Read The Dark Frigate by Charles Boardman Hawes Online


In seventeenth century England, a terrible accident forces orphaned Philip Marsham to flee London in fear for his life. Bred to the sea, he signs on with the "Rose of Devon," a dark frigate bound for the quiet shores of Newfoundland.Philip's bold spirit and knowledge of the sea soon win him his captain's regard. But when the "Rose of Devon" is seized in midocean by a devioIn seventeenth century England, a terrible accident forces orphaned Philip Marsham to flee London in fear for his life. Bred to the sea, he signs on with the "Rose of Devon," a dark frigate bound for the quiet shores of Newfoundland.Philip's bold spirit and knowledge of the sea soon win him his captain's regard. But when the "Rose of Devon" is seized in midocean by a devious group of men plucked from a floating wreck, Philip is forced to accompany these "gentlemen of fortune" on their murderous expeditions. Like it or not, Philip Marsham is now a pirate--with only the hangman awaiting his return to England.With its bloody battles, brutal buccaneers, and bold, spirited hero, this rousing tale will enthrall young listeners in search of seafaring adventure....

Title : The Dark Frigate
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780316350099
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 264 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Dark Frigate Reviews

  • Duane
    2019-03-04 16:58

    Having won the Newbery Medal for children's literature in the 1920's, it certainly wouldn't be considered children's literature today. Complete with murdering pirates and filled with rather violent action, it reads more like an adventure/action novel, and may I add, a very good one. It may be my favorite Newbery Medal book to date.1924 Newbery Medal winner.

  • mitchell k dwyer
    2019-02-25 22:57

    As of March 27, 2008, I have now read (and collected data from) something like seventy of the eighty-eight winners of the Newbery Medal. When I set out to read them all, I dreaded the older books, for it was my impression that the early honorees were "good for you" books, and not necessarily good literature. For the most part, this has proven true (SeeGinger Pye,Smoky the Cow Horse,Miss Hickory, andInvincible Louisa.How pleasantly surprised I was by Charles Boardman Hawes's The Dark Frigate, which combines elements of adventure, romance, rebellion, piracy on the high seas, fisticuffs, and even courtroom drama with wonderfully lyrical prose and excellent storytelling. I was most taken with the clarity and cadence of the author's writing, as in this passage:Then, the jury, weighing all that had been said, put together its twelve heads, while such stillness prevailed in the court that a man could hear his neighbor's breathing. It seemed to those whose lives were at stake that the deliberations took as many hours as in reality they took minutes. There are times when every grain of sand in the glass seems to loiter in falling and to drift through the air like thistledown, as if unwilling to come to rest with its fellows below. Yet the sand is falling as fast as ever, though a man whose life is weighing in the balance can scarcely believe it; so at last the jury made an end of its work, which after all had taken little enough time in consideration of the matter they must decide.There is a sorry lack of any real female presence here (it's the topic of my thesis), except as pretty girls for adventurous boys to leave behind and someday return to or as matronly innkeepers, but this qualm aside, it is a solid novel and surprisingly Newbery-worthy.

