What have Carruthers, the Kaiser and Prince Albert got in common?

Adventure Club member Jon Ratty has dug up yet more interesting information about the Lancaster guns that Carruther favours for his supposed duck-shooting holiday: Ahoy! I turned up another few items about Lancaster guns in the last day or so, which may add some interest. People collect old shotgun cartridges like other people collect stamps,Continue reading “What have Carruthers, the Kaiser and Prince Albert got in common?”

The 4th Adventure Club Podcast: First Encounters, Germany & Grog

In which we discuss our plans to re-enact the classic spy novel ‘The Riddle of the Sands’. This week we talk about Day 4 of the adventure – September 26.  Today is a day of first encounters – with Davies the yachtsman, Dulcibella the boat and with Flensburg & Germany. We discuss: a brief introductionContinue reading “The 4th Adventure Club Podcast: First Encounters, Germany & Grog”

‘soon my portmanteau blackened the hatchway’

Like any sensible young gentleman, Carruthers arrives in Flensburg on September 26 with a suitcase crammed full of fashionable yachting outfits, including ‘cool white ducks’, ‘neat blue serge’ and a ‘snowy-crowned yachting cap’. That’s my outfit sorted then. Alas, he’s in for a rude awakening when he meets Davies, who would rather Carruthers made doContinue reading “‘soon my portmanteau blackened the hatchway’”

The Schleswig-Holstein question

Don’t worry. We’re not going to try to explain the Schleswig-Holstein question in detail here. This is a fun blog about a great book, not a historical treatise. And we do rather subscribe to Lord Palmerston’s view: The Schleswig-Holstein question is so complicated, only three men in Europe have ever understood it. One was Prince Albert,Continue reading “The Schleswig-Holstein question”

“Then northward to Flensburg”

September the 26th is the day it happens – Carruthers meets Davies at last, and then he meets the third character in this adventure: Davies’s boat, the Dulcibella. And the location for all these encounters is Flensburg – which means this is also our first encounter with Germany. We’ll be talking about the Dulcibella and about GermanyContinue reading ““Then northward to Flensburg””

‘I remembered, later on, the prismatic compass’

One of the last items on the shopping list of things Carruthers has to take to Flensburg is a prismatic compass. It proves to be the most difficult thing to find – and is also the one item that seems to arouse suspicion in Carruthers about what this sailing and shooting holiday is actually about. Why wouldContinue reading “‘I remembered, later on, the prismatic compass’”

‘A ticket for Hamburg in my pocket’

As has been stated previously, we are fairly sure of two things: 1. That Childers sailed his own boat to the East Frisian islands before writing The Riddle of the Sands, and thus would not need to make use of Flushing steamers and railways as Carruthers does. 2. That the action of the book is basedContinue reading “‘A ticket for Hamburg in my pocket’”

The 3rd Adventure Club Podcast: On Compasses & Timetables

This week we talk about Day 3 of the adventure – September 25. We discuss the need for a prismatic compass (2:03), and get frighteningly immersed in the world of Edwardian train and steamer timetables (10:20). Also featured: how to revive your old oilskins (20:46), the true location of ‘The Stores’ (24:52), the Kaiser’s shotgun cartridges ofContinue reading “The 3rd Adventure Club Podcast: On Compasses & Timetables”

‘the Stores’

In the last podcast, I suggested that Carruthers might have got the Rippingille stove at the Army & Navy store on Victoria Street (now part of House of Fraser). By the end of the 19th century the Army & Navy was a hugely successful operation with outposts in Leipzig and Mumbai. Its roots in providingContinue reading “‘the Stores’”

‘Pacing the deck of a Flushing steamer’

An admission – I had always imagined a ‘Flushing steamer’ to be a steamer of a particular kind, following the usual landlubber’s rule of assuming that a strange word in use alongside something ship-sounding must be a proper noun of unknown provenance. But this turns out to have been idiotic. Flushing is the English vernacularContinue reading “‘Pacing the deck of a Flushing steamer’”