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Fredrick Marryat (1792-1848) Biography

Early Life

Captain Frederick Marryat, born on July 10, 1792, in London and died, August 9, 1848, in Langham, England. He was a renowned writer and naval officer.  He entered the Royal Navy at the age of 14, and got distinction worldwide, before retiring in the year 1830 possessing the rank of Captain.

During his tenure as an officer, he partook in several missions around the globe. Like,  being on ‘Centaur’, being on the H.M.S. Impérieuse in 1806, or being on the Aeolus in 1811.

During his voyage in the Impérieuse, he engaged in various highly notorious campaigns, such as the capture of Castle Montgat. He contracted malaria during his voyage and had to take time off to heal, returning years later to the seas.

He was considered the hero of the Napoleonic wars, gaining popularity for his novels in the 1st half of the 19th century to this day.

He married Catherine Shairp in 1819 and sired 11 children. According to some sources, Marryat, due to his artistic skills in drawing, was elected as a  member of the Royal Society. His sketch of Napoleon Bonaparte that he did after Napoleon’s demise, as engraved in England and France.

List of Famous Works by Fredrick Marryat 

He then began writing a series of adventure novels characterized by a lucid, direct narrative style and a touch of humour. Some of these are The King’s Own in 1830, Peter Simple in 1834, and Mr Midshipman Easy in 1836. Which was also adapted into a movie. He also wrote many children’s books.

Before the above-mentioned books, he also edited the Metropolitan Magazine from 1832 to 1835. Herein, few of his novels came out, fully, or in part.

Frederick Marryat diary in America

“A Diary in America, With Remarks on Its Institutions” is the full name of this novel. Captain Frederick Marryat was a British Royal Navy officer, a writer, and an acquaintance of Charles Dickens. He was as an early pioneer of the sea story.  You can read it here.

The Naval Officer, his 1st novel, of 1829, was narrated by Frank Mildmay, whose ascension in the ranks of the Royal Navy mirrored Marryat’s own career. He indulged in many such naval fiction stories.

In his stories, Marryat’s protagonists are often troubled juveniles, who grow and evolve during their adventures, learning from their surroundings, and dire situations that they encounter.  Some of his best-known works are The Kings Own published in 1830, Newton Forster of 1832, and Jacob Faithful of 1834, Mr Midshipman Easy of 1836, Peter Simple TER of 1834, and The Phantom Ship of 1839, based on the legendary ghost ship Flying Dutchman.

In the 1840s, Marryat strayed a little and wrote children’s books, due to their increased demand and sale. Among them, the famous works include Masterman Ready of 1841, Settlers in Canada of 1844, The Mission of 1845, and The Children of the New Forest of 1847 among others.

His final novel, The Little Savages was a tale about a sailor, was completed by Frank S. Marryat. His book, Mr. Midshipman Easy, was converted into a film in 1935 by Carol Reed.

Fredrick Marryat
Fredrick Marryat

In his final years, Marryat gained health problems, along with the news of the demise of his oldest son, Frederick, that destroyed his chances of recovery. He died in Langham, Norfolk, on August 9, 1848.