  • Anita
    2019-03-12 18:57

    1924 Newbery Medal Winner. The Dark Frigate is my third Newbery Medal book as I attempt to read my way through them all from the first. It is a historical fiction set around the time of the English civil war about a 19 your old boy, Philip Marsham, who gets caught up with pirates. I must admit that I had a rough start of it. First I could not find a kindle edition, so I got a free audible trial. I am not used to being read to, and sometimes my ears don't hear well. Combine this with the older and archaic English vocabulary and thick accents from Scotland, Ireland, and England and it was tough. I actually went online to read about the storyline so I could follow it. Finally, approaching the halfway mark, it all started to click for me. I do not consider any of this the book's fault.I suppose the main reason I rated this book as highly as I did is that the character of Philip Marsham is truly complex. I loved getting into his motivations. It seems many adventure stories for kids now are just a bunch of incredible events that the protagonist overcomes. But this story was about a boy, raised a confessional Anglican, who does what he does because of what he believes is right and true outside of himself. Very different than modern adventure protagonists. He finds himself in bad circumstances, and stays true to himself and what he believes is right. And it is his integrity and honesty that make him one of the most brave of all, even of the pirates. He is not afraid of the consequences as long as he can be true. His basic integrity and honesty earn him respect on both sides of the law.Another thing I liked about this book is that the pirates are not just a bunch of party boys out for a good time. They are truly evil. The violence they commit is graphic and cruel. And yet, when the pirates take over the ship Philip is on and they want him to be the boatswain or they will kill him, he lets it be known that it is against his will. And so he makes the best of his circumstance. He holds true to his character and yet works hard as one of the pirates. It is this complexity that makes the book very interesting to me. He has grit. He faces bad circumstances, but not as a victim. Bad circumstances are something he must and will get through. The lead pirate, The Old One, also has a strong character. But it seems he is more like a sociopath than someone who lives by a standard. He completely lacks remorse for his wrongs and mocks the consequences even as he faces death. While I could not recommend this book to young children due to language and graphic violence, it's content would be fine for Jr. High boys. However, I'm not sure I know any Jr. Higher that would have the grit it would take to get through the vocabulary and language in the book. It would be very interesting to compare the motivations of someone like Philip Marsham with a modern day protagonist facing similar circumstances. (1230L)

  • Derrick
    2019-03-03 14:49

    I believe the correct phrase is "a rollicking good yarn."

  • Phil Jensen
    2019-02-25 21:56

    Ar! Want to read a salty sea tale? Are you over 30? Then dig this one up!Why won't children read this book? Is it boring?No. There is action and adventure from page one.Is it too violent?I don't think so. If you're old enough to follow it, then you're old enough for the violence. It is less disturbing than many others in the genre, such as The Slave Dancer and My Brother Sam Is Dead. Really, if I read a pirate story without some spurting blood, I feel cheated.Is the main character too passive?Eh. A little. He's very active at the beginning and the end, but there are times after the mutiny when you'd like to know what he's thinking, but Dawes doesn't feel the need to mention it.Is the plot weak?Not exactly weak, but definitely slow-building. In spite of all the action, you spend 50+ pages with no idea where the story is going and no particular sense of urgency. Still, that's not a deal-breaker. Walk Two Moons became a genre classic with less plot than this.Is it just too hard?It's way too challenging. The dialogue is written in genuine 1600s English, and the ship action is littered with nautical sailing jargon. The characters are complex, and a lot of critical thinking is left to the reader. It assumes a lot of knowledge of 1600s pastoral living, sailing, and global politics. The last chapters throw in Cromwell and the Roundheads and just expect you to know who they were.I recommend this book for older, well-educated readers who want an authentic adventure yarn.

  • Debbie
    2019-03-16 23:05

    For a children's book, this started off pretty slow. I kept wondering why it was considered a children's book as the level of the language was pretty complex. But then I remembered this got the Newbery in 1924. What worked as children's books then rarely do now. The definition seems to be based on what children would enjoy as adults read the book to the children, not children reading themselves. At that time, it was rare for children to own books or have access to libraries. The pace did pick up and the action did get going and it was an enjoyable story. In my mind's ear I could hear the gasp of children as unexpected things happen and the delighted laughs when good things happen.

  • Joy
    2019-02-23 15:47

    1924 Newbery Medal WinnerI was intrigued about reading this book. I was looking for a copy of it online, thinking it might be old enough to be public domain (it's not, a few years and it will be). My husband happened to find some reviews of it with parents saying they wouldn't let their children read it because of the violence in the book. Made me want to read it even more.I will first say that the English in the book is written in an older style. Even though this book is almost a century old, it is actually historical fiction since the plot takes place in the colonial era. The author tried to reflect this in his style of writing. It is not impossible to read but may be difficult for the struggling reader. I had to slow my normal reading pace to digest it.As for the violence, it is not bad. The main section of it is when the pirates are killing off the crew of the ship when they take it over. It is not terribly graphic. I've seen worse.The main character is Philip Marsham. His father was a seaman and Philip himself has already been on several sea voyages. Philip is forced to flee the inn where he is living after an accident. His father is recently lost at sea, so he travels the countryside where he meets up with a man named Martin who is extremely annoying and the two of them sign up to work on a ship, the Rose of Devon. The ship is then hijacked by pirates and Philip is pressed into their service. My only complaint is that it took 70 pages to actually get to the part where they go aboard the ship and the real adventure begins. Much of that is filler, only certain points become important later in the story. Other than that, it's a worth read.

