Subject: Re: String

Reading the string thread on this first full day of spring,
or Tying it all together
or POB helps everyone celebrate Purim

Beloved Charlezzzzz's "ganza" Megillah string theory,
marked our protagonists twain
and tied the rope and cord of their affection together,
an umbilicus to the parchment scroll Queenie,
with her stringent knowledge of Hebrew knew,
a scroll engendering there
three-cornered hats and plum paste too
and the "grogger" noise
of Jack's gnashing teeth
as she helped him thread his way through trigonometry.
Here on this side of POB's pages
strung-out at each novel's end
grateful for the Canon's infinite connectivity
to the universal spool
as we string ourselves along
purposefully blind
to the great Spoiler's end
so that even the truest mate
can't help us tie-up
our treasured parcels at the end.

David Hipschman
N44-20.02 W089-00.92
Hangared at PCZ


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 1:18 PM
Subject: Re: String

That great Spoiler
who gives away
the plot-device we all know is coming...

it wd be good, if, like puppies
and lambkins, we never read the Spoiler's
bad give-aways, but felt that we cd

read chapter after chapter,
book after book, forever.

I wdn't
even ask for my
ever-filling glass of sillery,
or to hear the sailors playing Locatelli's
last concerto down on the orlop:
just let me stay there on deck,
watching, reading the twenty-first volume
by starlight or even by the wake's
luminescence; and then the twenty-second
volume under the vertical sun with soft wind
riffling the pages for me.
Know what? Then I'd reach out my hand
for a harp, and I'd strum the background
while some mighty-voiced, mighty-spirited
reader gives, us, once again,
the next volume and then the next,
damn near forever.

Charlezzzzz


From: brumby6
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 5:17 AM
Subject: GRP FOW An Officer's Parole

As an officer and a gentleman, was Jack splitting hairs when he said he had not given his parole, so it was all right for him to escape? Was he too sick when the others gave their paroles? Parole seemed implicit to me since he wasn't in a dank jail cell. Had the Americans forgotten, or were they acting in bad faith, with no intention of exchanging him? And nowadays, it is an officer's duty to escape, isn't it?

Linda


From: Don Seltzer
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 6:22 AM
Subject: Escape from Boston

In chapter 8 of FOW, Jack, Stephen, and Diana escaped from Boston in a small fishing scow. Sailing shortly before dawn, they traveled from the inner harbor to the open waters of Massachusetts Bay, where they were picked up by the frigate Shannon on patrol. The route they took indicates that POB had studied contemporary charts of the harbor.

See http://www.hmssurprise.org/Photos/Gallery/Escape_from_Boston.htm

Much of Boston's waterfront is built on filled-in land. Most of South Boston was shallows and mudflats in 1813. Castle Island and Fort Independence, guarding the entrance to the inner harbor, is on a peninsula today, but was a separate island in the early 19th century. Just across the deep water channel was Governor's Island, now the southern tip of Logan airport. The rest of the airport was formerly shallows and tidal flats.

In the outer harbor, the ship channels to the ocean have not changed as much. One channel leads eastward between Deer Island and Lovell's Island. Another channel, less obvious, leads southeasterly between Lovell's and George's Island. During the Civil War, the imposing Fort Warren was built on George's Island to control the approaches, but in 1813 there was only a small battery located there.

When they left the commercial shipping wharves of Boston at around 3 am, the wind was blowing from the NW. Jack steered somewhat north of east to compensate for the considerable leeway of the scow. The ebb tide carried them along at 4 or 5 knots. The Chesapeake was anchored in the deep water channel, probably under the guns of Castle Island. Jack steered a course through the shallows to the north of Castle and Governor's islands, across what would be the runways of the airport today. Passing the Chesapeake on their starboard side, they could hear the calling of the morning watch before 4 am.

Continuing on, the wind began to veer forward, increasing their leeway. They could no longer keep on an easterly course, and found themselves scraping the rocks on the northern point of Long Island. The sun rose at 4:30 above Lovell's Island ahead. Not sure if they could weather Lovell's Island, Jack chose to turn southeast through the narrow channel, with the battery on George's Island to his lee. Rounding the southern tip of Lovell's they could see the Shannon hull up beyond the Brewsters, standing in from the Graves, small islets to the north of the Brewsters.

http://www.hmssurprise.org/Photos/Gallery/Shannon_in_Offing.htm

Thanks to Bill Nyden for placing these photos in the Gunroom photo gallery website, along with

http://www.hmssurprise.org/Photos/Gallery/Arriving_in_Boston.htm

Don Seltzer


From: Rowen 84
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 8:32 AM
Subject: Re: Escape from Boston

In a message dated 3/22/02 7:22:08 AM, dseltzer@DRAPER.COM writes:

The Chesapeake was anchored in the deep water channel, probably under the guns of Castle Island.

This is a phrase I've wondered about. Just exactly what is meant by "under the guns"?

Does this mean "under the protection of the guns", or "within gunshot range" - which could be as much as ? a mile? more? away, or "directly beneath the location of the guns which are higher on a cliff", or "too close for the guns to be angled down enough to hit"?

Rowen


From: Marian Van Til
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 9:07 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW An Officer's Parole

Initially he was too sick. Later they kept holding him because they thought he was involved in espionage against them (and the French). They would not have been obligated to exchange a spy.

Marian


From: Karen von Bargen
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 9:43 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW An Officer's Parole

Linda:

I wonder if Jack would have left if he had given his parole. I mean, he had a duty to help Stephen, being his friend, but was his word more than his friendship? Honestly, I doubt he would have stayed but it would have been a difficult moral issue for poor Jack!

I suspect that because Jack was ill he never got the opportunity to give his parole. I think the Americans sort of figured it was impled or thought that 'someone else' had taken care of it. After all, how would Jack get anywhere? Apparently it was not thought through thoroughly. I don't recall hearing anything about Stephen giving his but then it wouldn't have mattered to Stephen, given the situation.

If you want to discuss that other fellow, Horatio Hornblower, his parole meant a lot to him. He managed to work his way all the way back to the British navy from the shores of Spain and then turned around and went back to Spain. He had given his parole and would not go back on his word. That the Spanish let him go was a bit too romantic to me but I didn't write it! It seems a similar situation and is a sort of example of your word being your bond.

Karen von Bargen
San Martin


From: Karen von Bargen
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 9:46 AM
Subject: Re: Escape from Boston

Rowen:

My impression is that under the guns meant that they could fire the guns over you and hit whatever was coming but you were unable to be hit yourself due to the angle. I'll take answer D, "too close for the guns to be angled down enough to hit".

Does anyone else know?

Karen von Bargen
wondering if it's in Sea of Words...


From: Rick Ansell
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 10:01 AM
Subject: Re: Escape from Boston

I've always taken it to mean 'in the field of fire of' - as in protected or menaced by - or closer. On at least one occasion (Post Captain?) Jack cuts out a ship anchored _too_ far under the guns of a fort - they could not be depressed far enough to hit his boats.

Certainly I have seen it used in reference to a captured/impounded ship being anchored under a fortresses guns to discourage/prevent its being retaken. This would not be _quite_ so effective if it were inside the guns minimum range.

