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Doctor Dogbody's Leg (Heart of Oak Sea Classics Series)
     

Doctor Dogbody's Leg (Heart of Oak Sea Classics Series)

by James Norman Hall, Dean King
 

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Ripping sea yarns from the creator of Mutiny on the Bounty.

James Norman Hall is best known as the co-author of the classic Bounty trilogy. In his later years, his favorite work was writing the tales spun by Dr. Dogbody, a peg-legged old salt who never lets the truth get in the way of a good story. Doctor Dogbody's tales vividly recreate the Napoleonic Wars, and

Overview

Ripping sea yarns from the creator of Mutiny on the Bounty.

James Norman Hall is best known as the co-author of the classic Bounty trilogy. In his later years, his favorite work was writing the tales spun by Dr. Dogbody, a peg-legged old salt who never lets the truth get in the way of a good story. Doctor Dogbody's tales vividly recreate the Napoleonic Wars, and delight with broad comedy, rollicking naval adventure, and characters that will live on in the reader's memory.

Editorial Reviews

Percy Hutchinson
About the jolliest bit of chaff one is likely to come across in a long month of Sundays. -- NY Times Book Review
Library Journal
With this 1940 title, Holt launches its new "Heart of the Oak Sea Classics" series. Written by the coauthor of the Bounty trilogy, this is one of many books that follow the adventures of title character Dr. Dogbody, a peg-legged old salt from the 18th century. Sea stories are making a comeback, so when all your Patrick O'Brians are out, recommend Hall.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805058314
Publisher:
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
06/15/1998
Series:
Heart of Oak Sea Classics
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.71(d)

Read an Excerpt

ON A DREARY AUTUMN EVENING when the clouds hung low in the heavens and the masts and yards of the tall men-of-war in the harbour were obscured by a chill drizzle of rain, there was no more inviting spot in Portsmouth than the taproom of Will Tunn's Cheerful Tortoise. But times were dull, now that Napoleon had been safely exiled to Saint Helena; half the fleet was paid off, ships laid up, and the Royal Dockyards, which had hummed with activity two years before, were reduced to the peacetime establishment.

The Cheerful Tortoise had suffered with the rest of the community from the return of peace, although the creature which gave the inn its name smiled down upon passersby with its old-time air of wistful geniality. The inn sign, as Mr. Tunn himself was willing to admit, was a veritable work of art. Carved from a huge slab of oak by an old seaman, many years before, it was impervious to wind and weather; only the strongest gale would cause it to swing slightly on its heavy gilded chain. Many a thirsty seaman, just ashore, would stop short to gaze in admiration at Will Tunn's tortoise, touch his hat to it with a grin, and seek no farther for refreshment. The carapace was a bright sea-green, the calipee pale blue, and the flippers yellow, while the head, with its eager smiling face, was richly ornamented and picked out in gold leaf. But the tortoise was greater than the sum of its parts, thanks to a happy stroke of seaman's genius. Its attitude of absorbed interest as it craned its neck to one side, as though to gaze past the lintel of the doorway into the taproom, combined with its smile, in which sadness at thought of its own deprivations seemed to be mingled with unselfish delight at thought of the good cheer and good company within, had made it a famous tavern animal amongst innumerable swans, blue boars, cocks, dogs and ducks, red lions, green dragons, white harts, and horses that adorned the highroad between Portsmouth and London.  

Mr. Tunn's house stood on a corner a short distance from the waterfront. Although not one of the great posting-inns of the time, it was a place of call for some of the principal London coaches, and was especially frequented by men who followed the sea. It was a brick building of three stories which had been raised in the substantial manner of the period, to last for centuries. A door studded with brass nails gave directly upon the taproom with its dark paneled wainscoting, its floor of red bricks, well worn and scrubbed, its casks on trestles with a line of bright spigots behind the high old-fashioned bar, and its comfortable recesses with oaken tables, the chairs and settees upholstered in breeches-polished leather. One such recess alongside a mighty fireplace at the far end of the room was reserved for the "props" of the house, as the landlord called them, old friends and steady patrons who well deserved the name.

Beyond the taproom and connected with it by a wide passageway was the kitchen, an apartment equally spacious, whose dusky rafters were festooned with sides of bacon, hams, sausages, strings of onions, and parcels of dried herbs. Pots and pans polished to a degree of brightness something past perfection hung on pegs about the fireplace, where an entire bullock might almost have turned on the spit. At one side of the kitchen stood a long deal table, scrubbed white, where guests of the humbler sort were furnished with food and drink. On the floor above, reached by a staircase from the taproom, was the handsome apartment in which Tunn's famous dinners were served, and where four tall windows looked to the westward toward the Royal Dockyards and the shipping in the harbour. Along a carpeted passageway were the sitting rooms and bedchambers for travelers. On the third floor, where mullioned windows projected from the steep slope of the roof, were the quarters for postboys, coachmen, and hostlers, and for the landlord and his staff.

Copyright c 1967 Sarah M. Hall

What People are Saying About This

Anne Chotzinoff Grossman
"What pleasanter way to spend an evening than comfortably ensconced at the Cheerful Tortoise, with a roaring fire and a bottle of Will Tunn's best old Port Royal; and that veritable starfish F. Dogbody yarning away, losing yet another larboard leg in preposterous fashion. God's rabbit, such admirable nonesense. There's heroism here, adventure and bold seamanship; there's good cheer, gentle humor, rich period detail." Co-atuhor of Lobscouse & Spottend Dog, the authorized Patrick O'Brian cookbook
Lisa Grossman Thomas
"What pleasanter way to spend an evening than comfortably ensconced at the Cheerful Tortoise, with a roaring fire and a bottle of Will Tunn's best old Port Royal; and that veritable starfish F. Dogbody yarning away, losing yet another larboard leg in preposterous fashion. God's rabbit, such admirable nonesense. There's heroism here, adventure and bold seamanship; there's good cheer, gentle humor, rich period detail." Co-atuhor of Lobscouse & Spottend Dog, the authorized Patrick O'Brian cookbook

Meet the Author

James Norman Hall (1887-1951) was co-author with Charles Bernard Nordhoff of the Bounty trilogy, as well as The Hurricane and Botany Bay, among other works. His individual works include The Tale of a Shipwreck and Mid-Pacific. He lived in Tahiti and California.

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