Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ten facts about Captain Hook

As promised! More Captain Hook in the blog this year. (Such a burden.) Some of these details were previously chronicled by J.M. Barrie, while others have been revealed as I work on The Stowaway. (Sources at the end.)

1. Peter Pan has convinced himself that he cut off the hand of Captain Jas. Hook and threw it to the Neverland crocodile. [1] The truth, however, is more complicated and sadder, and took place long before the two met. [3]

2. Books from the Eton library, inscribed with the name "Jacobus Hook," can still occasionally be found in second-hand bookstores. [2]

3. James Hook does fear the crocodile, but no more than he would any large and deadly creature. [3]

4. His hatred of Peter Pan results from the boy killing his men without remorse, tormenting him ceaselessly, and being irrepressibly cocky. [1,3]

5. James Hook is an inveterate clothes horse. The red coats for which he has become known are his battle coats, and the time of The Stowaway, he has three. For regular seafaring, he wears blue or gray. [3]

6. He has patterned his appearance after King Charles II, most spectacularly in the long black ringlets in which he wears his hair. [1] While many artists--mostly post-Disney--depict him in stockings and knee-breeches, he learned early on that such dress was not practical for piracy. [3]

7. Hook's eyes are the blue of forget-me-nots. [1] Barrie describes him as "blackavized" [1], or swarthy. Perhaps this coloration can be traced to his Welsh ancestry. [3]

8. His black hair comes from his mother's side of the family, while the chin he near-despises is a legacy from his thoroughly-despised father [3].

9. James Hook was a (largely unwilling) boy soprano. [3] He also played flute [2] and harpsichord. [1]

10. The Captain detests fiction, feeling that he gets enough make-believe during the time he spends in Neverland. Rather, he prefers histories for the understand they give him of the larger world. [3]

Bonus: The ship the Captain sails at the time of Peter Pan and The Stowaway is the third incarnation of the Jolly Roger. [3]

[1] Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie, 1911
[2] "Hook at Eton," speech given by J. M. Barrie in 1927
[3] The Stowaway, by your blogger, still in progress


  1. I do hope this is still a project you're working on. I just found this blog this evening and I'm very curious about it.
    (Sorry if this got posted twice, not sure if my first comment went through, unfamiliar with this website.)

  2. Oh, yes, it's very much still an ongoing project-- a lengthy, involved, fairly complicated project.Thanks for your interest! Your comment is heartening (and it did post only once.)