Rick
--

David Farrent and Dougie O'Hara on the Cold War role of the ROC: 'What a world of sorrow is hidden in those few words - "[Post attack] crew changes would have been based on crew availability."'


From: Don Seltzer
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 11:27 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW An Officer's Parole

At 8:43 AM -0800 3/22/2002, Karen von Bargen wrote:

I suspect that because Jack was ill he never got the opportunity to give his parole. I think the Americans sort of figured it was impled or thought that 'someone else' had taken care of it.

I think you have the right of it. All of the other captured officers probably gave their parole when they were transferred to another ship, before the voyage north to Boston. Only Jack remained aboard Constitution because of his serious wounds. Commodore Bainbridge should have asked, but he was wounded too. In the confusion upon arrival in Boston, it might have been just one of those details that slipped through the bureaucratic cracks.

I don't recall hearing anything about Stephen giving his but then it wouldn't have mattered to Stephen, given the situation.

Fortunately for Stephen, naval surgeons were not considered prisoners of war, and he was free to leave whenever he wished.

Don Seltzer


From: J. Bennett
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 11:49 AM
Subject: Re: Escape from Boston

According to an old Aussie movie about Galipoli, "under the guns" was dashing in on horseback while the artillery was aimed too high. A very dangerous practice since the aim could be lowered (and was, in this case.) I take it to mean your last two choices below: guns higher and guns too close. In the case of the Chesapeake, I take it to mean the guns could hit any ship approaching her.

Jill


From: Boyce Kendrick
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 2:36 PM
Subject: GRP FOW S. M. "out of coats"

On page 134 (Norton), Stephen says to Mr Evans, surgeon of the _Constitution,_ "And had I been out of coats at the time, I should have joined you at Bunker Hill, and Valley Forge, and those other interesting spots." What does he mean by "out of coats"?

Boyce Kendrick
Mount Pleasant, DC


From: Mary S
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 3:34 PM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW An Officer's Parole

In a message dated 3/22/02 10:43:41 AM Central Standard Time, stephen_maturin@REBELSPY.NET writes:

If you want to discuss that other fellow, Horatio Hornblower, his parole meant a lot to him.

And then there's the book where Horny defuses a dangerous situation at sea by lying that Napoleon is dead, or something like that - I don't remember the details. He simply agonizes and agonizes over it afterwards, even when it turns out that when he gave it, the news was not a lie (though he didn't know that).

Jack wouldn't have laughed it off, had he lied in such a situation, but I think he would have gotten over it easier than ol' Horatio (who was big on agonizing). A gentleman's word meant a terrific amount in those days.

A sad, brutish grobian, [IM, p45]

Mary S
35 58' 11" N
86 48' 57" W


From: Thistle Farm
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 6:00 PM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW S. M. "out of coats"

I believe it means out of short coats, ie, not a child. Someone else can better explain at what age one might graduate to long coats, but I didn't want you to think nobody read this!

Sarah


From: brumby6
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 6:19 PM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW An Officer's Parole plus spoiler for Truelove/Clarissa

S
P
O
I
L
E
R

Remember how bent out of shape he got over the rescue of Padeen and Clarissa? That was two-fold. First, he had given his word not to take anyone off, and didn't want to even try and wiggle around a pedantic interpretation. Two, he was backed into a corner, with no opportunity to make his own decision. Stephen had reasonably assumed he would be in favor of the rescue. Poor old Jack was certainly perched on the horns of a dilemma here!

Linda


From: Adam Quinan
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 6:59 PM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW S. M. "out of coats"

I know that young boys in genteel society were often dressed up in what looked like very feminine clothes until they were six or seven years old (later it was sailor suits). Perhaps Stephen was referring to an abbreviation of petticoats? Though he would have been actually about six or seven during the American rebellion.

Adam Quinan


From: brumby6
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 7:52 PM
Subject: GRP FOW : Profanity

Now that I have your attention.......

I was a bit surprised to see the F word appear in FOW. I didn't recall seeing it anywhere else.

Doesn't he usually use blanks, for most profanity?

Linda


From: Bob Kegel
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 8:06 PM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW S. M. "out of coats"

On Fri, 22 Mar 2002, 16:36:33 -0500, Boyce Kendrick wrote:

What does he mean by "out of coats"?

I take it as meaning "had my allegiance not been elsewhere." Stephen would have been a bit young for Bunker Hill, etc. The list consensus, IIRC, is that Jack and Stephen are around 30 at the beginning of M&C. That would place their birthdates around 1770.

Bob Kegel
4659'18.661"N 12349'29.827"W


From: Marshall Rafferty
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 9:14 PM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW An Officer's Parole

On Fri, 22 Mar 2002 06:17:54 -0600, Linda asked:

As an officer and a gentleman, was Jack splitting hairs when he said he had not given his parole, so it was all right for him to escape? Was he too sick when the others gave their paroles?

It's been awhile since I read FOW. so I have a question. Was the parole which was given simply to not try to escape, or was it to stay out of the conflict after an exchange? (Clever of POB to have Jack too injured to give it... )

Were there different kinds of paroles?

Were exchanged prisoners allowed to rejoin the conflict?

Marshall Rafferty

________
At, or about:
4740'54"N. 12222'8"W.


From: brumby6
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 9:29 PM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW An Officer's Parole

Bainbridge told his captives if they would give their word not to serve against the US until exchanged, they could go home.

Linda


From: Marshall Rafferty
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 10:07 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans (and DI spoiler)

On Thu, 21 Mar 2002 01:14:35 +0000, Alec wrote of "Waakzaamheid":

The word itself means 'Vigilence'.

I remember checking it our before and finding it also had some medical >inferences -but I can't find that line tonight.

Insomnia?

Marshall


From: Martin
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 12:05 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW S. M. "out of coats"

I'd disagree with the implication of "turncoat" and go along with the idea of "had I been old enough".

Martin @ home:
50 44' 58" N
1 58' 35" W


From: Rob Schaap
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 12:37 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW S. M. "out of coats"

Gotta be. the chap was between 5 and 8 at the time of these particular disagreements.

I don't know much in the way of US history, but imagine the implication is that there was something about 1812 that radically distinguished it from 1775. Stephen's loathing for Napolean might have served to make him cross with the US for doing blockade-busting business with the French whilst Britain was at war with 'em.

*Alert* *Possible spoiler by way of elaboration*

Hope I'm not giving anything away when I note that his loathing for Napolean, or his fear of a Napoleonic victory, are such that he effectively (if rather sweetly and agonisingly) opposes even his erstwhile Irish comrades when the latter get too close to Boney.

Waddyareckon, lissuns?

Rob.


From: Peter Mackay
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 1:09 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW : Profanity

He uses the cword a couple of times.

--
Cheers, Peter


From: homermeyn
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 1:32 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW S. M. "out of coats"

Only a guess, but I think that 'out of coats' means the same as ''breeched' That is, out of the long coats or smocks that a young child would have worn to make certain intimate parental cleaning duties quicker, and into breeches, which produce that familiar cry- 'MUUUM! I gotta go!' followed by 'Too late! sorry mum.' Peace

John

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning." --Catherine Aird


From: Adam Quinan
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 4:28 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW An Officer's Parole

As I understand it, there were several types of parole.

