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The Beguilement in the Boats [The Armourer's Story]

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Author Percy Hetherington Fitzgerald
Genre Prose: Occasional (Christmas Story; article in Christmas or New Year Number, &c) i
Subjects Crime; Criminals; Punishment; Capital Punishment; Prisons; Penal Transportation; Penal Colonies
Marriage; Courtship; Love; Sex
Ships; Boats; Shipwrecks; Salvage; Merchant Marine; Sailors; Sailing; Submarines (Ships)
Other Details
Printed : 25/12/1856
Journal : Household Words
Volume : Volume XIV
Magazine : 1856 Christmas
Office Book Notes
Views : 929

See Lohrli, p. 161: In this and in the other prose stories of "The Beguilement," passages identifying the narrator and linking him with the framework are not set off typographically from the stories themselves. Dickens and Collins collaborated on the number. In reprinting "The Armourer's Story," Fitzgerald deleted from the opening paragraph only the explanatory comment, "(it was the Armourer who spun this yarn.)."'

The tales which compose 'The Beguilement in the Boats,' the section of The Wreck of the 'Golden Mary' in which passengers and members of the crew, shipwrecked and adrift in open boats, tell stories to while away the time (see 'The Wreck'), are as follows: 'The Armourer's Story' by Percy Fitzgerald, 'Poor Dick's Story' by Harriet Parr ('Holme Lee'), 'The Supercargo's Story' by Percy Fitzgerald, 'The Old Sailor's Story,' by Adelaide Anne Procter, and 'The Scotch Boy's Story' by the Rev. James White. It was for this section that Dickens solicited contributions to The Wreck of the 'Golden Mary'. In accordance with his usual practice, Dickens probably wrote most of the link passages which integrate this section. These passages, hitherto uncollected, are reprinted in the following pages. See notes to The Seven Poor Travellers and The Wreck of the 'Golden Mary' [1856 Christmas].

The interpolated story told in 'The Armourer's Story' is by Percy Fitzgerald. The Introduction to 'The Armourer's Story' [the opening paragraph, p. 585], however, are part of the framework of The Wreck of the 'Golden Mary' - part, that is, of the linking and bridging sections that Dickens usually wrote himself. 

Harry Stone; © Bloomington and Indiana University Press, 1968. DJO gratefully acknowledges permission to reproduce this material.

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