Saved from the Sea, the Loss of the Viper, and Her Crew's Saharan Adventures : The Loss of the Viper and her Crew's Saharan Adventures
The books starts off with a young Grammar-School boy being introduced to the local tailor, who is also a bit of a linguist. Our hero, and his friend Halliday, learn Arabic with the tailor. This turns out later on to have been very fortunate. Our hero and his friend are taken on as midshipmen on a frigate, where they are well trained. They spend three years at sea, and have the chance of visiting various ports in the Eastern Mediterranean, and also of getting to Cairo. However their next appointment is to the Viper, a brig which is barely stable. They almost upset on one occasion, and then really do sink when off the coast of Africa. Our friends and a couple of other seamen are lucky enough to have got off on a simple raft, though all the rest of the crew perish. Hungry and thirsty they find themselves on a sandbank at a considerable distance from the mainland. And it is at this point that their adventures really begin. The book is copiously illustrated with engravings, some of which are very nice when viewed with the pdf version of the book, but which are not always so good in the html version. Although the name of the illustrator is not given on the title page, the word Riou appears on most of the engravings, along with a second, longer, name, which most probably is that of the engraver. According to Wikipedia: William Henry Giles Kingston (28 February 1814 - 5 August 1880), writer of tales for boys, was born in London, but spent much of his youth in Oporto, where his father was a merchant. His first book, The Circassian Chief, appeared in 1844. His first book for boys, Peter the Whaler, was published in 1851, and had such success that he retired from business and devoted himself entirely to the production of this kind of literature, in which his popularity was deservedly great; and during 30 years he wrote upwards of 130 tales, including The Three Midshipmen (1862), The Three Lieutenants (1874), The Three Commanders (1875), The Three Admirals (1877), Digby Heathcote, etc. He also conducted various papers, including The Colonist, and Colonial Magazine and East India Review. He was also interested in emigration, volunteering, and various philanthropic schemes. For services in negotiating a commercial treaty with Portugal he received a Portuguese knighthood, and for his literary labours a Government pension.
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B&R Samizdat Express
December 04, 2007
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