Common Knowledge

TalkHMS Surprise

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Common Knowledge

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Oct 10, 2007, 12:05pm

I know that there's at least one other person starting to fill in the Common Knowledge fields *waves at HouseholdOpera* which I think are extremely spiffy (and dangerous as a time sink). That said, there are a few questions which I'm curious about the opinions of this community.

- First off, 'spoilers'. I have, say, a certain book quite late in the series in mind here. A simple character list can tell you a bit about the book right there.
- What level of characters are we including? Jack & Stephen, are already in. I'd assume that we'd also have Sophie, Diana, Bonden, Tom Pullings, Killik - but what about one offs (like Mr. Ricketts, James Dillion, or Mr. Marshall)? How about the Brother Sponge, or Davies? The sloth and the wombat?
- I think locations are going to be the easiest to do. It'll be a bit tricky to get some uniformity about certain things (I've put in Port Mahon, Minorca, for example. And there's of course London, London UK and London England).
- Hmm. And what about ships as locations?

Oct 10, 2007, 10:50pm

I think listing the sloth or wombats or goat would be wonderful to help us find/remember the specific books in which they appear.

I see the danger in character lists - maybe better would be - these are the charcaters with important scenes/developments in this book??

One-off characters would be good I think.

Oct 11, 2007, 9:10am

*waves back at Parelle* I like the idea of including ships -- though I wonder whether they should be considered locations or characters in their own right. Maybe we could use a convention along the lines of "H.M.S. Surprise (ship)"?

I think the "London, UK" vs. "London, England" thing will probably have to be addressed at some larger level -- I've noticed it while entering author information as well. Unless the LT team makes it possible to combine place names along the lines of author names. Which would be pretty cool.

And I second the nomination of the sloth. ("Jack, you have debauched my sloth!" is one of my favorite O'Brian lines of all time.) I think Stephen addressed the sloth as "Lethargy" in one scene, didn't he?

Oct 11, 2007, 9:45am

Regarding characters I'd be interested in major characters or recurring characters only.
(not so hot on listing the sloths, but that could just be me)
I would definitely be interested in listing ships (as locations). Surely there's no need to have "(ship)" though?
One quandary would be what to do with ships which have multiple names (having been called one thing by the French and another when captured and commissioned by the Royal Navy...

Oct 11, 2007, 2:54pm

I'd say we should add a ship if a significant portion of the book is spent there (ie, not every one of the Indiamen in HMS Surprise) but most of the real ships mentioned in The Fortune of War even if Jack wasn't the actual commander (ie, Java, Constitution, Chesapeake, Shannon - which are interesting historical events). I had been inclined to list the ships as locations rather than characters, but I know there is the quandary of incidents like the What-ya-m'call-it from Far Side of the World, which plays a distinct role as a character of the very ominous sort, while not ever being a location. Hmmm.

Going by the Butcher's Bill list, there are 20 (important) ships in the series - and page 9 has an excellent table detailing which are in which book :) I'd vote for the names used by Jack/Stephen: ie, British names - I mean, do we want the whole dutch name of the Nutmeg?

I've put in 2 test ones right now in the location fields - Master and Commander with H.M.S Sophie (ship... although, you know, we could use the () for putting in the type of ship or # of guns for our own edification) and HMS Surprise with just HMS Surprise (no punctuation)

Re: the sloth - yes, he does have a name! I had forgotten that, but looking it up in amazon books, it becomes clear. It's used once, on page 152 in the usual paperback edition.

Oct 13, 2007, 2:57pm

Don't forget SCOURGE (the bosun's cat)!

Oct 14, 2007, 4:04pm

Yes, the (ship) thing might be a bit superfluous. My librarian roots are showing -- it's probably more a Library of Congress Subject Headings practice than a LibraryThing practice.

I hadn't even thought about "H.M.S." vs. "HMS." Yikes!

Multiple names are an issue for characters as well -- not just in O'Brian but elsewhere. What are other people doing?

Oct 14, 2007, 5:03pm

I'm not sure it matters whether we have "H.M.S." or "HMS": any consensus or preferences?
Last week I added some listings for The Mauritius Command with one as "H.M.S. Boadicea (38-gun Frigate)"

Sep 2, 2008, 11:33am

Bumping this one out of dormancy. We now have extra CK fields for quotations, first words, last words and character pages which require character descriptions. There is not a moment to lose!

Edited: Sep 7, 2008, 8:11am

Thanks Jim. This series should have plenty of apt quotations to include.

Looking forward to capturing some as I move regally through the series again.

Sep 6, 2008, 5:58pm

Anyone already put in the first words of vol 1? ;-)

Oct 1, 2011, 12:25am

>9 justjim:, 10

So, three years on, I'm reading through the series for the first time, and adding quotations to each book. Thus far only through the third, and will take a break, but I'm disappointed at how infrequently LTers use the quotation field. On the other hand, those quotations I find usually bring a smile.

Oct 11, 2011, 4:27pm

Well done, elenchus! I look forward to seeing your additions :)

Oct 11, 2011, 10:53pm

Thanks, parelle. I'm not sure how long my break will be, but I suspect I'll begin book 4 this year and probably read 2-3 titles in a row, as I did with the first 3.

That PO'B certainly is addicting.

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