For background for my sea story I’m reading Hornblower and the Hotspur by C. S. Forester. The Hornblower series is set in the Napoleonic Wars, some eighty years after the period of my story. The characters are decidedly not pirates. They’re the Royal Navy side of my tale. For the pirate side I will read other books.
I read the Forester books to glean the nautical terms, the commands, the ship handling and the battle scenes which would have been very similar to the 1720’s when mine is set.
Apropos to children and sea stories, this series was among my father’s favorites. He started reading them in 1937 at age 34, when the first two were published. The last was written in the late ’60s. Lord Horatio Nelson, hero of Trafalgar, was a boyhood hero of my dad’s. Clearly he was influenced as a child by sea stories. His youth was at the time when Teddy Roosevelt and the emergence of American sea power were in vogue. You can see his stalwart nature and his passion for the navy in this precious portrait of Judge Wilmer Brady Hunt, my dad, when he was, as he would say, still in short pants.