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    Re: Towson's tables?
    From: Murray Buckman
    Date: 2020 Sep 19, 10:50 -0700

    Perhaps a little off topic, but in addition to my interest in celestial navigation I enjoy a little literature from time to time.  By choice that often has a nautical theme, so unsurprisingly I am a fan of Joseph Conrad.

    In “Heart of Darkness” Conrad’s character Marlow discovers a book in a hut in the jungle:

    “It was an extraordinary find.  Its title was, An Inquiry into some Points of Seamanship, by a man Towser, Towson – some such name – Master in his Majesty’s Navy”.

    Of course the book and its author were both fictional creations of Conrad.  But as a mariner he would have been familiar with J T Towson’s work.  I do not think it a coincidence that he chose to use this name in Heart of Darkness for his fictional author of a fictional book about seamanship.

    I never made the connection before this thread.

    I speculate – but have evidence – that perhaps they met.  Conrad joined his first British ship in 1876, just 5 years before JTT’s death.  At the time JTT was in Liverpool and was an examiner of masters and mates and a compass expert.  Conrad was just starting to learn English (he was Polish – despite his contribution to English literature).  Conceivably their paths crossed.  Conrad was well known for using people he had encountered as characters in his writing.  One wonders…

    Anyway – that is the trivia for today.

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