In those days, officers, at least, would expect to be exchanged with capturedf enemy officers of equivalent rank. Even common seamen and soldiers would often be exchanged. One of the many complaints about Napoleon was that he did not observe this custom and kept his prisoners for the duration of hostilities. If there were no equivalent prisoners in the enemy hands, then an officer might be released to go home under parole not to fight against his captors until he had been formally exchanged. So a prisoner of the Americans could be released under parole not to fight the Americans until "exchanged" but he could serve against the French.

Additionally, one could give one's parole not to escape while you were waiting to be exchanged, this would allow free movement and the chance to live in a comfortable residence and avoid the discomfort and inconvenience of being locked up in a cell.

Adam Quinan


From: Helen Connor
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 5:23 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW S. M. "out of coats"

I'd go so far as to suggest that 'coats' is short for 'petticoats', for lads and laddettes were dressed alike until a certain age (the precise number of years escapes me).

H
once historical-costume-obsessed


From: Boyce Kendrick
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 5:25 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW : Profanity

And the sword, too, damn my eyes!

Boyce


From: Bob Kegel
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 7:30 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW S. M. "out of coats"

I was working from the term "to wear the King's coat", meaning to serve in the army or navy. Further study shows me Sarah, Martin and Rob are correct. In TMC, page 331, Pullings congratulates Jack on the birth of his son: "But a boy!--Our nipper, sir, if ever I get a settled command of my own, shall come to sea the minute he is out of coats, and properly breeched."

Adam wrote: "Perhaps Stephen was referring to an abbreviation of petticoats?"

I now recall an old picture of my father, born in 1904. He looks to be about 2 years old and is wearing what looks very much like a petticoat.

Bob Kegel
4659'18.661"N 12349'29.827"W


From: Jean A
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 7:47 AM
Subject: Re: Out of coats

"Not out of coats" has only one meaning in the context of the times: he had not been "breeched", or "breached" as POB spelled it, and which was discussed in our last Groupread.

Jean A.


From: Boyce Kendrick
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 8:13 AM
Subject: Re: Out of coats

By "breached" do you mean "made to leap clear of the water, whale-like"? Sounds unbaleineced to me. (I learned that word from the French sea-salt box.)

Boyce
Mt Pleasant, DC


From: Boyce Kendrick
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 8:25 AM
Subject: Fw: Re: [POB] GRP FOW S. M. "out of coats"

[Forwarded to restore the original subject line. It's a continuity thing--don't they give Oscars for that? Keep ever in your minds, listwains, that "Oscar" is a registered trademark!]

Boyce
Mt Pleasant, DC


From: Brian Wilson
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 8:31 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW An Officer's Parole

(SMALL SPLOILER)

From the reading I've done there seems to be your standard parole, where you agree not to escape until exchanged and for this you are allowed your freedom from prison, then conditions can be applied. For instance if it was inconvenient to drag a prisoner around then the condition would be to go back to your army/navy and not to fight until an appropriate exchange with an officer of equal rank had been completed. Once the exchange took place one was free to continue fighting.

IMHO Jack was very much in the right as his word had to be given explicitly and could not be assumed. It is my understanding that the norm would be to treat an officer who had not given his parole as a regular prisoner and curtail his freedom (sorry, I had to get the word "curtail" in somewhere). I believe this is the case when Jack and Stephen are locked up in Temple Prison in the Surgeon's Mate.

Just my random thoughts.

Cheers

Brian


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 10:20 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW An Officer's Parole

At the very end of M&C, Jack has been captured and carried to Gibraltar. Clearly, he has given parole not to fight until formally exchanged, and not to give other aid to the British either, since we see him, frustrated, in Gib merely watching while everybody else is busy as...beasts...in getting the British ships ready for the Action in the Gut that is to follow.

Charlezzzzz


From: Randy Hees
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 8:59 AM
Subject: 1776 vs 1812, was "out of coats"

I think that Steven would have seen the two wars as very different. In 1776 the colonist were fighting for independence from a somewhat overbearing government. I believe that Steven would have seen this as a just war (he would later support several South American independence efforts.)

The 1812 conflict on the other hand included a attempt by the US to take Canada. The more imitated cause, the British Navy's belief that it was entitled to stop American flag merchant men, to look for British seamen to press into navy service might have seemed to Steven to be "normal business." (the most extreme case of this being the Chesapeake - "horrible old" Leopard incident, an embarrassment even to the most arrogant officers in the British Navy, and the cause of so many problems for our heroes) I think Steven might have also seen the US as trying to take advantage of the British preoccupation with the little Frenchman who was causing so many problems in Europe at the same time.

Randy Hees


From: Karen von Bargen
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 10:52 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW : Profanity

Doesn't he usually use blanks, for most profanity?

Linda:

It seems to be blanks for gentle folk, the actual word printed out for the rest of the ungentle world.

Karen


From: Mary S
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 10:59 AM
Subject: Re: Out of coats

In a message dated 3/23/02 8:48:21 AM Central Standard Time, Sherkin@AOL.COM writes:

he had not been "breeched", or "breached" as POB spelled it

I think that was most likely a typo, actually. Or a POB spelling error not corrected by the editors?

a wicked contumelious discontented froward mutinous dog,[FSW1]

Mary S
35 58' 11" N
86 48' 57" W


From: DJONES01
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 3:39 PM
Subject: POB: The Frigate Chesapeake

Below is a link to a very interesting article entitled "So Uneasy A Ship - The Unfortunate Career of the Frigate Chesapeake" by Joseph C. Mosier.

http://www.cronab.demon.co.uk/ches1.htm

The article also contains links to the officials letters after the action between the Chesapeake and the Shannon, as well as a link showing her current whereabouts (ducking and running for cover!)

My apologies if this link has already been posted to the list, but it's relevant to the current group read of FOW.

Elaine Jones
Walsall, England
52 36' 01" N 1 55' 46" W


From: Roger
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 8:36 PM
Subject: Re: SPOILER Re: [POB] GRP:FOW Question for Americans

Steve wrote: "....though I sometimes wonder if the gentlemanly dealings with enemy commanders like Christy-Palliere are not a bit idealized".

The whole set of actions between Christy-Palliere and Jack happened almost exactly as PO'B wrote - the honourable return of the sword to the surrendered commander of the brig, the sang-froid of the continued breakfast in the cabin as battle approached, the British ball smashing the case of wine, the captured British commander viewing the Battle of Algeciras from the Great Cabin of the "Desaix", and so on.

They took place in 1801 between Christy-Palliere and Lord Cochrane (Thomas, not his uncle Alexander), former commander of the little 4-pdr. brig-sloop "Speedy" which a few weeks before had taken the Spanish 12-pdr. xebec frigate "Gamo", 32.

The Revolution had perhaps diminished the Anglo-French mutally cordial and gentlemanly behaviour as respectful enemies, "the best of enemies", so prevalent in the 18thC, but much evidently survived.

Now, who has got the proper text of the incident in the Seven Years War, I think (US : The French and Indian War, Europe: the Third Silesian War - 1756-63, at any rate, the war of "The Last of the Mohicans") when a French army commander besieging a British position (in Canada?) sent in a letter to the defending commander reading something like: "Sir, I look forward to the Pleasure of meeting you as a Friend, after I have had the Honour of facing you as an enemy"?

