The Phantom Ship

The Phantom Ship - Captain Marryat [These notes were made in 1983:]. Rather to my amusement, I got hooked into this one, even after the ostensible reason for reading it (it influenced Stevenson in Ballantrae) had passed. It's about the Flying Dutchman, of course, but the Dutchman himself only flits in and out of the story until the climactic scene where the protagonist (his son) manages to meet him and save him from his torment. Then, with a grand rush of waves, they go down together. Marryat plays with a lot of supernatural stuff in this novel, but he shares with some the lesser Gothicists a somewhat slapdash ambiguity over the relation between God, supernatural happenings, and evil spirits. The Inquisition gets bad press, as usual, but in this case they are actually exercising their function correctly in killing our heroine! Nonetheless, despite holes in logic you could drive a bus through, the novel does rather well as an entertaining adventure story.