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Nautical Fiction

What Is Nautical Fiction?

Also termed naval fiction, maritime fiction, and naval adventure fiction, nautical fiction is one genre of literature formed around the sea, highlighting nautical culture in the sea environments. People generally turned these novel genres into theater plays, films, and television stories.

British and North American writers mainly followed nautical fiction. Still, over the years, it was a widespread form of literature employed even by novelists of France, Japan, and Scandinavia.

Since this form of literature mainly included men as the main character, the significant features of this genre include fishing, boats, ships, and women passengers. The theme of such novels focused on heroism, masculinity, social hierarchies, and other social and psychological struggles with the sea as the primary environment.

Common themes of nautical fiction

nautical fiction

Male centric and heroism

Since male authors wrote most maritime novels, they centered on the male world and male heroism. According to John Peck, the theme of this genre was more socially conservative with high relevance and relation to masculinity.

However, over the years, the primary genre of the literate started to vary from masculinity to sea-centric stories. Over the years, the book also started targeting issues and developments in the naval world, merchant ships, and others.

Women at the sea

Adventures of Louisa Baker

The contemporary sea culture flows women as fisheries and commanding offices on naval ships. The early and medieval civilizations were alien to these thoughts. Hence, women on the sea were only characterized as passengers on the ship. However, after the success of the book Adventures of Louisa Baker in 1815, women-centric sea adventure roles drastically improved.

Working class on the sea

In their novels, the 20th century was marked as a great twist in the maritime litreture and introduced the working class. Theater enthusiasts also converted some of these novels into plays that were popular in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Sailors were also introduced to the novel during this time, introducing sailor town with brothels, lodgings, public houses, etc. These helped in catering to the needs of all the sailors living ashore. Some novels also wrote about the families of the sailors and their life experiences on the boat.

Enslaved persons and passenger ships

Many authors introduced the ships of sales and passengers in maritime novels that focused on the adventures of the people on the ship. However, many novelists also wrote about the dark secrets and the involvement of slavery in those times. Therefore, the book was mainly based on the theme of sea and slavery, as it was also a part of a social issue.

Language and style

The main difference between maritime fiction and ordinary fiction lies in the sea and water-body as the backdrop. Since such a genre started gaining immense traction, it is still one of the leading genres in literature, plays, and movies.

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