Posting Duchess and the Devilscreencaps over at following_sea reminded me of something else I've been meaning to post for ages. I've always been curious about Pellew's reaction to Hornblower's captivity and escape, and the utterly improbable reappearance of Archie several years after he'd presumably been given up for dead. How would he have responded to their absence and return? Alas the series gives us very little indication.
Several of the Indefatigable's historical midshipmen did actually get captured by the French while crewing prizes, though mercifully all where swiftly exchanged or managed to escape and return to their ship. We can only imagine what Pellew must have felt on learning that they had been captured, but one of their fellow midshipmen, Nicholas Pateshall, lamented their fate in a letter to his brother:
The most valuable of our prizes which I mentioned in my last was retaken by a French privateer within 5 miles of Falmouth in which I lost a worthy messmate and two other midshipmen.
There is one letter from Pellew however, written in direct response to a former prisoner of war, Donat Henchy O'Brien. O'Brien was captured while serving as a master's mate aboard the Hussar frigate, which was wrecked off the Saints in 1803, while carrying despatches from Pellew. Thus began five years of imprisonment at Charlemont, Verdun and the notorious citadelle of Bitche. O'Brien was not a man to be contained though, he managed to escape, or in his own words “went on the tramp”, three times and during his second failed solitary attempt survived a gruelling month on the run along the banks of the Rhine in the depth of winter. O’Brian finally got away with three companions after descending the ramparts of Bitche and walking half the length of Europe from Lorraine to Trieste. After the war, O'Brian wrote an account of his experiences called My Adventures During The Late War: An account of his shipwreck, captivity, and escape from France, after undergoing a series of sufferings which lasted for nearly five years. Following publication, O'Brien sent a copy of his narrative to Pellew who responded with the following letter.
London, 14th May, 1825 My Dear Sir
I found on my table, on my return home, your kind note and your Narrative. I feel very much obliged to you for both, but particularly for the latter, which I shall preserve well bound, that my grandchildren may read and admire your manly and unconquerable spirit,—your indefatigable zeal and perseverance; giving a noble example to their young minds of what a British officer can do for the honour of his country and his own.
Accept my sincere and cordial thanks, and believe me, my very sincere good wishes will ever attend you.
I have the honour to be, My dear Sir,
Most faithfully and much yours, Exmouth.
I love the fact that Pellew refers to O'Brian's "indefatigable zeal" and I like to think that he would have responded to Archie's attempts to escape in similar terms.
Out to Sheepshead Bay today to our dentist. Son was the one in the chair. Dentist would have taken me, if he had time. But there was not time, so I am to come back for another visit.
Husband did not go today, although he needs the most work done. He was in Manhattan taking his final exam in Differential Equations. I am sure he would have preferred a nice extraction. He likes the dentist because he can sleep in the chair. They put the chair back, and he is out. He does not care what they do as long as they let him sleep. He can sleep through a root canal. I have seen him do it. Despite the in your face nature of dental work, I am always interested in the cool gadgets they have. Every year the dentists seem to have better stuff. This one has the X-ray where you stick your head in a box and they shoot from all angles at once.
So I sat there as they drilled, and did my Spanish.
This lesson had some good sentences.
'She drinks the oil'
'The lamp has no oil' (Well, of course not, she drank it. Also why are they using oil lamps anyway?)
'She knows the code.'
'She has the disc.'
'The petroleum is ours!'
This is turning into sort of a spy story, maybe. Or maybe I just have spies on the brain from thinking about Marlowe.
I had a nice long subway ride. I was able to watch people and wonder about them. The man sitting across from me was a young Hispanic guy, He was holding an ice-pack against his face. He looked very sad. I was thinking--maybe he has been to the dentist too. Maybe they took his wisdom teeth out. Maybe he has been in a fight. I will never know.
And i saw a Hasidic man give up his seat for a woman in a hijab who had two little kids. She smiled up at him and he tipped his hat like a cowboy.
Also I saw one woman help another carry a stroller down the stairs. The baby sat inside like a little beetle in a flower. She waved as she passed me down the stairs.
So this going to be Memorial Day weekend. We are not going anywhere, or doing anything in particular. Daughter has no school Monday. It has been very hot, like summer is really getting going. Early this year. It had actually been pretty uncomfortable the last few days, then today the heat broke with rain. Maybe that is why everyone seemed so happy and friendly.
I watched The Duchess and The Devil last week for the first time in ages. I've watched clips often enough (*cough*) but it's a while since I've sat down and watched the entire episode end to end. So, a few brief thinky thoughts, with pretty screencaps :)
It takes courage to live the life of a freelancer. Many of my friends who are full-time writers are backed up by partners who have a more reliable stream of income, but even that is no guarantee of financial stability. All it takes is one health crisis, one natural disaster or family emergency and the whole house of cards comes falling down. And let's not mention the other perils of a writers life--publishers going bankrupt, checks arriving months after payment was due, option books being declined, series canceled, publishers merging and slashing acquisitions, being orphaned, well I could list more but frankly it's too depressing.
When coworkers learn I'm a published author, the first question they ask is generally "Why are you still working here?" The perception is that I'm rich, and no matter how much I explain otherwise, I'm not sure I've changed anyone's mind. Instead of accepting that this is the reality for most writers, they then assume that I'm simply bad at it :-)
Enormous thanks to ioanite for sharing her fabulous Comic Con story with us! Have you come back down to earth yet my dear?
An obliging fangirl called SciFiChick7 has uploaded the first part of Ioan's panel to youtube here. It's very sweet! I particularly like the way he admits that he owes several of his career breaks to the fact that he looks good in costume :D Archie agrees.
This vid is labeled "Ioan Gruffudd Q&A Interview Part 1", but alas there is no sign of Part 2 yet ;)
I've just posted the book discussion for the paperback release of Sherwood Smith's Banner of the Damned, part of her Inda universe, at the DAW Books blog (dawbooks)! Swing on by and check it out! It's a stand-alone novel from that universe, so you can pick this one up without having read the others in the series.
(I'm sure somebody will say this is God's punishment on countries tolerating gay marriage or some such unbiblical tosh. I refuse to believe in a God who would do something like that - surely that's a God made in man's image? The God I believe in will be with the rescuers and the medical workers and the comforters, weeping tears with them.)