Regards,

Roger Marsh
Hampshire, England

"Dans ce pays-ci [La Grande Bretagne, Britain], il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres" (Voltaire, 1757).


From: Roger
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 8:51 PM
Subject: GRP:FOW The Rites and Wrongs of Spring

Boyce Kendrick wrote:

"My compliments to Mr Seltzer and desire him to say what the letters GRP (in the Subject line) mean."

Why, suitably for the Canon, though an anachronism, it must be that well-known boat-building material known in Ameriglish as "Fiberglass" and in Britspeak as "GRP" - Glass Reinforced Plastic.

Regards,

Roger Marsh
Hampshire, England


From: Marian Van Til
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 9:47 PM
Subject: GRP: FoW: Captain Broke

I am intrigued by Philip Broke; and the care and detail with which O' Brian draws him as a character -- and, as much detail as he gives us and care he seemed to take, he lets him just sort of fade away after this book. Is Broke mentioned more than once later on? I always regret that POB "let him get away." I think Broke would have been an very interesting ongoing (if intermittant) character; having made him a cousin of Jack's is the perfect ploy, and his personality is a good foil for Jack's. Of course, as an historical figure it might have been tough for O'Brian to have him appear more frequently without doing violence to history, which I imagine he was loath to do. But he could have had Jack visit Broke a time or two while ashore -- seeing that Broke never went to sea again due to the injuries related to his near scalping during the Shannon/Chesapeake encounter.

I know the stuff about Broke's gunnery innovations, etc., applied to the historical Broke. But the other detail makes me wonder whether O'Brian himself devised the personal biographical stuff about Broke (re: his character/personality, his marriage, his faith, etc.), or whether POB was basing it on historical data -- letters, diaries, documents, from those who knew Broke and/or the man himself. Anybody know?

There's a portrait of Broke at this link:

http://images.google.com/images?q=Philip+Bowes+Vere+Broke&hl=en&btnG=Google+ Search

To see a larger, much better view click on the picture, which will divide the screen horizontally; scroll down the bottom part to Broke's protrait. A painting of the battle between the Shannon and Chesapeake is also among the War of 1812-related stuff there.

Marian


From: Roger
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 3:39 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans

Andy Hartley summed up the feeling of many American readers when he said: "During all the battles with Americans, I find myself terribly conflicted. Always hoping something will come up to prevent their coming to blows. Though I do feel terribly guilty when Jack beats them and I find myself pleased. I get a similar feeling watching "Das Boot" when I can't quite bring myself to root for the destroyers."

I am encouraged to think that this may indicate that humanity towards one's fellow-men (and women too, of course; "men" in the sense of " mankind"; "Mensche" rather than "Maenner") may yet triumph on a global scale over nationalism, fanaticism and factionalism.

Ands there is much hope in our youth, the youth of today. When my middle son was 9, a couple of years ago, the village primary school asked for poems on Armistice Day, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a day which still holds such resonance in France, Britain and Germany particularly. Well, some did reply with triumphalist offerings on the lines of "Yah boo sucks, we forcefully applied the toes of our boots to Teutonic glutea maxima" - if you have my meaning smoak'd, Ma'ams and Sirs - but many children showed remarkable insight.

My own boy, who has always been very aware of such awful conflicts as Kossovo and the many others of his young life, and also of the resulting human and refugee problems, wrote several really very mature stanzas on both the horrors and the courage of war, recognising that the German soldier exhibited just the same bravery and suffered the same fears and sacrifices as the British. I am sure he would have extended this to include all other participant nations, French, US, Japanese, Italian, our Empire partners...

He than launched, at the age of just 9, into his closing 4 lines:

"So people say we won the war, but no-one really wins
Perhaps a little victory, but death remains a sin.
And wars still go on and people still die
But for Wars I and II people still cry."

Well, it made me weep. Still does.

He's sitting in the next room right now at the piano (an old instrument by Schwechten, Berlin, c. 1880-1890 at a guess), on a sunny Sunday Spring morning, writing a song - sounds a sombre but beautiful one. He is 12.

Peace to all,

Roger Marsh
Hampshire, England

"I was the enemy you killed, my friend" (Wilfred Owen, 1917


From: Peter Mackay
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 4:06 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans

Give you joy of your wonderful son, Roger! Such insight at an age when most children, including my own, think of war as a glorious enterprise where evil legions are mown down by the square-jawed heroes of our side.


From: Alec O'Flaherty
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 5:35 AM
Subject: GRP:FOW-lost the number of his mess

I asked this before but don't appear to have received a responce.

Page 156 Harper

Stephen,referring to a a crew member of an American merchantman and an'incident' with 'Leander'.

'A man was killed,or died or at all events lost the number of his mess:

What does 'lost the number of his mess' mean?

Thanks

alec


From: brumby6
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 6:01 AM
Subject: GRP FOW The Drama of the arm plus Spoiler about Midshipman Reade

I believe it was said that spoiler warnings were not posted for Group Read ordinarily, but I am posting one here for the Drama of Jack's Arm. This is one of the most compelling plot devices in the whole series for me, and the one that made me finally skip to the end because I had to know what happened. So I don't want to spoil that for anyone else.

Also, Mr Reade is discussed here as well, so if you don't know him, stop now.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Following discussions of the horrors of war on the individual, and the concept of an enemy's anonymity:

I was very surprised when Jack got shot. Absolutely on pins and needles when he told Stephen to just bind it up, he could have it off later if he wished. Of course Stephen has been "whipping off" (Jack's term) arms and legs as easy as kiss my hand since M&C, but this was PERSONAL. It's so hard to imagine a society where amputations are the order of the day.

Then he gets so sick, nearly unto death, with a smell of gangrene about him. Is it coming off now? Then he is taken to the hospital in Boston, and is writing so earnestly to Sophie, Stephen admits to himself that Dr. Choate is more hopeful about the arm than he is - OK, now it's coming off, right?

So Jack convalesces and gets stronger. They escape. They go into battle with the Chesapeake, with the arm bound up again. So I'm left hanging. (actually, no - I cheated again!)

I felt as if I were suffering with Jack every second - yet I don't remember any other wounding in the Canon getting so much attention. It moved the whole concept of the war from the abstract to the concrete, because I "knew" Jack.

As for Mr. Reade: when Jack saw his little arm on the pile of limbs - I felt a physical pain in my belly.

Linda
(pondering things she will hopefully never know anything about)


From: Adam Quinan
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 6:26 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW The Drama of the arm plus Spoiler about Midshipman Reade

I hope you are now comforted by the evidence in subsequent that Mr Reade's arm is regrowing nicely and by the time he becomes Admiral of the Fleet, he will be wholly restored. ;-)


From: brumby6
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 6:32 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW The Drama of the arm plus Spoiler about Midshipman Reade

What is he - a lizard? [G]

Linda


From: Susan Wenger
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 9:14 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW The Drama of the arm plus Spoiler about Midshipman Reade

Little Harper is also convalescing nicely.


From: Rosemary Davis
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 9:21 AM
Subject: Spoiler - Reade's arm

The joke about Reade's arm (which Linda is too fresh a lissun to have experienced) is:

S
P
O
I
L
E
R

that in later volumes, POB is inconsistent about the length of Reade's arm - first it is gone at the shoulder, then later he has a stump - hence the comment about regeneration...So, yes, he is a lizard, sorta.

