This is rather an extraordinary book, because it consists of two rather different eras in the lives of two brothers. In the first the brother Fritz takes part in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71, and is severely wounded, but survives - just. He is tended by a beauteous maiden, with whom he falls in love. Meanwhile the brother Eric has gone to sea in what turns out to be a rotten old vessel, which sinks in southern waters. There are some survivors, but Eric is not among them, and is presumed dead. Fritz departs for America, and is wondering how to get a job. Hemeets a whaling captain and they are having a chat in a bar when who should appear but Eric, who has had a miraculous rescue, but has never had a chance of writing home. The two brothers decide they will get the whaling ship to drop them off on a very remote island in the South Atlantic, Inaccessible Island, where they will spend a year sealing, and make their fortunes from the skins they get during the year. There are many vicissitudes, and they do make their fortunes, but not from sealing. There are so many tense situations, so very well described, that the book might almost have come from the pen of George Manville Fenn. A well-written and interesting book, and with a very good description of the Franco-Prussian War, the war which is so often forgotten about. (Nick Hodson)According to Wikipedia: John Conroy Hutcheson (1840- 1897) was a British author of novels and short stories about life aboard ships at sea. Hutcheson was born in Jersey, Channel Islands, in 1840, and died in Portsea Island, in late 1896 or early 1897.
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