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A Royal Achievement


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For you history buffs, especially those of you fascinated by naval history, Solsticeman has the first chapter up for what promises to be a fascinating account of life on board a British flagship. The main characters appear to be eleven and twelve year old boys who are officers, yet not midshipmen (riddle that out). Clue: Samuel Pepys is Secretary to the Navy, and it may not be the Royal Navy...
Read it here: http://iomfats.org/storyshelf/hosted/solsticeman/a-royal-achievement/01.html

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you Merkin and Cole, always a pleasure to see that someone is reading what we write :-)

Merkin is absolutely right this isn't the Royal Navy ... it's The State Ships!

It is due to appear here with Mike's up-market white on black graphics in a few weeks.


There's a lot more of me in this one than I intended. Beware of allegory, like autobiography it can tell you more about yourself than you wanted to remember.

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  • 1 month later...

Thank you Pedro, I'm delighted to see that you enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to seeing it appear here.


In fact extraordinarily little is known about life in the British Navy as it existed at the end of Oliver Cromwell's reign. In 1660 it set out, very reluctantly, to bring Charles Stuart back from exile in Holland, to make Britain a monarchy again.


I was lucky to find the Journal of Edward Barlow, a lowly boy-seaman who kept a diary... just like Samuel Pepys, who as Secretary to the Navy is on the same ship's quarterdeck when they set out to find a King. Between the two diaries I was able to read virtually all that is known about life at sea at that period.

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Jeff -

One of the pleasures of reading stories like A Royal Achievement is that I get the historical context without slogging through the work of reading contemporary historical accounts with its inconsistent spelling and difficult language. So thank you for doing the hard work for me and entertaining me at the same time :-)



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Synystraal...  Very many thanks for your comment. For me, the research is a large part of the story. Some writers can create believable situations from scratch. I may be lazy in that I look for a point in history in which interesting people did interesting things and then I tuck my boy hero in amongst them.


When I was younger I read voraciously and often wished that I could tell the authors what I felt about their writing. The great thing about sites like this is that authors and readers can indeed do exactly that. I wish we did it more... so thank you indeed for your message it was a pleasure to receive your comment.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Dude tells me that it will start posting here on Wednesday 22nd February. Thank you Dude. Less than a week to wait.


I'm quite excited, it took a year to research and write. It's by far the largest of my writings.


It also turned out to be autobiographic... in a curious way. More might be a spoiler.

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Another Solsticeman achievement. I always enjoy those days of the week when Dude posts a new story...its like opening a present. To my delight Jeff has begin to post a new historical saga, and his choice of subject matter will keep the readers enthralled for weeks.

This seems to be a naval story that slipped between the cracks of English history. At least I have no recollection of events in this time period when English governance changed so rapidly. Cromwell and Charles Stuart are quite familiar in regards to events that took place on land, but a sea story approaches this history from a different angle.

I have no doubt it took Jeff many months to assimilate the facts that bolster a story like this, and I welcome all his hard work for our benefit. So off to Chapter Two when it arrives, and my thanks to Jeff for enriching the enjoyment found at AD.  

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Yes indeed Cole a great site. Without somewhere of this quality to post I'd probably have given up years ago,


Chris is quite right... I too had no idea how the Restoration actually happened. I probably assumed Charles Stuart took Ryanair from Schipol. The navy was of course key, and the navy as a whole didn't want to do it!


The only reason I could write this one was because there were two men keeping diaries... one was of course Samuel Pepys of "and so to bed!" fame. He was on the quarterdeck. But the other was a common sailor, in fact still an apprentice to the Master's mate. Just one copy of his journal survived... the original. From him history has learnt what went on below decks at that time.


Chris is also right that this is an all but forgotten period. We are only 72 years after the Spanish Armada, but 145 years before Trafalgar, Hornblower and Nelson.


I came to love my young heroes, they are in the best tradition of "the boy stood on the burning deck". That boy was real, he was French and he died at the Battle of the Nile, refusing to save himself he died alongside his wounded father... he was just 12. So when Jeremy says "Why, I should die!" he is simply reflecting the reality of the day.


By World Wars in our time, a boy needed to be 16 to die in battle at sea... we have made so much progress in four centuries!


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