-RD


From: brumby6
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 9:24 AM
Subject: Re: Spoiler - Reade's arm

LOL, Rosemary! I had vaguely felt the inconsistency, but thought I was just imagining. Details, details, details!

Linda


From: DJONES01
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 10:38 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans

From: "Roger"

I am encouraged to think that this may indicate that humanity towards one's fellow-men (and women too, of course; "men" in the sense of " mankind"; "Mensche" rather than "Maenner") may yet triumph on a global scale over nationalism, fanaticism and factionalism.

I think this will often be the case on the individual level, when we feel we have something in common with the "enemy". That's why we are always encouraged to focus on the "otherness" of the enemy when a conflict is looming - otherwise we would lose our nerve and back off.

My own boy, who has always been very aware of such awful conflicts as Kossovo and the many others of his young life, and also of the resulting human and refugee problems, wrote several really very mature stanzas on both the horrors and the courage of war, recognising that the German soldier exhibited just the same bravery and suffered the same fears and sacrifices as the British.

I have always tried to remind my battle-hungry youngster to see the other side of war. I think it does sink in, but he doesn't choose to show it yet. We read Douglas Reeman's HMS Saracen, which is set partly against the Gallipoli campaign, and I believe it made him stop and think. He has since gone back to read it on his own (but probably only to pick out the battle scenes!)

He than launched, at the age of just 9, into his closing 4 lines:

"So people say we won the war, but no-one really wins
Perhaps a little victory, but death remains a sin.
And wars still go on and people still die
But for Wars I and II people still cry."

Well, it made me weep. Still does.

You must feel very proud of your son for his maturity and sense of humanity. It sounds as though Charlezzzzz has an up-and-coming rival in the poetry stakes!

He's sitting in the next room right now at the piano (an old instrument by Schwechten, Berlin, c. 1880-1890 at a guess), on a sunny Sunday Spring morning, writing a song - sounds a sombre but beautiful one. He is 12.

Your piano is about 15 years older than our Broadwood White upright iron grand. I wonder which lissun has the oldest piano?

Elaine Jones
Walsall, England
52 36' 01" N 1 55' 46" W


From: John Berg
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 10:54 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW Qestion for Americans

Just watched Gary Cooper in Sargent York, a patriotic movie for the time when England was fighting but not yet the US. You will remember that York was a pacifist.

John


From: Marshall Rafferty
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 11:18 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: FoW: Captain Broke

On Sat, 23 Mar 2002 23:47:36 -0500, Marian wrote:

Is Broke mentioned more than once later on?

Apparently not, according to Gary Brown's PASC; only the brief mention in FSOW of his forming a militia. In the historical note, Brown comments that Broke never served at sea again following his head injury incurred during the Shannon/Chesapeake victory.

I wonder if his never serving at sea again, combined with his "dour" character, contributed to his being dropped. I'm struck by the description (by Jack) of his wife as a "rich hypochondriac" named Louisa, and the historical reference of his affectionate letters to her, addressing her as "my beloved Loo/Looloo," again courtesy of Brown's notes.

It doesn't sound as though his letters were dour. Probably the serious type, especially in public.

Marshall Rafferty

p.s. New crewmates could do much worse than obtain a copy of Gary Brown's "Persons, Animals, Ships and Cannon in the Aubrey-Maturin Sea Novels of Patrick O'Brian."

It is an indispensable companion to the series, though it obviously contains many spoilers.


From: Jim
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 11:46 AM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW-lost the number of his mess

This is my first posting to the list, aside from a brief intro, so bear with me.

When a man joins a ship's company, he is given a number. This number indicated the mess he was assigned to. A mess was a group of men that ate together. The number also indicated where he was to sling his hammock. The number was printed on a wooden tag that was to be attached to the end of the hammock when stowed away. The number, essentially, indicated the sailor's place in the ship's company. If you were to "lose the number of your mess", you have lost your place in the ship's company. Normally this would be used to describe a death or an injury so severe that you were unable to continue to serve. I don't believe that it was used to refer to someone just transferring to another ship, being paid off, or other routine occurrences.


From: Peter Mackay
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 12:29 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW-lost the number of his mess

The tag would remain on the hammock when stowed away (i.e. up on deck), and of course a sailor was generally sewn up in his hammock for burial. Only then would the tag be removed, because of course it was no more use to him.

But a sailor being drafted to another ship, or discharged or whatever, would also lose the number of his mess, though not in as spectacular fashion. Likewise if his hammock was destroyed by storm or enemy action, he would also have lost the number of his mess.

It may be that the phrase is a euphemism that has transcended the original meaning. For instance, we all know what "passed on" or "passed away" means, though I dare say it originally meant no more than a traveller who had passed on down the road. And it always sounds odd to other ears to hear an American speak of "going to the bathroom", a euphemism that may have utterly transcended the plain meaning.

It may be that the phrase was first used to describe death at sea in a genteel fashion, a bit of black humour, suitable to be wrote home, much as Jack glosses over such things when writing to Sophie. But then its use became general, as is so often the case with really useful jokes, and in time its more spectacular meaning became the accepted one, and sailors genuinely losing the number of their mess would be treated as being ghostly apparitions until they had carved a new one.

But yes, welcome aboard, Jim. Carve yourself a niche, fill your wooden mug up with some cheery brew and take a seat by the fireside. You may tell us about yourself if you wish - the list is full of sea-lawyers and sea-pilots and more birders than you can shake a stick at.

I have the Honour to be
Mate
your Obedient servant

Peter Mackay

35 17' 30" S, 149 9' 59" E


From: Adam Quinan
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 12:31 PM
Subject: Re: Spoiler - Reade's arm

I think that by his last appearance in the canon, Reade's arm has regrown so much that he can now be fitted with a hook which would mean that his elbow had regenerated.


From: Peter Mackay
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 12:43 PM
Subject: Re: Spoiler - Reade's arm

And in the as-yet unpublished Jet-Black Shore, he is a topmast hand. I wonder if Himself was having another of his little jokes with us?


From: Alec O'Flaherty
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 12:47 PM
Subject: GRP:FOW Cause of the fire

Is there any concensus as to the cause of the fire on 'La Fleche'.

I had felt that McLean was set up by POB to be the guilty party-but from various posts it seems to be a matter of debate/uncertainty.

Is there any clue in 'real history' as to the cause of the fire?

alec

ps Excuse my asking this if it's stupid-but were there any other survivors of the fire other than Jack's blue cutter crew-all his own people(by and large)

a


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 1:40 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW-lost the number of his mess

on 3/24/02 2:29 PM, Peter Mackay at peter.mackay@BIGPOND.COM wrote:

> It may be that the phrase is a euphemism that has transcended the > original meaning.

A couple of times in the canon a character is said to have "copped it." To me, this means that he died. But that's clearly not always the case.

And to "look a bit old fashioned." Seems, by context, to mean badly injured.

Anybody have any insight on these POBian turns of phrase?

Charlezzzzz


From: Kevin
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 1:53 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW-lost the number of his mess

When I was a kid I was often told I would "cop it" for doing something wrong. Then it meant simply getting a dressing down.

Kevin, still alive in TO.

