I read this book about 27-Dec-2010. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 1894. This note was last modified Friday, 21-Jan-2011 18:33:13 PST.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
People say one of the problems with electronic library catalogs is that you don't stumble across other interesting stuff. I can only conclude they haven't actually browsed electronic catalogs. I stumbled across this book in the Project Gutenberg catalog while looking to see if any of the Malcolm Jameson SF stories were there (they weren't). It's a collection of stories, mostly involving small merchant ships (not the navy), many of them in the coastal trade around England. And it's by the man most famous for his story "The Monkey's Paw".
There are no continuing characters, and the stories are fairly short. Most of them have a mild romantic angle. Most of them are fairly broadly told, with details a bit too strange to be really believable today. They rarely have much at stake beyond the personal happiness of the characters. And mostly they involve dirty tricks that wouldn't be acceptable today. For all that, they're kind of innocent.