  • Kristen
    2019-03-01 19:01

    Newbery Medal Winner--1924Once you get past the outdated language and sailor speak, this book has some rousing adventure and intrigue. The problem is, I'm not a big fan of pirate tales, so even then the appeal for me was only so-so. The ending in particular grabbed my attention--once the focus came back to Phillip and his plans for escape. I can see why a story like this was popular in its time, but I need a little bit more in my adventure stories.

  • Wendy
    2019-02-25 20:05

    The story was OK, especially in the middle, but I can only assume the Committee was looking for something very different in its early years. Other reviewers seemed to find the prose clear and lyrical; I thought it was unnecessarily dense and convoluted.

  • Kelly Buchanan
    2019-03-22 16:02

    Part of a project to read all of the Newbery Award-winners. This one...has not aged well. Amongst the first winners of this award for children's literature, this book dates from the 1920's. Given this, there are significant differences in both vocabulary and subject matter that would be appropriate for children. Neither fully explain my problems with the book, which I simply found to be awkwardly paced (long stretches of nothing and then jumpy and disjointed action crammed into a five-page span) and frequently very dull. This is coming from someone who has an absurd love of sea stories, so it was definitely not the nautical terminology or ship-voyage details that put me off. I simply don't think the structure of the story holds up. There are better pirate books for this age group out there!

  • Fred Kohn
    2019-03-21 16:05

    This guy really turns a good phrase, and he did a good job of making you feel like you were in the 17th century. That's really the only good thing one can say about this book. The plot felt like one random thing following the other with no necessary connection between them. Not recommended for young people, old people, or in-between people.

  • Jen
    2019-03-03 19:54

    The son of a pirate-type goes sailing across the sea, encounters various men of honor and dishonor, survives more than a few scrapes with death, and in so doing becomes a man. There. The Dark Frigate in a nutshell. It isn't much to say that I liked the story better than my fellow readers. It was a long read and a somewhat pieced together story with a few highlights here and there. I got my hopes up in chapter 6 when Hawes introduced some lovely forboding descriptions of The Rose of Devon (the pirate ship), but those proved to be a rarity in the work as a whole and other than a few lessons on what it means to be a pirate and a couple comical descriptions, there is a little to commend this book. I may be agree with a friend who supposes that there actually were no other children's books published in the year 1923 (or perhaps it was that Hawes died that same year and they thought, "We should give him the Newbery - that's a nice gesture, isn't it?"). Most beautiful sentence in the work:She was ... a brave tall ship, yet ... her towering sides which were painted black gave her a singularly dark appearance, and she put out to sea like a shadow out of older days. (Chapter VI)If only all of it had been written like that ... like a shadow out of older days ... makes your hair stand on end just a bit, doesn't it?At a close second:Action is ever welcome at a time when a man desires most of all to get away from memory and thought. (Chapter XVIII)And finally, because Mr. Hawes is not entirely without a sense of humor, how not to sneak through a window:If you will balance yourself on the outside of any window with one foot over the sill you will find it exceedingly difficult to pull your foot away from some one inside the window without throwing yourself off the wall... (Chapter XIX)

  • Aimee
    2019-03-16 14:51

    My biggest fear right now as I write about these books, is that I will maintain and perhaps expand my reputation as a whiner. I don’t WANT to whine, but I cannot praise this book. My kids can praise it, I think. I was so busy reading it (or trying to) that they got lots of extra computer time in order for me to bribe them into leaving me alone. Gotta watch that in the future. I’m trying to be a role model here.The reviews I read were good and encouraging: a sea-faring yarn complete with pirates and a near-hanging of our swash-buckling hero. Except there was no swash, there was no buckle. Even our hero wasn’t, not to put too fine a point on it, um, interesting. In fact, the most interesting person was the Pirate captain who — even though he knew the gallows awaited him no matter what, took the witness stand to clear Our Hero’s name. I was rooting more for him than for Our Hero.Here: this book has the longest subtitle:Wherein is told the story of Philip Marsham who lived in the time of King Charles and was bred a sailor but came home to England after many hazards by sea and land and fought for the King at Newbury and lost a great inheritance and departed for Barbados in the same ship, by curious chance, in which he had long before adventured with the pirates.That pretty much sums it up. Let’s move on, friends.

