Captain Marriyat: sailor, writer and adventurer

The year 2022 marks the 230th anniversary of Frederick Joseph Marryat birth(1792-1848)an English writer, naval officer, traveler, hero of the Napoleonic Wars, the author of nautical adventure novels that conquered the hearts of readers of the XIX century and continue to conquer them to this day.

Marriet was born into a middle-class family. His father, Joseph Marryat, was a member of parliament and also served as a colonial agent on the island of Grenada.

Since childhood, the boy dreamed of the sea and even tried several times to escape to a ship.

At the age of 14, in 1806, Marriet enlisted in the Royal Navy. He served as a midshipman and then as a midshipman on the frigate Imperieuse under the command of Lord Cochrane, whose fate would later inspire Marriet as a writer.

During his service, Frederick experienced the battle near the Gironde, the rescue of a cadet who fell overboard, the capture of many ships off the Mediterranean coast of Spain, and the capture of the castle of Mongat. In 1809 Marriet contracted malaria and returned to England. A little later he spent a few more years in the Navy and by 1815 had risen to the rank of captain of the third rank.

Marriet subsequently pursued science, and the result was the invention of a more advanced lifeboat. His invention earned him a gold medal from the Royal Water Rescue Society and the nickname "Lifeboat.

In November 1830 he bids farewell to the sea, decides to retire and devote himself entirely to literature. From 1832 to 1835 Marriet edited “Metropolitan Magazine”, in which several of his novels appeared. His works, which he had published before, began to appear regularly, his greatest success being “Mr. Midshipman Easy”, published in 1836.

In general, the action of most of the writer's works describing naval battles and adventures at sea, unfolded during the Napoleonic Wars: “The Naval Officer, or Scenes in the Life and Adventures of Frank Mildmay” (1829), “Peter Simple” (1834), “Mr. Midshipman Easy” (1836) and others. In the novels “Jacob the Faithful” (1834) and “Snarleyyow or The Dog Fiend”(1837) his talent as a humorist was manifested.

Marryat during this period travels in Canada and the United States, after which he published " Diary inAmerican " (1839), expressing the author's opinion on the political system of the country. And then in 1839 he settled in London, where he socialized in the circle of Charles Dickens, Clarkson Frederick Stanfield, Samuel Rogers and others.

His last novels were mostly for children, including his most famous juvenile book “The Children of the New Forest”.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of his invention and other achievements.

Marriet's novels are a characteristic of the times. In them, issues of family relations and social status often overshadow naval battles. His books are interesting above all as artistic accounts of the real life experiences the author had at sea. His works, particularly admired by Joseph Conrad and Ernest Hemingway, were among the first maritime novels.


                                                 Polnikov Alexey,
                                                 librarian of the Department of the International Book