Reading T.I. - again - Ships Nostalgia
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Reading T.I. - again

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  #1  
Old 18th March 2013, 05:50
Jim the Sawyer Jim the Sawyer is offline
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Reading T.I. - again

Hi, everybody, now that I have kids old enough to enjoy it, I am reading them the unabridged Treasure Island, which is my favorite of the classics. Having recently learned a lot about sailing craft, on this forum, as well as elsewhere, the book comes alive in ways it didn't before.

One thing that surprised me was to see that the Hispaniola was a schooner. I had always pictured it more like a brig or something with square rigging. If the story was written to portray the early to mid-1700's, then the schooner was, I guess, state-of-the-art technology at the time, since it hadn't been too many years since the schooner rigging had been introduced.

Anyway, I'm sure old Robert Louis Stevenson was a bit overly-dramatic or romantic about certain things in the book, but it remains one of the great classics, and one that will keep the imaginations of young ones even to this day.

Jim
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Old 18th March 2013, 12:42
Ron Dean Ron Dean is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim the Sawyer View Post
Hi, everybody, now that I have kids old enough to enjoy it, I am reading them the unabridged Treasure Island, which is my favorite of the classics. Having recently learned a lot about sailing craft, on this forum, as well as elsewhere, the book comes alive in ways it didn't before.

One thing that surprised me was to see that the Hispaniola was a schooner. I had always pictured it more like a brig or something with square rigging. If the story was written to portray the early to mid-1700's, then the schooner was, I guess, state-of-the-art technology at the time, since it hadn't been too many years since the schooner rigging had been introduced.

Anyway, I'm sure old Robert Louis Stevenson was a bit overly-dramatic or romantic about certain things in the book, but it remains one of the great classics, and one that will keep the imaginations of young ones even to this day.

Jim
Jim, like yourself I've just re-read Treasure Island.
I received my copy as a Sunday School attendance prize back in the 1940's and only recently retrieved it from an old packing case (tea chest) which had been relagated to the loft space as containing "nothing important". If I'd known how much pleasure it's retrieval would bring, I'd certainly have accessed it much earlier.
I too always pictured the Hispaniola as a square rigged ship.
Having looked at schooner images on Wiki though, it appears that many schooners did have 2 (sometimes more) square rigged sails.

Ron.
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  #3  
Old 18th March 2013, 13:44
Jim the Sawyer Jim the Sawyer is offline
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Topsail Schooners had a small square rigged sail or two on the foremast. I guess that gave them a little extra speed going down wind. The book we have has drawings, and they've drawn the Hispaniola as a topsail schooner, though it doesn't seem that the book has specifically said it was.

Last edited by Jim the Sawyer; 18th March 2013 at 13:46.. Reason: clarification
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Old 19th March 2013, 00:03
Jim the Sawyer Jim the Sawyer is offline
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Yes, all I was saying was, that it doesn't seem to say whether it was a topsail schooner or just the regular kind.

Later in the book, I think we see that a child does in fact sail it, right into the shoreline. . . .

Haven't gotten that far yet, though, we just completed the apple barrel chapter!
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Old 19th March 2013, 10:06
Aberdonian Aberdonian is online now  
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Two Years Before the Mast

Hi Jim,

As you are interested in “learning the ropes” then a good book to consider reading originates in your own backyard. No doubt you are already familiar with the title

In the late forties a department store in my home town had an intake of reasonably priced good quality illustrated hardbacks from America published in 1946 by The World Publishing Company. My folk bought me Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana Jnr. Written from 1834 onwards and first published in 1840, Dana intended his book to highlight the dismal conditions in American merchant sailing vessels but it soon became a classic.

In the Forward by May Lamberton Becker she claimed, such was the impact of the book, every sailor in the Royal Navy was issued with a copy. This surprised me, given the hard reputation of the RN at the time. However, I recently did a search online and found one other source which backed up her assertion.

Happy reading.

Aberdonian
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Old 19th March 2013, 11:31
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Binnacle Binnacle is offline  
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"There is not so helpless and pitiable an object in the world as a landsman beginning a sailor's life"

Dana (Richard Henry)
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Old 19th March 2013, 11:57
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Duncan112 Duncan112 is offline  
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"There is not so helpless and pitiable an object in the world as a landsman beginning a sailor's life"

Dana (Richard Henry)
Should that not be in the Seasickness thread?
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Old 19th March 2013, 14:34
Jim the Sawyer Jim the Sawyer is offline
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"There is not so helpless and pitiable an object in the world as a landsman beginning a sailor's life"

Dana (Richard Henry)
I am sure that is very true. In any line of work, it is always difficult to train new hands. Sailing is such a very complex thing that having the unexperienced to teach must be a very daunting task indeed.