  • Ensiform
    2019-03-25 19:03

    The third Newbery winner, this is a pirate tale set in the days just before the English Civil Wars. Philip Marsham sets off to sea, and the ship is overtaken by pirates. Marsham must sail with them for a while, then escapes only to be captured and tried with the crew.It's an interesting book for the historical detail (down to the rather hard to follow speech and arcane vocabulary) and for Hawes' unwillingness to be trite or shallow: some characters loom large and then fade away, as in life, and the villain of the piece is given his due as a brave and clever man, true to his own principles. But there's something to be said for getting drama out of the age-old yet stirring trope of heroism vs. treachery, and I felt as if Marsham was merely an observer to the tale, and not its protagonist; in that sense it compares unfavorably to the somewhat similar The Black Arrow, which made a truly gripping tale. I can't imagine most adults, let alone children, of today reading this book with much understanding: the language is really very obscure, even for me, practically raised on archaic Britishisms.

  • Andrea
    2019-03-09 19:54

    Great adventure book for lovers of Treasure Island and Pirates of Caribbean. Especially if you like well researched Historical fiction along the lines of Bernard Cornwell's "Sharpe's" series or C.S. Forester's "Hornblower" series. Unfortunately for this book, todays young readers are much more interested in a direct story then in beautifully crafted language. Also, the in depth knowledge of 17th century sailing vessels left me needing an glossary or schematic - A glossary of language terms would also add to the understanding of the dialog. despite all of that this is a wonderfully crafted book that doesn't gloss anything over. Pirates are very bad, not gentlemanly, and innocents often get swept up in unfair ways. Fortunately for the protagonist Phillip Marsham, who is a great character that all would want to root for. It is unfortunate that this author died the same year this was published because he set it up nicely and it would have made a great trilogy if not series.

  • Linds
    2019-03-13 21:46

    It was a bit hard for me to read, language wise. I can remember trying to read this when I was a runt, and failing. If I could get a little more comfortable with the writing style, this would probably pose as a thoroughly adventurous, ‘dun dun dun’ sort of tale. I was fully invested by the end, so perhaps that’s how long it took me to adapt. I imagine with future readings my appreciation for this book will grow. (I read another book by this author that didn't have the "sea" language, and I quite enjoyed it.) So I worry that this book's trickiness to read gives it some undeserved wrath. Stick with it, and the tale actually gets fairly compelling.

  • Mitchell
    2019-02-27 20:49

    Continuing my Newbery Winner read/re-read. And this one is a reminder that all new Newbery's are not good. This one was just plain confused. The plot just wandered to no good point. The characters were just hints that started interesting and then added no depth. Sure I'm never a big fan of a sailing book, but this one just added nothing to that. And it was not especially readable. It was not overly long, but it felt long. And then in the end it crammed 20 plus years of life into a couple of pages for no good benefit.

  • James
    2019-03-04 17:49

    A Newberry award winner. I thought it might be a decent pirate yarn ,but was surprised. It is a good pirate yarn well enough,but Oh so much more. A tale of honor, courage, and tall sailing ships. The bad guys are bad and our hero is well, heroic.

  • Kimberly
    2019-03-02 17:45

    1924 Newbery. No idea why this won a Newbery, except for maybe the cover. The archaic language makes it especially unreadable even for adults, and the storyline doesn't live up to the fanfare of the subtitle. I doubt any kid ever enjoyed this.

