This is a very short book, probably intended for a younger market than most of Fenn's books. An old seaman finds a ragged and hungry young boy, to whom he talks, finding out that the boy was being brought up by an aunt and her brother. The uncle used to beat the boy too severely to bear, and he had run away from home. The seaman, Jack Jeens, decides to take charge of the boy, but both of them are taken by the press-gang, and end up serving on HMS Victory. The boy, Phil Leigh, gets on well with the other seamen, but is especially fond of Jack. At first he doesn't get on well with the other ship's boys, but one day they are chasing each other round the rigging, and one of the boys, Tom Dodds, falls. Phil is made, as a punishment for causing the fall, to be Tom's nurse, for Tom has broken his leg badly. In the next scene we find ourselves in the midst of the Battle of Trafalgar, and Phil's protector, Jack, is very badly wounded, so now Phil has a second person to nurse. In the final scene we are back in Portsmouth, where the Aunt appears, and tells Phil that the Uncle has gone away, and that he should come home. Phil is unwilling to leave Jack, but the Aunt promises to have him come with them, and be nursed at her house, so that is where the story is complete. According to Wikipedia: George Manville Fenn (January 3, 1831, Pimlico - August 26, 1909, Isleworth) was a British writer. He worked as a teacher in Lincolnshire, until he became printer, editor and publisher of various magazines. He had eight children with his wife Susanna Leake, whom he had married in 1855. Most of hist work consists of adventure stories for young readers, featuring Explorers, Smugglers, young Adventurers and Seamen. His adult novels offer critical social commentary on Victorian England, especially reconsidering economic questions.
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B&R Samizdat Express
November 08, 2007
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