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Fiddlers and Whores: The Candid Memoirs of a Surgeon in Nelson's Fleet
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Fiddlers and Whores: The Candid Memoirs of a Surgeon in Nelson's Fleet

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3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  10 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
Never intended for publication, these revealing memoirs by an adventurous Irish surgeon were written to satisfy the curiosity of a younger brother back home and have remained in the hands of James Lowry's descendants for the past two centuries. They are being published now for the first time because today's readers are certain to find Lowry's account of life in Nelson's Me ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published May 15th 2006 by Chatham Publishing
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Sophist Berg
Mar 13, 2011 Sophist Berg rated it liked it
Fantastic primary source. It's full of firsthand accounts of several conflicts of the Napoleonic Wars, and it's also an accurate portrait of life as a doctor in His Majesty's Navy. It's a little bawdy at times, though a sort of clinical detachment from some topics makes it a little less so. The author is intelligent, observant, and charismatic in his storytelling.

At first glance, one might think Dr. Lowry's self-focus obscures the historical value, but the end result is an account full of truth
...more
Ian
Dec 27, 2013 Ian rated it really liked it
Fiddlers and Whores is a memoir written for his brother by a surgeon in Nelson's fleet between 1797 and 1804, eventually getting published in 2006. Having not been meant for contemporary publication it is thus much more revealing and candid than would otherwise be expected. It seems author James Lowry is much more interested in travelling and seeing the world than attending to wounded sailors as we get more of a detailed travelogue than we do of life on board. The customs and conventions of vari ...more
Paul
Dec 21, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing
Fiddlers and Whores is a wonderful read; it's an adventure story, a travelogue and a bildungsroman. Set around the year 1800, the diary (reconstructed from a lost diary) follow a young surgeon as he travels around the Mediterranean in the British navy

John Millyard, the editor, has done a splendid job organizing the diary into coherent sections. I love the way the text stops when Lowry, the diarist who is a young surgeon, is in flagrante, perhaps not to offend his reverend brother. I was also int
...more
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