  • Heather
    2019-02-22 14:37

    1924 Newbery Medal WinnerThe great guns ranged along the deck—each bound fast by its new breechings—with their linstocks and sponges and ladles and rammers, made no idle show of warlike strength. There was too often need to let their grim voices sound at bay, for those were wild, lawless days.Such a ship as the Rose of Devon frigate, standing out for the open sea, is a sight the world no longer affords. Those ships are “gone, gone, gone with lost Atlantis.” (p. 71)Phil Marsham's father dies, and, having been brought up with sailing skills, he falls in with an honest crew running some kind of honest goods; I forgot what kind. Their ship is the Rose of Devon. A bunch of boring stuff happens in the first third of the book before Phil joins the crew. The boringness ends abruptly in a Game-of-Thrones-worthy bloodbath as pirates take over the ship. From that point on, Phil's conscience is torn between not wanting to do pirate stuff but knowing that they will knife him if he actively resists, and doing the Right Thing.(view spoiler)[Phil finally snaps when the pirates interrogate his friend Will Canty and prepare some kind of dastardly torture for him, putting him in a boat tied hand and foot and rowing him toward the mainland. Instead, Will foils them by pitching himself off of the boat and committing suicide by drowning (or maybe he died first when they smacked him on the chin). Is this seriously a children's book?No longer able to stand his complicity, Phil abandons the Rose of Devon, is caught by some Englishmen of the ship Sybil, and stands trial back in the mother country for piracy along with the rest of them. Luckily, he is acquitted. (hide spoiler)]The whole thing was a bit of a slog due to the old-style language and the limited omniscient point of view. Before Phil boarded the ship, I had trouble following the story at times, mostly because some characters were introduced quickly and sometimes referred to in alternate ways. The level of detail in the violence also surprised me, although my co-worker pointed out that at that time there wasn't really any such thing as “young adult” fiction, so a story like this was only considered a “children's” book as there was no separate category for teens.There was one point in the book where I thought Phil Marsham was kind of an asshole:...a man in stocks was a pleasing sight to Phil, for he was not so old that he missed the humour of it, and he paused to grin at the unlucky wight who bore with ill grace the jeers of the urchins that had assembled to do him honour... (p. 56)..but Phil was mostly a likable main character, a little bit of a Marty Stu for young kids who wanna be sailors, but still flawed, or maybe smart, caring a little more about preserving his own skin than making a valiant, but futile show of doing the right thing at the wrong time.As a Linguistics major with an interest in history, the word nerd within me was pleased with the archaisms and sailing jargon in the book. Holla, my hearts of gold!You would probably also like this book if you like:Immaturely taking things out of context:So now, giving her no heed, he began fondling the fat countryman's piece. (p. 4)They sat at close quarters in the forecastle of the Rose of Devon, and the boy had barely room to pass the table and the benches, for the men had crowded in and put their heads together; but for once they were too intent on their own thoughts to heed his coming or his going, which gave him vast comfort.(Little enough comfort the poor devil got, between the men forward and the officers aft!) (p. 74)The ship rolled toward him and he again went under, overshadowed by the lofty poop which leaned out so far that notwithstanding the tumble home he thought the poop would come down and crush him. (p. 88)Ridiculously fun insults:“'A lobcock'? 'A lapwing'?” he cried. “Thou puddling quacksalver—”Stopping short and giving him a look of dark resentment, the fellow sadly shook his head. “That was a secret and most venomous blow.” (p. 18)“Unhand me!” he squalled. “She'll kill me, an I tell.” “An thou tellest not, thou slubbering noddy, I'll slice thee into collops of veal.” And still holding the unhappy child by the ear, the host, making a ferocious face, reached for a long and sharp knife. (p. 45)Violence on the high seas (#2 made me slightly ill):The mate drew back a step, as a man does when another puts his face too near. He was on the point of speaking; but before his lips had phrased a word the Old One raised his hand and the man behind the mate drove six inches of blue steel into the mate's back, between his ribs and through his heart. (p. 108)...the great cabin door burst open and out rushed Captain Francis Candle in a rich waist with broad cuffs at his wrists, his hair new oiled with jessamine butter, and gallant bows at his knees, for he was a fine gentleman who had first gone to sea as a lieutenant in the King's service. As he rushed out the door the man lying in wait on the left struck a fierce blow to stab him, but the knifepoint broke on a steel plate which it seemed Captain Candle wore concealed to foil just such dastardly work. Thereupon, turning like a flash, Captain Candle spitted the scoundrel with his sword. But the man lying in wait on the right of the door saw his fellow's blow fail and perceived the reason, and leaping on the captain from behind, he seized his oiled hair with one hand and hauled back his head, and reaching forward with the other hand, drove a knife into the captain's bare throat. Dark blood from a severed vein streamed out over Captain Candle's collar and his gay waist. He coughed and his eyes grew dull. He let go his sword, which remained stuck through the body of the man who had first struck at him, clapped his hand to his neck, and went down in a heap. (p. 109)Folksy wisdom:“' Tis not for nought the gentlemen love Mother Taylor,” she quavered. “What can a woman do when her beauty's gone but hold a man by the food she sets before him? 'Tis the secret of blessed marriage, Martin, and heaven send thee a wife as knows it like I!” (p. 64)There is a time when patience and forbearance are enough to earn a man a hempen halter, and thinking thus, he faced the storm and renewed his determination. (p. 197)Now a ship might mean one thing or she might mean another; and a man's life might depend on the difference. (p. 199)Last, but not least, introvert ego-stroking:His light, incisive speech, so unlike the boisterous ranting of the Old One, in its own way curiously influenced even the Old One himself. A man who has a trick of getting at sound reasons, unmoved by bluster or emotion, can hold his own in any company; and many a quiet voice can fire a ship's crew to action as a slow match fires a cannon. (p. 127)Onward in my Newbery quest.

