Borrelpeff Review: The Adventures of John Wetherell by John Porrit Wetherell

This is the diary of a British seaman, and as such probably has little place in a fiction forum. However the editor, C.S. Forester, makes it plain in his introduction that parts of the original three volume manuscript are not to be relied upon; apparently it contained a good deal of fiction, as well as later embroidery and occasional borrowings from contemporary newspaper reports. Wetherell was shipwrecked, and his current draft lost, many times, leaving him to rely on memory and a rather too vivid imagination when rewriting. For roughly ten years he was relatively safe, however, and his work survived in the original draft with few corrections. Consequently Forester chose this section, which covers Wetherell’s service in HMS Hussar, her loss, and his capture and imprisonment by the French, for reprinting when the book first appeared in the ‘fifties.

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