How Q uses Historical Detail

Here is an example of how Q includes historical details into his stories.

This extract is taken from Chapter III of The Blue Pavilions. The notes below give more information about the names that Q weaves into his narrative.

Captain Barker and Captain Runacles had been friends from boyhood. They had been swished together at Dr. Huskisson's school, hard by the Water Gate; had been packed off to sea in the same ship, and afterwards had more than once smelt powder together.  Admiral Blake 1 and Sir Christopher Mings 2 had turned them into tough fighters by sea; and Margaret Tellworthy had completed their education ashore, and made them better friends by rejecting both.  In an access of misogyny they had planned and built their blue pavilions, beside the London road, vowing to shut themselves up and look on no woman again. This happened but a short time before the first Dutch War, in which the one served under Captain Jonings3 in the Ruby 4 and the other had the honour to be cast ashore with Prince Rupert 5 himself, aboard the Galloper 6.  Upon the declaration of peace, in the autumn of 1667, they had returned, and, forgetting their vow, laid siege again to their mistress, who regretted the necessity of refusing them thrice apiece.



1 Admiral Benjamin Black served the Commonwealth and Charles II.

2 Sir Christopher Mings is Christopher Myngs, a captain at 28, knighted during the 2nd Dutch war, and as Admiral Myngs killed by the Dutch in June 1666.

3 Captain Jonings is Captain Sir William Jennings who was knighted during the 2nd Dutch war, and dismissed by William as a suspected Catholic in 1688.

4 The Ruby was built in 1651, of 530 tons, with 48 guns and a compliment of 230 men.

5 In 1673 Prince Rupert’s ship was the Royal Charles.

6  The Galloper was not a craft but a sandbank – this is a joke!