  • Jackie
    2019-03-06 16:04

    Newbery Medal: 1924Philip Marsham, having a father who is unquestionably a scoundrel and a grandfather who has disowned both, hears the sea calling after his father dies. He boards the ship, Rose of Devon and Philip is regarded as invaluable for his work and his knowledge of seafaring. Yet, when the ship is overtaken by pirates, Philip has no choice but to commit to their dastardly ways or face death.Full of high-seas adventures, murder, mayhem, and downright nastiness, The Dark Frigate is both puzzling and exhausting. The language alone will have any reader struggling to make sense of it all. Couple that with the draining and tiresome way the events unfold will undoubtedly makes some readers give up. It is also quite violent, at times, and it certainly is not for the very young child.

  • AE
    2019-03-25 21:56

    I was really pleasantly surprised by the tone and style. The book doesn’t try to dumb down or oversimplify just because it’s meant for children. The story is weirdly real, and not all threads are tied or fixed, plus the characters are portrayed in complex ways, far more than I’d expect out of an old-timey boys’ adventure novel. Overall I really enjoyed it and it kept my interest well.My one complaint is how quick the last part was. I know the focus was on the ship adventure but I’d have liked to see more about the Cromwell wars.

  • Janice
    2019-02-27 15:51

    An early Newberry award winner and, you can tell, it is dated. Phillip Marsham is orphaned and is forced to go on the run when he has an accident with a gun. He falls in with some questionable types and has adventures.A hard read because of the terminology and language. I think kids today would have a hard time reading this. It would be a good adventure story if updated. But Phil didn't seem to stay true to how he began. He, at first, seems clumsy then trusting then he's supposed to be smart then naive. Very difficult to get a handle on the character.

  • Kristen Luppino
    2019-02-24 16:49

    An adventurous account though hard to follow at times.

  • Joy
    2019-02-27 17:58

    I did not like this story. I felt it is a rough, violent story for children.

  • Seema Rao
    2019-02-25 19:55

    Youthful tale of adventure on the high seas. While the language is old, it is enjoyable.

  • Wayne Walker
    2019-03-14 14:47

    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.

