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Frederick Marryat

 

Date Born: 7/10/1792
Place of Birth: London, England

Date Died: 8/9/0
Place of Death: Norfolk, England


One of the fathers of the sea story, Marryat's autobiographical, adult and children's stories influenced later writers from Cooper to Conrad to O'Brian.

Marryat was born in London, the son of Joseph Marryat, a "merchant prince" and member of Parliament. After trying to run away to sea several times, he was permitted to enter the Royal Navy in 1806, as a midshipman on board HMS Imperieuse, a frigate commanded by Lord Cochrane (who would later serve as inspiration for both Marryat and other authors). His early years at sea included rescuing a fellow midshipman, frequent battle and a bout with malaria.

As lieutenant, Marryat served in the sloop Espiegle and in the Newcastle, and was promoted to commander June 13, 1815, just in time for peace to break out. He then pursued scientific studies, invented a lifeboat (thus earning both a gold medal from the Royal Humane Society and the nickname "Lifeboat"), and produced a famous drawing of Napolean on this deathbed.

Aftern an expedition against Burma in 1824, he was promoted to command HMS Tees, 28, and this gave him his post captain rank. He was back in England in 1826. In 1829 he was commanding the frigate HMS Ariadne on a mission to search for shoals around the Madeira and Canary Islands. This was an uninspiring exercise, and between that and the recent publication of his first novel, The Naval Officer, he decided to resign his commission in November 1830 and take up writing full time.

Regular production soon followed, with his biggest success, Mr Midshipman Easy, coming in 1836. He lived in Brussels for a year, travelled in Canada and the United States, then moved to London in 1839, where he was in the literary circle of Charles Dickens and others. He was in North America in 1837 when the Rebellion of that year in Lower Canada broke out, and served with the British forces in suppressing it.

He was named a Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of his invention and other achievements. In 1843 he moved to a small farm at Langham Manor in Norfolk, where he died in 1848. His daughter Florence Marryat later became well-known as a writer and actress.

Marryat's novels are characteristic of their time, with the concerns of family connections and social status often overshadowing the naval action, but they are interesting as fictional renditions of the author's 25 years of real-life experience at sea. These novels, much admired by Joseph Conrad and Ernest Hemingway, were among the first sea novels. They were models for later works by C. S. Forester and Patrick O'Brian that were also set in the time of Nelson and told the stories of young men rising through the ranks through successes as naval officers.

His later novels were generally for the children's market, including his most famous novel for contemporary readers, 'The Children of the New Forest', which was published in 1847.

This article from wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marryat for the full wikipedia article.


Books by Frederick Marryat on Riapress.com

The Naval Officer

By: Frederick Marryat


Marryat's autobiographical first book chronicles a young man's transformation into an officer.


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Mr. Midshipman Easy

By: Frederick Marryat




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Newton Forster

By: Frederick Marryat




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Japhet, in Search of a Father

By: Frederick Marryat




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Masterman Ready

By: Frederick Marryat




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The Phantom Ship

By: Frederick Marryat




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Related Books on Riapress.com

The Life of Nelson

By: Alfred Thayer Mahan





download or read online

The Pickwick Papers

By: Charles Dickens





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Oliver Twist

By: Charles Dickens





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Nicholas Nickleby

By: Charles Dickens





download or read online

Author Web Sites of Interest

Short biography of Marryat from a British maritime history web site.
Interesting facts on the rise of the British navy.

Author Bibliography

Books about Frederick Marryat
Dorling, H. Taprell. Men o' war. London: P. Allan & Co, 1929.
Hannay, David. Life of Frederick Marryat. New York: Haskell House, 1973.
Lloyd, Christopher. Captain Marryat and the Old Navy. London: Longmans, Green and Co, 1939.
Marryat, Florence. Life and letters of Captain Marryat. New York: D. Appleton, 1872.
Warner, Oliver. Captain Marryat, a Rediscovery. London: Constable, 1953.