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Re: Almost Persuaded Chapters 25 and 26

January 14, 2015 11:31PM
Enjoyed seeing Anne meeting her future in-laws, and the short but sweet reunion with Frederick. See a new installment in this story is getting to be the high point of my Wednesdays.

A few military points. Frederick's assignment to the Laconia means that he has been advanced from commander to full captain, or "post-captain," as the rank was often referred to, since commanders could not command frigates. This was a major moment in the career of a Naval officer during the Napoleonic era. For that matter, it still is. But in the Napoleonic era, making post meant, that, as long as one stayed alive and stayed in the Navy, promotion to flag rank was assured. Once you were at the top of the Captain's List, you were next in line for promotion to rear-admiral. That's why making post at a fairly young age was so crucial. I think Frederick, Sophie, and Croft would be making much more of this major moment in Frederick's career.

Second, in the original novel, set seven or eight years after this story, Croft is still only a rear-admiral. Once one got to flag rank, promotion was strictly by seniority. Unless one was assigned to the "yellow squadron," a non-existent squadron that existed so that incompetents who'd somehow made it to the top of the list could be promoted but kept from active service, one was promoted from the top of the captain's list to rear-admiral of the Blue Squadron, then to rear-admiral of the White Squadron, then to rear-admiral of the Red Squadron, which was regarded as the senior squadron. Upon promotion to vice-admiral, he'd start the process over again, going from blue, to white, to red. The same for full admiral, except that there was no such rank as "Admiral of the Red." Instead, this admiral, the senior admiral in the service, would be designated as "Admiral of the Fleet" (although I think this might have changed after Trafalgar).

In the novel, Croft is specifically described as a "Rear Admiral of the White," which means he's still fairly junior as flag officers go. In five years, with a war on, it strikes me that he would have been at least a "Vice-Admiral of the Blue" by the time of Napoleon's abdication in March of 1814. The film (the 1995 version, the best of all Austen adaptations bar none) suggests that the action of the storyline takes place between Napoleon's 1814 abdication, and his escape in 1815 to raise an Army for one last time at bat, the so-called "100 Days." I'm not absolutely sure this is made clear in the novel, but whether the action is set before or after the 100 Days, Croft should, I think have advanced to higher than Rear Admiral of the White by this time.

That Miss Austen makes clear that he did not suggests that, at the time your story is set, he was probably a senior captain, near the top of the list, perhaps even being given assignments that would groom him for flag rank (e.g. command of small squadrons, which would entitle him to be addressed as "Commodore" instead of "Captain" for the duration of such an assignment), but not yet an actual admiral.

I know all that sounds really nitpicky, put I'm writing a collection of military stories right now, so, like Lady Cat, I'm "excessively attentive" to such details. Obviously, in this story, Anne's the focus, and these details don't really have anything to do with the story of Anne's preparation for married life. So please don't take this as a criticism of the main them of "Almost Persuaded," which I really have been avidly following.

JIM
SubjectAuthorPosted

Almost Persuaded Chapters 25 and 26

ShannaGJanuary 14, 2015 04:55PM

Re: Almost Persuaded Chapters 25 and 26

LisetteJanuary 15, 2015 08:58AM

Question

LisetteJanuary 15, 2015 08:58AM

Re: Question

ShannaGJanuary 15, 2015 04:13PM

Re: Almost Persuaded Chapters 25 and 26

Jim D.January 14, 2015 11:31PM

Re: Almost Persuaded Chapters 25 and 26

ShannaGJanuary 15, 2015 04:06PM

Re: Almost Persuaded Chapters 25 and 26

AlidaJanuary 15, 2015 01:34AM

Re: Almost Persuaded Chapters 25 and 26

terrycgJanuary 14, 2015 11:03PM

Re: Almost Persuaded Chapters 25 and 26

Teresa DouglasJanuary 14, 2015 08:54PM



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