Following our first voyage with the most famous fictional sailors of all time, we once again take to the waves to serve under new captains that have found fame on the big screen and in novels. The first captain we sail with is Sinbad on the turbulent seas around Asia and Africa.
The voyages of Sinbad were made famous by the tales of the Middle East. Sinbad supposedly hails from Baghdad during the Caliphate of Abbasid Harun al-Rashid. The epic tales of his voyages send him to encounter all manner of supernatural phenomena and visit magical places with terrifying monsters. It is thought that the tales of Sinbad followed on from the famous stories of One Thousand and One Nights which were recorded from the 14th Century, but became famous around the world as the popularity of everything about the mystical middle east became popular in the late 17th Century.
Created by Jules Verne the character Prince Dakkar or Captain Nemo appears in two pieces of literary work. The novels The Mysterious Island and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Nemo is a scientific explorer who is the son of a Raja, in his futuristic submarine The Nautilus, he sails at the bottom of oceans causing havoc. His main grip is with the British for their imperialistic rule of his beloved homeland India. He is bitter and driven by vengeance against his chosen enemy but inside is racked with remorse over his dastardly deeds.
Patrick O’Brien wrote a series of fictional books regarding the Aubrey-Maturin tales. The storyline takes place in the period of the Napoleonic wars and there are an amazing twenty novels that describe Aubrey’s magnificent deeds and exploits. Perhaps the most famous, Master and Commander, showed that Naval Commander Jack Aubrey was not just a brilliant tactician but he was also interested in astronomy and mathematics. Many of his adventures draw on historical feats of the time, but the actual adventures are pure fictional. Aubrey was brought to fame by Russell Crowe in the blockbuster film of 2003, Master and Commander, where his dilemma of defeating a French Naval ship and discovering new flora and fauna in the Pacific are at loggerheads with each other.
The second reference to the novel Moby Dick which appeared in part one of our blog of famous fictional sailors, looks at a sailor called Ishmael. He appears as the only sailor that survives from the doomed Pequod, and actually is the narrator of the book. His name dates back to the book of Genesis, who is banished into the dessert and is described as wandering upon the sea. This biblical name is often given to people who are social outcasts or exiles. The big difference between Captain Ahab in the novel and the narrator Ishmael is that Ahab looks upon Moby Dick as pure evil.However, Ishmael is more open minded and his thoughts are constantly changing towards the creature as events take twists and turns, and flux in turn…….is the chief characteristic of Ishmael himself.
These popular and fictional characters have all had influences from real sailors and captains that took to the sea. They have given great entertainment to many and hopefully will continue to sail the seven seas.