43 38' 44" N
79 22' 33" W


From: Martin
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 2:00 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:FOW-lost the number of his mess

Google found me this one from Kipling's story "The Janeites"

"For the unit is doomed. Literally. One of the officers - in private life an actuary - estimated that members in a forward artillery unit like theirs have a life expectancy of six weeks. This, as it turns out, is a generous estimate. For the Germans launched a last offensive that overran their entire front and in Humberstall's words, 'Believe me, gents - or Brethren, I should say - we copped it cruel.' A few confused, blood-soaked hours after Humberstall comes to consciousness, dazed and wounded, to find himself the only Janeite left. His mates had all been killed, and 'Lady Catherine and the General was past prayin' for.' "

http://members.ozemail.com.au/~jasa1/newsdc99.htm

Martin @ home:
50 44' 58" N
1 58' 35" W


From: Rosemary Davis
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 3:25 PM
Subject: names and old-fashioned

The only use in the Canon of "feeling old-fashioned" that I recall (and admittedly, I'm not Don!) is in one of the early books, and it doesn't refer to death. SMALL EARLY CANON SPOILER BELOW:

.

.

.

.

it refers to Stephen's having performed surgery which prevented a sailor from losing his private parts. The sailor - or possibly a friend or relative of the sailor - is thanking Stephen and says he would have felt "right old-fashioned" without them.

I have two acquaintances (separate - i.e., not a couple) who have a daughter and a son, respectively, named Oriel and Uriel. Not that those aren't nice-sounding names, but the poor things will go through school as Oral and Urinal, for all love. -RD, whose cat is named Emily


From: Peter Mackay
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 3:34 PM
Subject: Old-fashioned privates

In the old days, of course, men didn't have genitalia. Dam' new fangled invention, cause of endless trouble, forever getting caught in things, best to chop them off entirely as Stephen advises on several occasions.


From: Ruth Abrams
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 4:46 PM
Subject: GRP FOW The Drama of the arm plus Spoiler about Midshipman Reade

About arms, etc. regenerating:

If Stephen had had reliable antibiotics, he would not have had to swop off so many limbs, because human bones do indeed grow back. How do I know? I had a very badly broken leg when a car hit me. The tibia and fibula broke through the skin, and lots of bone got kind of mashed up in the nice area about two inches below my knee. Stephen would have had to have it off quickly with a sharp instrument before gangrene set in, there was all kinds of gravel and bits of the road in the wound too...

A lovely brilliant doctor earlier in the 20th century developed a method for regrowing bone. Dr. Ilazarov used the spokes of bicycle wheels poked through the limb as a sort of trellis for regrowing broken bones. His external fixator looked like the Eiffel Tower on my leg! My doctor had studied with Ilazarov and that helped me understand what I was getting into--or what was going into me, which were modified bicycle spokes!

The device, scary looking as it was, didn't hurt as much as the injury, though of course I had to take anti-clotting drugs and antibiotics as the flesh around the device infected. I wish I had known about the following website two years ago:

http://www.ilizarov.org.uk/biog.htm

My bones grew back. I mean, the bones in my leg regenerated, grew back and I now have my leg again. So it couldn't historically have happened to Midshipman Reade, but it *did* happen to me! In truth, bones regenerate nearly every time they are broken--that's what's going on even inside a plaster cast. Bones are amazing! They don't just grow back, they get stronger where you use them! That's why your bones get more dense when you lift weights. Human beings have wonderful bodies.

As my leg healed, I thought of the prayer, "All my bones shall say, God who is like You." (It's a quote from Psalm 35.) Science and religion go together pretty well sometimes.

Ruth A.


From: Kerry Webb
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 5:02 PM
Subject: Old fashioned

Rosemary wrote:

The only use in the Canon of "feeling old-fashioned" that I recall (and admittedly, I'm not Don!) is in one of the early books, and it doesn't refer to death.

The term is also used in FOW on p. 118, and refers to the state of health of a sailor who was injured in battle. In that case it means that he was not feeling altogether well.

Kerry


From: Susan Wenger
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 5:21 PM
Subject: The Drama of the arm plus

Of course, another consideration is time. During a battle, there isn't much time to devote to the saving of limbs, when another man's life is ebbing on the next cot. When Jack's arm was being bandaged in FOW, another man was clutching his liver.

Give you joy of your recovery of your leg!

- Susan


From: Karen von Bargen
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 5:51 PM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW The Drama of the arm plus Spoiler about Midshipman Reade

Ruth:

Having seen those bicycle spoke thingies on TV I can attest that they are the single worst thing I could possibly imagine having attached to my person. They give me the flying creeps. They are hideous to behold. Obviously they work, but oh, man...

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for a dose of squeamishness....

Karen

ps Ain't science wonderful? We'd be calling you Stumpy now if it weren't!


From: Mary S
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 6:19 PM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW The Drama of the arm plus Spoiler about Midshipman Reade

In a message dated 3/24/02 5:47:18 PM Central Standard Time, ruthie@THEWORLD.COM writes:

As my leg healed, I thought of the prayer, "All my bones shall say, God who is like You." (It's a quote from Psalm 35.)

Wonderful post, Ruth, with its fascinating details. Give you joy of your "new" leg. And then there's "I will praise You O God for I am fearfully and wonderfully made..." Ps 139:14

As CS Lewis said, "no wound was ever healed in a corpse," making the point that doctors don't heal, rather they assist the body's natural healing powers.

All that bone-growing often generates a lump, as my father had on his clavicle and a friend now has on his shin. My husband's broken legbone

showed thicker at the broken place on the x-ray, but not through the skin.

gluppit the prawling strangles, there, [FoW8]

Mary S
35 58' 11" N
86 48' 57" W


From: Kevin
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 6:38 PM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW The Drama of the arm plus Spoiler about Midshipman Reade

Ruth Abrams wrote:

If Stephen had had reliable antibiotics, he would not have had to swop off so many limbs, because human bones do indeed grow back. How do I know? I had a very badly broken leg when

I hope a doctor responds to this as it raises an interesting question that centres on the difference between a healing fracture and a regenerating limb. Midshipman Reade would surely be out of luck and sporting some degree of missing limb even today.

I believe that when a fracture like Ruth's heals, callus forms around the fracture and slowly hardens, like setting glue, to unite the fractured bones. This is a repair rather than the regeneration of a limb that has been removed. What Ruth's very capable doctor did was ensure optimum conditions for the formation of the healing callus to reform the bone as close as possible to the original. The doctor also took steps to prevent infection so that the leg did not have to be removed for that reason.

For a removed limb to regenerate, the body would have to produce the many kinds of tissue that make up a limb (bones, muscle, skin etc.) in the right form and scale. I believe the closest analogy to the regeneration of a limb would be pregnancy as a pregnant woman produces those many kinds of tissues in the fetus, rather than just the callus that heals bone. But pregnancy is the exception to a general rule. The function of the auto-immune system is to identify and reject foreign matter...anything that is "not self." Without an effective auto-immune system, all kinds of hostile matter (like bacteria, fungi and other parasites) could enter the body and damage it. A fetus is "not self" so it needs to be exempted from rejection by the auto-immune system. (That exception is not always finely tuned which is one reason why so many fetuses are spontaneously aborted--but, from the body's point of view it is better to be biased toward rejection to prevent hostile invasion.)

