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William Hope Hodgson at the wheel of a ship

Hodgson was the great horror writer of the sea. Despite the focus of this site it is arguable that his best short work is found in such stories as "The Voice In The Night".

Hodgson ran away from his mother and clergyman father at an early age, eventually getting apprenticed at sea. He lasted as a seafarer for eight years; in 1899, he quit life as a sailor, passionately hating it and accusing those around him of frequent brutality.

"... being a little chap of very ordinary physique I had the misfortune to serve under a second mate of the worst possible type. He was brutal, and though I can truthfully say I never gave him just cause, he singled me out for ill treatment. He made my life so miserable that in the end I summoned up sufficient courage to retaliate and "went for him." It was for all the world like a fight between a mastiff and a terrier, for he was powerful and knew how to punish. Of course, I took a merciless thrashing."
"I am not at sea because I object to bad treatment, poor food, poor wages, and worse prospects. I am not at sea because very early I discovered that it is a comfortless, weariful, and thankless life — a life compact of hardness and sordidness such as shore people can scarely conceive. I am not at sea because I dislike being a pawn with the sea for a board and the shipowners for players."

One may guess how Hodgson's experiences as a fairly small, weak, young man at sea informed his vision of the Night Land, and particularly of the Giants.