Reply To: Early 19th century popular sailor narratives

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Brian D. H

    I have the following to hand if the information is of use to you, latest date for publication:
    The Adventures of John Wetherell, 1780-1834, edited Forester, Michael Joseph, 1954;
    Landsman Hay: the memoires of Robert Hay, 1789-1847, edited M D Hay, Hart-Davis, 1953;
    ‘Jack Nastyface’, Memoirs of William Robinson 1805-1811, Chatham, 2002;
    Above and under Hatches, Recollections of James Anthony Gardner c.1780-1814, edited R Vesey Hamilton and J K Laughton, Chatham, 2000;
    A voice from the Main Deck, being a record of the thirty year adventures of Samuel Leech, [up to 1848] Chatham, 1999.
    Slightly earlier:
    The narrative of William Spavens, a Chatham pensioner : a unique lower deck view of the navy of the Seven Years War, written by himself, Chatham, 1998

    My own best source is a book called The Log Book, published c.1830 and composed of some 500 pages of Yarns, historical Tales, Stories, Naval Biographies, Accounts of Battles, Poetry, Anecdotes, Witticisms, none longer than two pages but some serialised throughout the book. I believe this can be referenced through the British Library Catalogue but cannot be certain. The only other note I have for this is: J & W Robins, c.1830.

    [Editor’s note: The Log Book, or Nautical Miscellany, is a compilation made by the Victorian journalist and novelist, Matthew Henry Barker, using the pseudonym ‘An Old Sailor’, and was originaly published in 32 weekly numbers and then 8 monthly issues from 1826. The only copies listed in COPAC – the catalogue of the UK research libraries’ collections – of the collected edition (published by Robins c.1830) are held in the University of Edinburgh Library and the Bodleian Library Oxford, who also hold the only catalogued copy of the somewhat unsatisfactorily edited second edition published
    by Cohn in 1934. Several copies of an apparently similar compilation of nautical tales by ‘An Old Sailor’, Tough Yarns, are available online]