I have had a taste of that as I have had to train people at new tasks, whether it be milking cows, felling trees, operating chippers, tractors, skidsteers, etc. New people don't know how to hold the tools, guide the machinery, or keep themselves and others safe in the process. So much to learn, and one false move could mean disaster.
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Old 19th March 2013, 14:36
Jim the Sawyer Jim the Sawyer is offline
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I should get myself a copy of 2 Years Before the Mast and read it. I have heard of it, but never read it.
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  #10  
Old 1st April 2013, 22:13
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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Thank you for this, Jim.

I had never read Treasure Island until reading your thread here. I was taken to see a stage-version at Liverpool Playhouse when I was aged about eight - at least sixty years ago - and the yo-ho-ho and the leading characters were so well portrayed that the actual plot (which certainly passed over my head at the time) escaped me - and thus remained unappreciated until now.

What a rattling good yarn it is. 'Tain't really about the sea and ships at all, is it? Where the plot has Jim Hawkins in a coracle chasing after the drifting Hispaniola, this seems distinctly far-fetched, but artistic licence takes care of the point. The diatribe against alcohol seems to be the dominating factor. "Drink and the devil have done for the rest" etc.

From the age of eight, until now, in my own ignorance, I had simply thought of Long John Silver as a colourful character, much lampooned. I'm glad that I've read the book, now, to understand what a wretch he was, and quite how powerfully Stevenson was able to describe him, and all the others, too.
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  #11  
Old 2nd April 2013, 02:33
Jim the Sawyer Jim the Sawyer is offline
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Yes, LJS is definitely a very complex character. If you're reading it for the first time and don't know the plot (and can't anticipate it), you go from liking Long John to hating him, fearing him (within the story) to kind of feeling sorry for him, to trying to imagine what he will do next, and eventually wondering whether he truly has any honor or not. Obviously he is willing and ready to commit murder to get his treasure, and so he is very truly a villain. In the end, you kind of are left with mixed feeling as to how his part in the story ends. (not to spoil it).

Yes, some parts of the story are quite fanciful, and/or exaggerated, but it makes for a great read, and a great one to go through with kids, say ages 8-12, for the first time, and explain all the terms to them as you go. It is definitely my favorite British novel, and I like quite a few others.
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Old 2nd April 2013, 02:42
Jim the Sawyer Jim the Sawyer is offline
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Barry, I have never seen a stage production of it. Do you remember how or if they dealt with the issue of Long John's missing leg? Did they use a one-legged actor, or a two-legged? And if two-legged, did they make any attempt to make him look one-legged?

The Carlton Hesston movie they made in the '90s was distinctly disappointing to me in the one-leg, two-leg department, as it was very obvious they were trying not to film any more full body shots of him than they had to, since they were too cheap to authenticate the special affects necessary to look fluid. At least one time, I saw the two legs on him, too, on the finished film.
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  #13  
Old 18th June 2017, 17:18
mary75 mary75 is offline
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Barrie, I read it as Jim, who had lost his father early in his life, learning what it was to be a man. He had all these examples in front of him, some good and some bad. He was attracted by Long John Silver, yet he eventually saw that in spite of Long John's friendship and lively personality, he was not a man, that is, a good man.
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Old 18th June 2017, 20:24
Robert Hilton Robert Hilton is offline  
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Brilliant writer and poet. Try "Ticonderoga" for a dramatic ballad poem.

I seem to remember Treasure Island ending with, "Oxen and wain ropes could not drag me back to that...island." Probably not accurate after about 70 years.
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  #15  
Old 19th June 2017, 09:28
Laurie Ridyard Laurie Ridyard is offline  
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" Treasure Island " was my favourite book as a child.

The opening words are " Squire Trelawny, Doctor Livesey and the rest...."

MY first ship was M.V. "Trelawny ", complete with Captain Cornish; who reminded me of Billy Bones !!!

Laurie.
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  #16  
Old 19th June 2017, 10:04
tiachapman tiachapman is offline  
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was he still in the apple barrel
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  #17  
Old 19th June 2017, 10:06
tiachapman tiachapman is offline  
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yer mine was capt bligh
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