The Wreck of the Golden Mary (1857) - Charles Dickens
It was written in partnership with Wilkie Collins
I am the Captain of the Golden Mary, Mr. Collins is the Mate
- Dickens told Angela Burdett-Coutts (Letters 8: 231)
Angela Burdett-Coutts was a 19th century philanthropist.
With Charles Dickens, she co-founded a home for young women prone to theft and prostitution.
The home was known as Urania Cottage.
Further, Dickens dedicated his novel Martin Chuzzlewit to her and many other friends.
it's nigh on Christmas
aging Captain Ravender
on the high seas
on the Golden Mary
I am so tired of darkness
but his living
a shared shipwreck
a shared survival
and not so friendly
a ghastly white moon
and a little child
keeps her doll
she made a doll of the Golden Mary
Poetry Pantry #260
MY GOODREADS REVIEW
Wreck of the Golden Mary by Charles Dickens
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Very brief and very scintillating. This fast-paced narrative could be a Canterbury Tale on the high seas. After all, stories are told and songs sung to pass the time. This could be a parable... all that glistens is not gold, but some golds are priceless. A shipwreck allows time to magnify loose threads in characters who are cast outside the usual regime of society. And, like a Pied Piper, Captain Ravender encourages the passengers to find courage and hope within. So interesting that the Golden Mary was headed for the Californian goldfields and the child with shining fair hair is nicknamed Golden Lucy. So many metaphors tantalise this tale. A small treasure.
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MY AMAZON AUSTRALIA REVIEW
This tale of the sea dives quickly into action. There are thoughts of being lured to the 19th century discovery of gold in California, but ultimately, the story is all about how personalities react to the challenge of a shipwrecked Golden Mary. And then there is the strange obsession of one passenger for a child that is not his. The narrative is very brief, but still it whisks the reader into a breathless climax... There's a feeling that there could have been far more to the story. An unexpected tale from the 19th century master of writing novels which usually are grounded in cities and explore the social colours of levels of society. Perhaps this narrative suggests a particular, pervading enthusiasm for adventure in worlds beyond English society. I have given this fragment a 5 star rating mainly because it represents a refreshing, alternative perspective of the Charles Dickens that we think we know.