Thursday, March 16, 2006

Tall tales and true

I once gave my wife an older edition of Francis Parkman's the Oregon Trail. Looking at the back I see some evidence that the standards of the early 20th century were a bit higher for the kids. On its adventure related recommended books for boys, we have tons of FJ Cooper, Jules Verne, RL Stevenson, Dickens. All high quality stuff. Nowadays, much of this is saved for college! Ok, not the Verne, but you get my point.

I am was interested that I was unfamiliar with only two of the authors. One was Captain Marryat, who was apparently one of the creators of the sea story. I think much of his stuff is out of print judging by the fact that the entirety of Masterman Ready is available online. The Horatio Hornblower books appear to be partially based on Marryat's books. Then we have By Pyke And Dyke, which elicits all sorts of images. Those wise in the ways of early modern history will guess this about the Dutch wars, and it is in fact about a young Englishman having adventures in Holland while the dastardly Spanish attempt to quash the rebellion.

I guess back in the day, parents didn't mind if the kids had a little ass kicking in their books.

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