H.M.S. Canopus began life as the French-owned ship Franklin which was launched in 1797. Following its capture at the Battle of the Nile in 1798, it went into service with the Royal Navy, where it remained until 1887.
H.M.S. Elephant was a ship in service with the Royal Navy between 1786 and 1830, and was for a period under the command of Sir Francis Austen.
William Walton composed an overture entitled 'Portsmouth Point', inspired by the Rowlandson print shown below.
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Possibly, this is a reference to the number of guns held by the ship.
Can anybody confirm this?
A reference to the Saluting Platform, a coastal battery (a fortified location where heavy guns are placed) situated on the Grand Parade, Portsmouth. Built around 1522, it got its name because the guns stationed on it were fired to greet ships entering the harbour, a practice known as saluting.
Click here to see a picture of the Saluting Platform in the reign of Queen Anne.
Jane Austen's younger brother Sir Charles Austen served on both during his naval career.
A boatswain, often shortened to bo'sun, was a petty officer or warrant officer (both non-commissioned officers) who was in charge of the deck crew as well as matters relating to the ship's anchors, cables and rigging.
Click here to see a picture of the Sally Port in 1960.
The Navy List is an official publication of the Royal Navy which lists serving naval officers, with details of their rank and postings.
Click here to see the complete Navy List of the Napoleonic Wars (1793-1815).
Like Spithead, the Motherbank is a roadstead (a place outside a harbour where a ship may lie at anchor) in the Solent between Cowes and Ryde. It was often the last resting place for Royal Navy warships before they were decommissioned.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) made the remark, 'Marriage has many pains but celibacy has no pleasures' in The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia (1759).
Today, many people will associate the name with the poet Elizabeth Barret Browning (1806-1861) who lived at 50 Wimpole Street, but this would not have been an assocation made by Jane Austen herself or by her contemporary readership.
In the mid 18th century map (right), Wimpole Street is not marked - it lies to the west of Cavendish Square, off Henrietta Street.
Originally a military garment, the pelisse became a women's fashion item towards the beginning of the 19th century. As worn by women, it was a calf-length coat with an empire waistline (just below the bust), sometimes made of fur, or with a fur lining or trim. During the course of the 19th century, women's dresses became very much fuller and not suited to being worn under the original-style pelisse. However, the term continued to be used to describe a type of dress and a type of cloak, the cloak also being known as a pelisse mantle.
Circulating libraries (that is, libraries that circulated books, rather than libraries which moved from place to place!) came into existence in the 18th century and offered a means of borrowing books rather than buying them. They are generally considered slightly different from the subscription libraries (which developed during the same period) in that they did not demand such a high annual subscription and they concentrated more on light literature, particularly novels. Indeed, it has been suggested that circulating libraries received rather a bad press during the 18th and 19th centuries because of their detrimental effect on readers, particularly female ones.