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July 24 , 2009

The Cruise of the Dainty, Rovings in the Pacific


Another book of great adventure, this time in the Pacific, where, at the time, many of the Islanders were, with good reason, ill-disposed towards Europeans, having been tricked so often invarious unpleasant ways, even to the point where they would be invited on board to do some bartering, only to be battened below hatches, and then sailed off to Peru to be used as slaves.Our adventurers encounter hostility in places, but on the whole their worst enemies are the weather, and also ill-intentioned crews of vessels such as those described above. According to Wikipedia: "William Henry Giles Kingston (28 February 1814 - 5 August 1880), writer of tales for boys, was born in London, but spent much of his youth in Oporto, where his father was a merchant. His first book, The Circassian Chief, appeared in 1844. His first book for boys, Peter the Whaler, was published in 1851, and had such success that he retired from business and devoted himself entirely to the production of this kind of literature, in which his popularity was deservedly great; and during 30 years he wrote upwards of 130 tales, including The Three Midshipmen (1862), The Three Lieutenants (1874), The Three Commanders (1875), The Three Admirals (1877), Digby Heathcote, etc. He also conducted various papers, including The Colonist, and Colonial Magazine and East India Review. He was also interested in emigration, volunteering, and various philanthropic schemes. For services in negotiating a commercial treaty with Portugal he received a Portuguese knighthood, and for his literary labours a Government pension."
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