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Mr. Midshipman Easy by [Marryat, Frederick]
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Mr. Midshipman Easy Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Kindle Edition, 10 Nov 2013
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Length: 322 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"[Marryat's] greatness is undeniable." --Joseph Conrad, Notes on "Life and Letters"

"Marryat has the power to set us in the midst of ships and men and sea and sky all vivid, credible, authentic." Virginia Woolf"

"[Marryat's] greatness is undeniable." Joseph Conrad, Notes on "Life and Letters""

Synopsis

The story of an English midshipman during the Napoleonic Wars includes French prisons, love affairs, life at sea, and naval warfare.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1787 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Heraklion Press (10 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GOGZDP6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #414,731 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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: Paperback
Having only previously read Marryat’s ‘Children of the New Forest’, I didn't know this was a comic novel. It's like Voltaire’s Candide, with some Robinson Crusoe, perhaps a smidgen of Tom Jones and even a little bit of Humphrey Clinker thrown in. The story begins just before Jack Easy’s birth. His is an amateur philosopher, who, like Voltaire’s enlightened idiot Pangloss with his theory of Optimism, has an idealistic and dogmatic and slightly ridiculous view of equality and the rights of man. To put this theory to the test, Jack joins the navy (an unlikely way to go about it, you may well think). After early comical misunderstandings, he travels the seas and meets a range of characters and finds himself in all sorts of situations, with his very own Man Friday in the form of Mesty. Jack's father's philosophy is not so much put to the test as gradually becoming irrelevant, until he meets his father again towards the end, during which their discussion struck me as not really leading to any conclusion. Anyway, just as Candide marries Cunégonde in the end, to live happily ever after in the best of all possible worlds, or as close to it as anyone’s going to get in this world, so Jack Easy and his Sicilian bride Agnes marry and live happily ever after. An amusing read in parts, but dated in two ways: the ideas really belong to the century before, and yet the style is old fashioned for the centuries to follow.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was given a copy of this book 60 year ago by an aunt. I never managed to read it then and what a tale I missed. There are times when it stretches credibility a little but Frederick Marryat writes in a very modern style and knows just how to string together a good yarn. Mr Easy really is a twit but manages to be so likeable he gets away with it. I cannot imagine the Royal Navy of those days being quite so tolerant of such a maverick, but Marryat wrote it so and he was of the time so perhaps they were. I look forward to reading some more of his books now.
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