Unlike the healing process of a fracture, which is part of the self, the auto-immune system of most creatures would see a regenerating limb as foreign (not self or a fetus) and would reject it. There is interest in the few animals that do regenerate limbs to understand how their auto-immune systems allow for this further exception without weakening their response to other foreign matter.

Could I have an orthopaedic or immunology consult please?

Kevin, taking a healing break in TO.

43 38' 44" N
79 22' 33" W


From: Mary Arndt
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 7:26 PM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW The Drama of the arm plus Spoiler aboutMidshipmanReade

You make a good point in explaining the difference between healing and regeneration, but why would regeneration, if it were possible, be considered "not self"? It would have to be accomplished by the differentiation of stem cells produced by the body. I am no immunologist, but that seems like "self" to me.

--
Mary A
4236'53" N
7120'43" W


From: Kevin
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 8:17 PM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW The Drama of the arm plus Spoiler aboutMidshipmanReade

Mary, my understanding is that most tissues in adults lose their potential for differentiation and growth. That is why most forms of injury result in permanent damage. For example, Ruth's leg was not restored to its former condition as would be consistent with the implication of your suggestion that stem cells could have stepped in and "regenerated" the damage. Even an organ as vital as the heart will remain scarred if damaged...say by an infarction or heart attack. Brains do not recover from major strokes. If your suggestion were correct, one would expect stem cells to regenerate hearts and brains at least as urgently as a missing limb.

This contrasts with the ability of some animals, particularly some amphibians, which retain their ability to replace damaged or lost parts.

Not only am I no immunologist, I have no medical or scientific training at all. However, I think that most growth and differentiation in humans takes place in the womb where the fetus is under the protection of the mother's auto-immune system. With birth the infant has to rely on its own auto-immune system. Part of the development of mammals is that the infant "seals off" its own auto-immune system at an early age in order to make it effective against even its own aberrations. That is why stem cells cannot repair even life threatening damage in vital organs.

I assume this "sealing off" is similar to other brakes on normal development such as the achievement of normal height.

I recall seeing x-rays of fully formed teeth growing from the lining of the stomach. That was an apparent bizarre generation but it was caused by the patient's cancer damaging the DNA of the cells of the stomach lining.

P.S. I just did a search on this issue and got a "404" on the prime reference. However, I noted that the author was at the University of Toronto, so I will try to reach him tomorrow for the real answer.

Kevin differentiating in TO.

43 38' 44" N
79 22' 33" W


From: Kevin
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 8:26 PM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW The Drama of the arm plus Spoiler aboutMidshipmanReade

Mary, Re stem cells...another thought.

Isn't the inability adult stem cells to differentiate the reason that stem cells for research and cloning are taken from fetal tissue? The adult body is full of many kinds of stem cells, but they cannot be used for cloning etc. because they have lost the range of differentiation that fetal stem cells have.

Kevin in TO.

43 38' 44" N
79 22' 33" W


From: Mary Arndt
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 8:50 PM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW The Drama of the arm plus SpoileraboutMidshipmanReade

Mary, my understanding is that most tissues in adults lose their potential for differentiation and growth. That is why most forms of injury result in permanent damage.

You are correct.

I only meant that *if* regeneration occured it would be a regeneration of "Self" rather than "Other" and therefore not necessarily on the immune system's hit list. I thought the problem was a matter of the molecular on/off switches rather than the immune system. Growth does not continue forever and limbs do not regenerate in mammals because the molecular switches that regulate cell division are shut off and we don't know how to turn them back on. And to do so would be possibly dangerous because unregulated cell division is cancer and therefore not very helpful to the organism. A fetus or child still has those molecular switches turned on. They can grow, but the down side is the virulence of many childhood cancers. The immune system deals with cancer tissue because it recognizes DNA damage, rather than because it recognizes 'alien' as it would with an invading microorganism.

--
Mary A
4236'53" N
7120'43" W


From: Mary Arndt
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 8:54 PM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW The Drama of the arm plus SpoileraboutMidshipmanReade

Kevin wrote:

>Isn't the inability adult stem cells to differentiate the reason that >stem cells for research and cloning are taken from fetal tissue? The >adult body is full of many kinds of stem cells, but they cannot be used >for cloning etc. because they have lost the range of differentiation >that fetal stem cells have.

I believe this is correct. In theory though, there might be ways to make cells from an adult regenerate. There is a lot of research being done on the problem of trying to get the spinal cord to regenerate after injury. A few years ago, this was nothing but science fiction. A few years from now, the goal may be within striking distance.

--
Mary A
4236'53" N
7120'43" W


From: Kevin
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 9:06 PM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW The Drama of the arm plus SpoileraboutMidshipmanReade

Mary Arndt wrote:

I only meant that *if* regeneration occured it would be a regeneration of "Self" rather than "Other" and therefore not necessarily on the immune system's hit list.

I think we agree? (Then I don't have to do detective work tomorrow!) In lay person's terms, for a limb to regenerate, stem cells would have to start assuming the role of the cells that would make the limb. But the body's rule for adult stem cells is, "Thou shalt not differentiate like that." Then the body says, "If you're breaking the rules, you're not me and I will destroy you because you are a threat."

Kevin in TO.

43 38' 44" N
79 22' 33" W


From: Mary Arndt
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 9:31 PM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW The Drama of the arm plusSpoileraboutMidshipmanReade

Well, yes we mostly agree. But I would be willing to believe that *if* the stem cells were somehow induced to start differentiating into muscle, bone, blood vessels and nerves needed to make up an arm, the body would not necessarily say "you are not me" and destroy it. Unless the cells' DNA appeared damaged, the body would probably recognize this new thing as "me". The thing is, getting those cells to differentiate is very, very hypothetical, because those molecular switches are firmly turned off in a normal, healthy adult.

As an aside regarding Ruth's shattered bone, we tend to think of bone as solid, hard and unchanging. It is not unchanging at all, but rather plastic. Bone is contantly being modeled (and dissolved) in the body. That is why osteoporosis occurs and why weight bearing excercise helps fend it off; and why a broken bone can knit itself together. There must be a structure for the osteoblasts to work on e.g. the broken ends placed in close proximity to each other.

--
Mary A
4236'53" N
7120'43" W


From: Bob Kegel
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 9:30 PM
Subject: Re: old-fashioned

On Sun, 24 Mar 2002, at 16:02:32 -0800, Kerry Webb wrote:

... refers to the state of health of a sailor who was injured in battle. In that case it means that he was not feeling altogether well.

There's the sailor, in DI pp 266-267, who tells Stephen: "Now by your leave, sir, I must go aloft. There's Moses Harvey looking down quite old-fashioned, for to be relieved."

The gunner in IM, page 57, says of gunpowder "... very old-fashioned some of it smelled and tasted, too."

Bob Kegel
4659'18.661"N 12349'29.827"W


From: Bambi Dextrous
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 9:42 AM
Subject: Not a flame in sight, a question about Fortune of War

Stephen remembers where he had seen Pontet-canet. 'Do you see a skimmer, sir?' asked Mr Evans, blocked behind him.
'I doubt it,' said Stephen.

