Mr Midshipman Easy is one of the most popular of Captain Frederick Marryat’s sixteen novels, and, published in 1836, it came seven years after his first novel, The Naval Officer. Many of his stories, including Mr Midshipman Easy, were sea yarns although Snarleyyow a year later concerned - improbably - an indestructible dog. His post-1841 novels, for which he is best-known, are children’s stories, however. Midshipman, however, is the story of Jack Easy, who has learnt from his father (a wealthy old man) that all men are created equal and should be treated as such. The novel deals with the difficulty of such a belief system within the inevitable and crucial hierarchy of a sailing vessel. The ship is crewed by a cast of humorous and interesting characters. Mr Pottyfar is a lieutenant who manages to kill himself using his own supposed ‘universal medicine’ while other fellows of interest include the truculent chaplain, Biggs, and Jack’s Ashanti friend Mesty. Jack finds himself part of numerous adventures on board ship and these intrigues are the main thrust of the novel.