  • Peter
    2019-03-17 18:46

    A quick summary: Philip Marsham, age nineteen, gets orphaned, kicked out of his lodgings, and falls in with a disreputable fat drunk guy in short order. He swears to marry a tavern wench, earns the respect of a manor lord by having a fistfight with the lord's gamekeeper, and lands a job on a sailing ship along with the fat guy. Sailing ship is pirated by pirates whom the fat guy knows, Philip hangs around with them for a while, runs away, gets awkwardly captured as one of them (it's complicated), is put on trial with them, is the only one acquitted (it's really complicated), goes back to see the tavern wench who's gotten married, goes back to see the manor lord who befriends him... and the last chapter covers "oh by the way, he's a soldier in the Roundhead/Cavalier wars and does lots of brave things but I ain't gonna tell you that part in this book", and ends with him shipping out for Barbados on the same ship he originally got pirated on. The end.My opinion: There are no awesome ladies whatever in this book, only nasty and/or boring ones. The writing is a bit better than in The Great Quest, Mr Hawes' previous book, but people are still given to doing things for either plotty reasons or bad excuses a lot more than for anything that makes sense. Thankfully, the slave trade is not involved, so racism is barely hinted at, but the protagonist is still a dope - just not quite as much of a one as Great Quest's protagonist, who really took the title.This book is also quite gory and violent in places. Plus, there's a remarkable lot of incredibly weird mental sophistry / gymnastics trying to defend the plotty reasons, and a fair bit of "making fun of less fortunate people is something all good and true men should do!" :POverall, I'd say Charles Boardman Hawes was becoming a better writer but still wasn't a good one. It's a shame he died shortly after this book was published and never went on to write any really good books.

  • Michael Fitzgerald
    2019-02-23 15:40

    A very enjoyable read. Sadly, it is probably inaccessible to most younger readers of today because they haven't been exposed to enough older books with more complex writing styles, vocabulary (even discounting the now-archaic nautical terms), and pacing. The historical subject matter probably also isn't immediately attractive to many kids in this age of airplanes and space exploration (and, of course, virtual fantasy worlds of the digital variety). Those educators tying fiction in with the study of history may have some success with this book. But those who can handle the writing and the content will find much that is appealing about this story of pirates on the high seas. Just don't give up on this too soon after starting, as it takes some 50 pages to get aboard the ship! Whew! - that does make it sound like a real challenge. I put off reading this for a number of years. I'm very glad that I finally did. Unlike writers of today's children's books, Hawes does not simplify anything about the writing. His olden-style dialect uses all kinds of jargon and contractions. Most of this one can decipher from the context. The seafaring language is, I assume, accurate (as this is something for which Hawes has been particularly praised). I don't find that the reader need know every last term. Just understand that the sailors are doing something with the sails and it is tricky and requires a great deal of attention, skill, and coordination between men. That's enough for me, at least. Now, in a literary work, certainly that undertaking needs to be expressed and described in the kind of words that would be used by English sailors in the 17th century. So that's what Hawes does.There are plenty of twists and turns and surprises throughout the book. I wasn't overly thrilled with the ending, myself. I wished things had turned out differently, but that's how life goes sometimes.

  • Jill
    2019-02-24 18:40

    I had to take this book back to the library for a few months. I came back to it only after I had almost completely finished the Newbery winner list. I thought maybe after a few months it wouldn't be as tedious a read as I remembered, but no, it was. And unexpectedly violent in parts. "...there are times when it takes death to maintain the discipline that will save many lives."Here's an example of the length of some of the author's sentences. I like the description, but it's incredibly long."But whereas many a one who stands under the bright stars in the small morning hours feels himself a brother with the most trifling creatures that live and is filled with humility to consider in relation to the immeasurable powers of the universe his weakness during even his brief space of life--whereas such a one perceives himself to be, like the prophets of ancient times, in a Divine Presence, the Old One, his face strangely youthful in its repose, threw back his head and softly laughed, as if there high on the poop he were a god of the heathen, who could blot out with his thumb the ship and all the souls that sailed in her.""Does not a man looking out of a corner, with a wall on two sides of him and no one behind him, see more than another?""The great bay with its mountains and its starry sky was as fair a piece of land and sea as a man might wish to look upon in his last hour; but there are few men whose philosophy will stand by them at such a moment, and there is an odd quirk in human nature whereby a mere droning mosquito can drive out of mind the beauty of sea and land--nay, even thoughts of an immeasurable universe.""Action is ever welcome at the time when a man desires most of all to get away from memory and thought."