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April 06, 2021



Lovely pictures. Delightful post. Your quilt is going to be great. We are reading Winter Holiday outside in Michigan in 81 degree weather.


I have been reading Patrick O'Brian too! They occasionally speak of a "comforter," something to wear in cold weather - I think Louisa Wogan knits one for Stephen when they are sailing through the high forties. I wonder if you know what kind of garmet it is?


Brittany, perhaps unsurprisingly I did some digging around when I was reading "Desolation Island"! I couldn’t find an actual pattern or even a description, much less a picture, but I'm pretty sure it's a scarf, possibly what was later sometimes called a chest protector, a short scarf whose ends were laid over one’s sternum and chest for extra warmth.

If you're interested, the blogger at One More Stitch (who, alas, has not posted in years) is also an Aubrey/Maturin reader and has knitted miniature (!) and full-sized versions of some of the garments mentioned in the books --


And though it's from the 1830s, there is this one in double-knitting (the kind that makes a tube if you do it right) --


and the date isn't really that far off. This one might be thought of as "new and different" from the common garter stitch kind, which could be why Miss Watts thought it worthy of including in her book.

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  • "'Then I am the first,' cried Pullings with infinite satisfaction. 'Let me wish you and Mrs. Aubrey all the joy in the world.' He grasped Jack's limp, wondering hand, wrung it numb, and showed the printed page, reading aloud, '"At Ashgrove Cottage, Chilton Admiral, in Hants, the lady of Captain Aubrey, of the Boadicea, of a son and heir,"' following the words with his finger.

    'Give it here,' said Jack. He grasped the magazine, sloped the page to the light and pored over it intently.

    '"At Ashgrove Cottage, Chilton Admiral, in Hants, the lady of Captain Aubrey, of the Boadicea, of a son."

    'Well, I'll be damned. God bless me. Lord, Lord … upon my word and honour … I'll be damned to Hell and back again … strike me down. Killick, Killick, rouse out a bottle of champagne -- pass the word for the Doctor -- here, Killick, there's for you -- God love us all -- ha, ha, ha.'

    Killick took the handful of money, put it slowly into his pocket with a look of extreme suspicion and walked out of the cabin, his lips pursed in disapproval. Jack leapt from his seat, took several turns fore and aft, chuckling from time to time, his mind filled with mingled love, happiness, fulfilment, and a most piercing nostalgia."

    -- from The Mauritius Command by Patrick O'Brian

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