Posted by Robin Selby on January 20, 2019 at 05:02:58 user RobinSelby.
In Reply to: Re: Why did the Admiralty summon Cdr Walker to London? posted by Mike Field on January 19, 2019 at 17:59:48:
I propose abolishing the term meta-fiction, since it unhelpfully suggests that there was a set of rules which Ransome signed up to. All novels are works of imagination; Missee Lee is just a little more imaginative with respect to setting than others in the canon. Nowadays, parents take their children round the world, educating them en route, as a matter of course. Ransome was ahead of his time.
In adopting a more imaginative approach, Ransome had to make minimum changes to the format so as to avoid breaking the bond of trust between author and reader. There is no need to regard Johnís statement about Captain Walkerís promotion as untrustworthy. The statement does not advance the plot in any way, and telling the reader that it may be unreliable gratuitously destroys the bond of trust for no conceivable purpose. I was first given Missee Lee when I was ill many years ago. I would have been most indignant if some unkind soul had told me that some or all of it was unreliable. That would have wrecked the illusion.
I have no problem about Captain Walkerís promotion. Promotion was mainly based on seniority. One could assess pretty accurately when one would be promoted based on the number of captains retiring each year, and the number of commanders ahead of you in the Navy List.
In recent years I have been steeped in Admiralty matters and the Navy List. The Admiralty was a stickler for protocol, and would not have dreamed of putting a commander into a captainís job. He would have been given the rank of Acting Captain, and this is how it would have appeared in the Navy List.
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