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In seventeenth-century England, orphaned Philip Marsham, forced to flee London after a terrible accident, finds himself in an even more difficult situation when his ship is taken over by pirates and he is forced to become a member of their crew.
Posted March 28, 2013
In seventeenth-century England, nineteen-year-old Philip Marsham’s mother had died when he was young, and his ship captain father Thomas raised him on the sea. Philip would have been with his father when Thomas’s ship went down and he was lost, but the son had become ill and was being nursed in London by his father’s hopeful fiancée Moll Stevens. But an unfortunate accident forces him to flee London. He meets up with a couple of sailors headed for a ship at Bideford, and Philip goes with them. Along the way they stop at an inn where he meets Nell Entick and they agree that he will return to marry her. At Bideford, he signs on with the Rose of Devon, a dark frigate bound for the quiet shores of Newfoundland. However, the ship is seized in midocean by a devious group of men plucked from a floating wreck, the Captain is murdered, and Philip is unwillingly coerced into joining these "gentlemen of fortune" or pirates on their evil activities. What will happen when they are caught and Philip is brought to trial? And will he ever see Nell Entick again? This book won the 1924 John Newbery Medal.
I admit I was a bit apprehensive about reading the book as a result of some evaluations, but now that I have it doesn’t seem to me that it was as bad as they implied. Yes, some of the women are less than virtuous, but in contrast Philip Marsham himself is a model of honesty and loyalty. He didn’t come across to me generally as having “an eye towards comely women” but simply as a young man of nineteen smiling at “a comely lass” who caught his attention and whom he decided that he wanted to marry. A little bad language is found along with a lot of references to drinking alcohol, and I will grant that some of the murder descriptions are rather blunt, especially that of Will Canty. For that reason I would not recommend it for small or sensitive children, but after all it is a pirate story, and there is really nothing worse than what one would read in Treasure Island or a G. A. Henty novel. Charles Hawes’s first novel was The Mutineers written in 1920, though not published until 1925. He won a Newbery Honor Award in 1922 for The Great Quest, but then died shortly after the publication of The Dark Frigate, and his widow had to accept the Medal. If you are looking for a rousing seafaring adventure with bloody battles, brutal buccaneers, and a bold, spirited hero, The Dark Frigate will fill the bill.
Posted January 31, 2008
Posted March 19, 2006
Poor Phillip Marsham, he joined a frigate in his teens and then the ship is taken over by a bunch of pirates. Fortunately for Phillip the pirate captain realizes how loyal Phillip is. Will he make it back to England? You'll just have to read the book and trust me it will be worth it. i enjoyed this book very much and I'm very picky when it comes to books. One of the few downfalls on the book is getting used to the English dialogue, but after that it really gives you a feel for what it was like in the 1640's. Other than that this a great book of a journey of a young man. You can see how well the author develops Phillip into a real man throughout the book. The author obviously took this book to heart and it definately payed off. I wouldn't argue with the reward he received any day of the week.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 2, 2006
The Dark Frigate is an exciting seafaring adventure story of Philip Marsham, a young man bred to sea who signs up with the Rose of Devon. The frigate is taken by pirates and Philip is forced to accompany them. Set in the time of King Charles and seventeenth century England, this story is extremely well written. A tremendous amount of care and thought went into writing this one and well worth reading again and again.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 22, 2003
This is a great tale of adventures on the seas and piracy! After reading it, I could easily understand why it was a Newberry Award winner. It has some old English in it, but once you get used to reading it, you'll find it is a very good story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 8, 2002
this book-on-tape is a wonderful way to spend some time escaping into an interesting and exciting story...Domenick Allen's narration is magical. He provides a multitude of characters that bring the words to life for the listener.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.