Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The Sea Story in the Fiction of Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, and Joseph Conrad, 1881-1917

By Jonathan Dennison Nay


Although Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, and Joseph Conrad are rarely examined as writers of sea fiction, either individually or collectively, their work written during the period 1881 to 1917 was instrumental in establishing them as the pre-eminent exponents of the form in the history of British literature. The following study assesses their ability as serious maritime authors, examines their response to the artistic problems posed by the sea story, and sets their achievement against the popular nautical fiction of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 1978
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. 163: Jasper's possession of the brig and the love of Freya is described as "not exactly safe in a world like ours".
  2. 210; see also
  3. 38 and 44-45: "a mind not enslaved by narrow prejudices".
  4. 51: "A sort of shady, intimate understanding seemed to have been established between us".
  5. 62. attentions even after he fails to answer her question: "'Why do you keep on coming here? "'
  6. 99. comments to himself. He sees more than Jim whose memory is curiously selective: Jim remembers his inaction and laughs at his colleagues
  7. A Humble Remonstrance", doi
  8. A Nautical Image",
  9. (1974). A Sort of Life, doi
  10. (1910). Alongshore, doi
  11. Archbold 1785-1870 author of The Practice of the Court of King's Bench
  12. Auden cites Calypso's Island and Klingsor's Garden (the isle of Venus).
  13. (1909). Cachalot' /and/ The Loo of a my sea Lile. 1 y7J/. Childers, Erskine, The Riddle of the Sands.
  14. Captains Courageous, doi
  15. (1924). Conrad: A Personal Remembrance, doi
  16. Conrad's Plunge",
  17. Conrad's Reshaping of Time",
  18. Conrad's Short Fiction, doi
  19. Conrad's Short Fiction, p. 94. It had a second title "Skittish Cargo".
  20. (1969). Cornish Shipwrecks. 2 vols. i, The South Coast. London: David and Charles,
  21. Cpl p. 13k"
  22. Critics have not been impressed however. Graver, Conrad's Short Fiction, p. 163 refers to the story as "flamboyant melodrama! ' and even Thorburn, Romanticism, p. 20 criticises the "embarrassing operatics".
  23. Eating and Narrative in Conrad's Fiction",
  24. Eating and Narrative in Conrad", doi
  25. Fellowship of the Craft, doi
  26. From a review by Harol Frederic, The Saturday Review, LXXXV,
  27. From a review by Harold Frederic, The Saturday Review, LXXXV,
  28. (1898). From an unsigned articl I. doi
  29. (1849). from Fenimore Cooper's The Sea Lions
  30. Gnawed Bones' and 'Artless tales' - Eating and Narrative doi
  31. Hence the popularity of the late C. S. Forester's Hornblower novels.
  32. Hermann of "Falk" doi
  33. (1901). In contrast to the sailors in the short stories of W. W. Jacobs (see above p. 7, n. 20). Jacobs's sailors are always on the look-out for a secure home (preferably a public-house) owned by a rich widow. See e. g., "A Marked Man", in Light Freights
  34. Inclusive Edition,
  35. makes plain that he is at the mercy of forces greater than his "better" self. In addition, the narrator's view of Hermann also recalls the
  36. (1953). Melville and Transcendentalism", Virginia Quarterly Review,
  37. (1964). Nautical Metaphor" and Porter Williams, Jr., "The Matter of Conscience in Conrad's 'The Secret Sharer"' doi
  38. Nautical Metaphor",
  39. Nautical Metaphor", p. 14. Whalley finds the coat when he
  40. P" 33k" pretation. Mrs Schenck, in attributing the master-narrator's failure
  41. Personal Remembrance, doi
  42. Popular Fiction, doi
  43. (1955). Quoted in Charles Carringon, Rudyard Kipling : His Life and Work,
  44. Reader's Guide, doi
  45. (1932). Return to Yesterday, doi
  46. saw the voyages of Dodd and Carthew in the terms of a social significance.
  47. Sea Stuff",
  48. Sea Years,
  49. Secret Sharer"', doi
  50. See the map of Stevenaon's travels in the Pacific in Balfour, Life II, opposite
  51. See the passage beginning "He was. To the law .... ºº (TLS,
  52. Steam Tactics", p. 35. 79, Penn, Up Funnel,
  53. Steam Tactics", Windsor Magazine,
  54. (1943). Stevenson's use of Defoe's work is examined in: Watson, Coats,
  55. symbolic use. First, he shows how the ship is an ideal symbol of mankind and human society; is true is merely that the problems men face on board ship and the manner
  56. (1974). The Adventurer,
  57. (1915). The Cruise of the 'Janet N the South Sea Islands: a Diary. doi
  58. (1931). The Enchafed Flood, or the Romantic Iconography of the Sea, doi
  59. (1966). The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson 5 vols. London: Heinemann, Tusitala Edition,
  60. (1933). The Long Trail", Rudyard Kipling's Verse : Inclusive Edition, 1885-1932,4th Edition,
  61. The Merry Men". In some ways this was not a successful combination:
  62. (1975). The most important of these are:
  63. The Navy and Army of the Future",
  64. The Rescuer ms., " p. 61; TR,
  65. (1972). The Romantic Novel in En land, doi
  66. The Second Coming".
  67. The Secret Sharer"', doi
  68. The surmise - that the marriage has not been consummated - doi
  69. The Torrens was a popular passenger ship (Baines, Conrad,
  70. (1967). The Vailinta Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson", Harvard Library Bulletin XV
  71. the young master's phrase in The Shadow Line which describes the relationship between man and ship: "a searching intimacy with your own self"
  72. through the use of doi
  73. (1974). Twayne's English Authors Series,
  74. When lying to Archbold the master-narrator thinks: "I could not I think, have met him by a direct lie, also for psychological (not moral) reasons. " (TLS,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.