The Surgeon's Mate Setting & Symbolism

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HMS Shannon and USS Chesapeake

Shannon and Chesapeake are two heavy frigates that fight a single-ship action off the coast of New England. The actual combat is detailed in a previous novel in the series, but the current novel opens aboard Shannon and describes her triumphal entry into Halifax. Shannon's victory engenders such celebration because it was the first British victory over an American frigate. The two ships are lightly fictionalized representations of historic vessels.

HMS Ariel

Ariel is a flush-decked ship-rigged corvette captured from the French. She carries sixteen thirty-two-pound carronades and two long nine-pounder chase guns; she throws a 265 lb. broadside. Her normal complement is 112-120 men. Aubrey assumes command of Ariel for his expedition to the Baltic Sea and finds her crew well-drilled and capable. Ariel's senior lieutenant, Hyde, is a rather unimaginative but competent sailor who suffers from the serious problem of occasionally mistaking...

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This section contains 817 words
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Buy The Surgeon's Mate Study Guide
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