Frederick Marryat: South West and by West three-quarters West


This review cannot have quotations to ‘box its compass’ because, as with its central character Jack Littlebrain, I did not surreptitiously write them down to assist my poor memory’s winning of a roast goose dinner. Suffice to say, by other means, this is the tale of Jack and his career at sea under the auspices of his uncle the Admiral. The latter tries to help him cheat his own disability of stupidity so as to further him in the ranks rather than sending him to Bedlam or simply allowing him to remain in the tale’s audit trail towards the avoidable destiny of being cured, for good and all, by a tomahawk in the head.
The eponymous wind has indeed brought to me, if garbled later by my mind, these memories of such a wind as herself in this tale — this point-of-the-compass-wind as a gentle fairy that shared Jack’s cabin bed and loved him till the last, despite his forgetting himself when told by her never to mention any other wind directions even during his official duties amid the cruelty of winter. She also induces me to think that this tale of herself is a revelation, a perfectly couched fantasy tale that should have been anthologised and iconised more than all those other tales that were over-promoted beyond their ability.


Full context of this review:

Above image: Ade Hodges

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