- Peter Simple is an 1834 novel written by Frederick Marryat about a young British midshipman during the Napoleonic wars. The novel is an insight into the naval career of a young gentleman during the period of British Mastery of the seas in the early 19th century. The hero of the title is introduced as 'the fool of the family', son of a parson and heir presumptive to the influential Lord Privilege. This forms a sub plot among several others that run alongside the main narrative which mainly concerns the young man's journey from adolescent to adulthood amidst a backdrop of war at sea, and paints at firsthand a detailed picture of the people and character of that period. One of the key components of the tale is Peter's relationship with the various shipmates he meets, mainly that of an older officer who takes young Simple under his wing and proves invaluable in his sea education, and also includes a post captain who suffers from Munchausen syndrome among others. The whole is a series of adventures and encounters that shape Peter and suck the reader into his world of privileges and hardships, courage and cowardice and generally steals time as effectively as a modern bestseller with the added bonus of being written by an experienced and noted sea officer of the period.