Non sequiter. What does this exchange mean? I
--


From: Boyce Kendrick
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 10:39 AM
Subject: Re: Not a flame in sight, a question about Fortune of War

One meaning of skimmer is ornitholgical. OED online says: "A bird of the North American genus Rhynchops, esp. the black skimmer (R. nigra). The name has reference to the manner in which these birds obtain their food, by skimming small fish, etc., from the surface of the water with the lower mandible.

I don't have a copy of FOW, and I don't remember the context, but I imagine there is some vile (or wry) clench at work.

Boyce
Mt Pleasant, DC


From: Larry & Wanda Finch
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 10:58 AM
Subject: Re: Not a flame in sight, a question about Fortune of War

See http://www.hmssurprise.org/NatlHist/Skimmers.html, part of the "Dr. Maturin's Natural History" tour at http://www.hmssurprise.org/NatlHist/

Larry
--
Larry Finch


From: Larry & Wanda Finch
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 12:10 PM
Subject: Re: Not a flame in sight, a question about Fortune of War

Boyce Kendrick wrote:

I am honored that a Finch has taken the trouble to fill me in on a bird of a different feather. (They are different aren't they?)

Very different. Sometime I will introduce you to my distant relatives, the Galapagos Finches that Charles Darwin studied ;)

Larry


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 11:29 AM
Subject: Re: Not a flame in sight, a question about Fortune of War

I take it to mean that Stephen has decided that P-C is no skimmer, but is a real red-hot agent of the French. POB often uses the animal world to symbolize the human world: here he has Stephen doing just that thing.

Charlezzzzz


From: Bill Nyden
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 12:55 PM
Subject: Re: Not a flame in sight, a question about Fortune of War

Some day I want to take one of the docent tours at the AMNH, being led in a full circle by the esteemed Mrs. Finch. In other words, I want to go a Wanda-ring.


From: Boyce Kendrick
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 1:00 PM
Subject: Re: Not a flame in sight, a question about Fortune of War

On 3/25/02 11:42 AM, Bambi Dextrous wrote:

Stephen remembers where he had seen Pontet-canet.

I remember where _I_ saw Pontet-Canet: it was on a Cruse, upon my sacred honor.

Rather, a Cruse box (which it was a wooden wine crate) used by the famous shipper Cruse et Fils Freres, later INfamous for a scandal involving adulterated wines. At the time, I worked for a wine and liquor wholesaler in Baltimore. Chateau Pontet-Canet, once owned by Cruse and closely identified with that house, is a claret, a Pauillac to be exact, and one of the Classified Growths of Bordeaux.

I suspect that it is no coincidence that POB's villain bears a tainted name. As I recall, the scandal was all over the media for some months in the '70s, about the time FOW was incubating.


From: Bob Saldeen
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 1:01 PM
Subject: Re: Not a flame in sight, a question about Fortune of War

I heard the Finches don't eat much. In fact, if you took them both to the museum's coffee shop, you could thrill two birds with one scone.

bs


From: Susan Wenger
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 1:10 PM
Subject: GROUPREAD:FOW:Not a flame in sight, a question about Fortune of War

It looks like there's some content here. A skimmer could be someone who skims lightly over some content, or it could be someone who skims money off an operation. I suppose it could be a kind of hat, but that doesn't fit here. I'll have to re-read the section tonght and try to decipher this.

- Susan


From: Boyce Kendrick
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 1:46 PM
Subject: Re: Not a flame in sight, a question about Fortune of War

That's a beaut! said Susan Wenger.

It is indeed. Bob Saldeen, you've left me LOL. It couldn't be butter.

Boyce
Mount Pleasant, DC
38.9310 N, 77.0410 W


From: Mary S
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 3:42 PM
Subject: Re: Not a flame in sight, a question about Fortune of War

You are re-Boycing?

leering like a mole with the palsy [MC 309]

Mary S
35 58' 11" N
86 48' 57" W


From: brumby6
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 4:52 PM
Subject: Re: Not a flame in sight, a question about Fortune of War

It couldn't be butter.

Por que?

Linda


From: Boyce Kendrick
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 6:27 PM
Subject: Re: Not a flame in sight, a question about Fortune of War

Said Mary S., "You are re-Boycing?"

Well, no, I'm just trying to get out of "the wood(s)." ["boyce": from French, bois] Most will say that one Boyce is enough; the notion of re-Boycing unthinkable!


From: Susan Wenger
Sent: Tuesday, March 26, 2002 11:16 AM
Subject: GroupRead:FOW:Not a flame in sight, a question about Fortune of War

Non sequiter. What does this exchange mean?

Perhaps it is an omen. Stephen is eager to see the skimmer, but it's not there. The rest of the book isn't going to go the way Stephen would like either.

- Susan


From: Andy Hartley
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 6:44 PM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW : Profanity

I just saw it today in PC, during Jack's interview with Old Jarvie (which I always loved it when one of the younger Williams girls asks if that's the naval term for the Devil). Every now and then POB seems to leave the dashes aside.

Andy


From: Bob Kegel
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 11:10 PM
Subject: GRP FOW : Profanity

On Sat, 23 Mar 2002, at 09:52:05 -0800, Karen von Bargen wrote:

It seems to be blanks for gentle folk, the actual word printed out for the rest of the ungentle world.

Exactly! Look at the context. It's almost invariably used by foremast jacks among themselves: "Just you make your fucking patty now, like I said, mate, and I will make my toasted cheese last minute, while you beat up a egg in marsala. " LOM, page 188

". the lookout at the masthead cried 'Land ho! On deck, there, land on the starboard bow. A low sort of long island,' he added in a subdued voice for the benefit of his friends in the maintops, 'with more of them fucking palm-trees.' "
TT page 215

The dash appears when there's an officer present: 'Make a lane there,' cried the cook's mate with equal wrath, 'if you don't want to see the deck a -ing shambles.' And then, deferentially, to Dr. Maturin, proffering a bucket, 'With the cook's respects, sir.' BATM, page 140

Officers occasionally get it spelled out for them, followed by an apology:
'Well sir ... some of the officers are sweet on Mrs Oakes.'
'I dare say they are - a very amiable young woman.'
'No, sir. I mean serious - bloody serious - cut-your-throat serious - fucking serious ..."
'Oh.' Jack Aubrey was taken aback entirely. 'But you surely do not mean that last word literally?"
'No, sir. It is just my coarse way of speaking: I beg pardon.
TT, page 180

The presence of a woman banishes both the word and the dash: "Profane oaths, cursings and execrations (forbidden in any event by the second Article of War) were laid aside or modified, and it was pleasant to hear the bosun cry 'Oh you . . . unskilful fellow' when a hand called Faster Doudle, staring aft at Mrs Fielding, dropped a marline-spike from the maintop ..." TH page 315

Is the dash POB's way of indicating the speaker is mumbling the expletive, of expressing himself without violating the second Article?

Patrick T, jump in here. How do you handle the dashes in you readings?

Bob Kegel
4659'18.661"N 12349'29.827"W


From: Peter Mackay
Sent: Tuesday, March 26, 2002 1:24 AM
Subject: Re: GRP FOW : Profanity

The dash appears when there's an officer present:

But old Jarvie was one of the worst offenders. P73 of Post Captain: 'What the fucking hell is this language to me, sir? Do you know who you are talking to, sir? Do you know where you are?'


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