The young hero of this tale is Dick Delamere, who was already a midshipman, on leave, but who receives a letter from the Captain of the Europa, recalling him to join the ship at Portsmouth. The date of the events that ensue is the very late eighteenth century.
The first few chapters cover the events while the Europa is on patrol in the Chops of the Channel and the Bay of Biscay. The British are hostile to the French and to the Dutch, and there are engagements with vessels of these nations. Thereafter the vessel sails to the West Indies, where one of the problems is to exterminate the pirates infesting those waters. The book describes, possibly fairly accurately, the life of a midshipman of those days and in those waters. At one point Dick receives a very serious head-wound, but recovers with good treatment in the Naval Hospital. On the whole the book has echoes of the immortal works of Captain Marryat, which I am sure our author had studied very carefully.
Collingwood has exceptional powers of description, and this book makes a good read, and, of course, a good audiobook.
Harry Collingwood (1851-1922). Pseudonym of William Joseph Cosens Lancaster, a civil engineer who specialised in seas and harbours.
A PDF of scans and an HTML version of this book are provided. We also provide a plain TEXT version and full instructions for using this to make your own audiobook. To find these click on the PDF, HTML or TXT links on the left.
These transcriptions of books by various nineteenth century authors of instructive books for teenagers, were made during the period 1997 to the present day by Athelstane e-Books. Most of the books are concerned with the sea, but in any case all will give a good idea of life in the nineteenth century, and sometimes earlier than that. This of course includes attitudes prevalent at the time, but frowned upon nowadays.
We used a Plustek OpticBook 3600 scanner to scan the pages. We then made a pdf which we used to assist with editing the OCRed text.
To make a text version we used ABBYY Finereader 8 to produce a first draft of the text, and Athelstane software to find misreads and improve the text. We proof-read the chapters, and then made a CD with the book read aloud by either Fonix ISpeak or TextAloud MP3. The last step enables us to hear and correct most of the errors that may have been missed by the other steps, as well as entertaining us during the work of transcription.
The resulting text can be read either here at the Internet Archive or at www.athelstane.co.uk