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Mr Midshipman Easy (Classics of Nautical Fiction Series) Paperback – 1 Dec 1998


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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: McBooks Press (1 Dec. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0935526404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0935526400
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,546,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Captain Frederick Marryat (10 July 1792 – 9 August 1848) was an English Royal Navy officer, novelist, and a contemporary and acquaintance of Charles Dickens, noted today as an early pioneer of the sea story. He is now known particularly for the semi-autobiographical novel Mr Midshipman Easy and his children's novel The Children of the New Forest, and for a widely used system of maritime flag signalling, known as Marryat's Code. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sky on 24 Sept. 2005
Format: Paperback
I have read this book several times, and each time I find something new that makes me smile. It is a story about the life of Jack Easy, told from the time of his birth through to him growing up and serving on board a ship and all the adventures that he encounters in life. When I first read it, I was really young and appreciated the adventures in the book. On subsequent reading at an older age, I found so much humour it was incredible. As an adult, I have still kept my copy of this book. To be honest this book would appeal to any guy from the age of 10 upwards, although some of the phrases used in the book make no sense these days. Also they were not allowed to say 'Damn' in books in those days, so they say 'D___' instead, which is really quaint. The story may be almost 200 years old and it still makes good reading, but sadly I have never personally known anyone else who has read this book. Makes me wonder what other good books there may be that will be completely forgotten one day.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Martin Akiyama on 18 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback
Jack Easy is a teenage philosopher during the time of the Napoleonic Wars, who believes that all men are equal and all property should be held in common. Finding that the landowners he poaches fish and steals apples from are unwilling to listen to his arguments, he joins the Navy, believing that since the sea belongs to no man, everyone in the navy must be equal. In the Navy, Jack's unwillingness to follow orders leads him into a series of fantastic adventures.

Basically, it's a mixture of shaggy dog story and swashbuckling adventure. It's funny and very easy to read, considering it was written in 1836. I'd definitely read anything else I find by this author.

This edition (Heart of Oak Sea Classics published by Henry Holt) has footnotes that explain the more obscure naval terminology and quotations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Barty Literati on 18 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
A REVIEW OF `MR MIDSHIPMAN EASY' by CAPTAIN MARRYAT

First published in 1836, `Mr Midshipman Easy' is a fabulous novel of its time. Defining its genre is not (like its title) easy, as what is superficially a maritime adventure novel is also peppered with moments of rich comedy, satire, romance and historical detail. In essence, `Mr Midshipman Easy' is a sprawling, ambitious epic that deserves to be read at a sensible pace and enjoyed on many levels.

Despite the book's length, the plot of `Mr Midshipman Easy' is thin indeed. Jack Easy, an indulged child, brought up by a mother who spoils him and a father who instils in him the philosophy of equality and "the rights of man" (very fashionable in 1836, although described as "nonsense" by our narrator throughout), heads off to join the Royal Navy in order to share his views. What follows is a series of episodic adventures, some hilarious, others purely swash-buckling, but all highly readable.

Captain Marryat was himself a naval officer and he brings a real touch of authenticity to his settings and characters. The crew of Easy's first vessel, The Harpy, are well-drawn, with victims, bullies, routines, rituals and pecking-orders that fly fully in the face of the philosophy of "our hero" (as Marryat brands Easy). There is surely a touch of irony in this title as, at times, Jack's behaviour is downright insubordinate. Many of his early scrapes are the result of his own hot-headedness and infuriating habit of wishing to eulogise about "the rights of man." Indeed, his favourite phrase seems to be, "I will gladly argue the point," which can occur on occasions as diverse as around the mess table or during a brawl.

For fans of adventure classics, `Mr Midshipman Easy' has much to offer.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I am delighted to see this neglected classic out on Kindle; a decision surely based on love and faith by the publisher, since it has gone right out of fashion and the author is not around to revive it.

This is a great read largely because it reeks of authenticity. High seas adventure set in Napoleonic times, it was written fairly soon afterwards (in 1836) by a man who had long experience of the British Navy.

It tells the tale of Jack Easy, a boy brought up in privilege and thrust into the rough and tumble of war while still a teenager. He has a thoughtful side which adds greatly to the humour of the book, but you read it basically for the Boys Own adventure and to relive the behaviour of men in desperate situations.

I now realise that the author - like C S Forester with Hornblower - has based his character on Sir Alexander Cochrane, the then celebrated naval hero of the Napoelonic Wars. He died just four years before this book was written and Marryat knew him. (I apologise for this superfluous piece of anorakism but we history buffs tend to relish such things.)

I have docked a point because, when I re-read this book as an adult, I was all too aware that it is structurally flawed. That is to say, it's all over the place, but it's a testament to the atmospheric writing that you read on regardless, awaiting the next hair-raising and/or insane incident. And it always delivers.
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