Maritime Fiction: Sailors and the Sea in British and by J. Peck

By J. Peck

During this vital new research, John Peck examines the cultural importance of maritime novels from Defoe via to Conrad. Focusing particularly at the snapshot of the physique, he illustrates how those works are equipped round the disparity among the masculine and infrequently brutal regime of the send and the civilised values of these who stay at the shore. the 1st entire dialogue of its topic, Maritime Fiction is an unique exploration of the connection among nationwide identification, fiction and the ocean.

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Additional info for Maritime Fiction: Sailors and the Sea in British and American Novels, 1719-1917

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This starts with the activities of the press gang, the extraordinary fact that a body can be snatched and forced into naval service. Discipline on a ship is maintained through physical punishments; flogging is a routine matter, with an escalating series of increasingly cruel punishments, the most extreme of which is flogging through the fleet. The living conditions and food on a ship also take their toll on the body: scurvy, in particular, is a highly visible attack on the body. The same is also true of the three other medical conditions most common among eighteenth- and nineteenth-century seamen: hernia, venereal disease and alcoholism.

Through his strategic awareness and possession of the necessary technology, Crusoe is able to establish a vibrant economy. This involves the management of resources, but also involves the management of men. The newcomers on Crusoe’s island include a sea captain and the men who have mutinied against him; Crusoe, having established that the captain is prepared to accept his authority over him, moves swiftly to shoot the mutineers (pp. 257, 267). He is equally decisive in his treatment of the native cannibals; violence must be used against those who breach a civilized code.

162). His replacement, the effeminate Captain Whiffle, is, if anything, even worse. On board 24 Maritime Fiction ship, the persistent impression is of a vile stench, created by tainted provisions. But it is the callousness of the medical attention that is most shocking. Smollett declares that, ‘It would be tedious and disagreeable to describe the fate of every miserable object that suffered by the inhumanity and ignorance of the captain and surgeon, who so wantonly sacrificed the lives of their fellow-creatures’ (p.

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