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Captain Haddock: His nationality?

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Tintin Quiz
Member
#31 · Posted: 9 Dec 2006 21:15
[Moved from this thread]
jock123
There isn’t actually anything in the English editions which says that Captain Haddock is English, per se, nor even that he is British; in that respect his origin is as vague as that of Tintin…
Here's an interesting part of the entry on Haddock in Wikipedia:

Haddock's name was suggested by his wife, who noted that haddock was a "sad English fish" over a fish dinner. Hergé then utilised the name for the English captain he'd just introduced. ...
Although it has not been suggested that Hergé based Haddock on any historical persons, it transpired that there were several Haddocks who had served in the navy. Many of the Haddocks of Leigh-on-Sea served in the British Navy of the 17th century, with Admiral Sir Richard Haddock serving in the battle of Sole Bay.[2]
Balthazar
Moderator
#32 · Posted: 10 Dec 2006 01:22 · Edited by: Balthazar
[Also moved from this thread in reply to the preceding post]

Tintin Quiz
Haddock's name was suggested by his wife, who noted that haddock was a "sad English fish" over a fish dinner.
This shows that Hergé knew Haddock was an English name for a fish...

...it transpired that there were several Haddocks who had served in the navy. Many of the Haddocks of Leigh-on-Sea served in the British Navy of the 17th century, with Admiral Sir Richard Haddock serving in the battle of Sole Bay.
...and this certainly interesting information proves that there were English/British Navy sailors and officers called Haddock.

But the use of the word English in this part of the Wikipedia article you quote from -

Hergé then utilised the name for the English captain he'd just introduced.

- is surely just speculation, and speculation which runs counter to the fact that in Hergé's original Secret of the Unicorn (written not that long after he'd first created Haddock) Hergé gives Haddock an ancestor who serves in the French navy. I'm not saying this in itself proves that Haddock can't be English, but if Hergé had envisaged him as such, you'd think he'd have had his ancestor serving in the English navy (as the English translators much later did). Whatever the nationality of the sad fish that gave Hergé the name, the most obvious assumption based on the actual original books is that Hergé intended Haddock to be seen as a Belgian of some sort of Franco-Belgian descent.

In his very readable but sometimes innacurate biography, Harry Thompson makes the same assertion as the Wikipedia article does that Haddock is English in Hergé's original as well as in the English translations. He also recounts that "sad English fish" name-origin story, but also gives no firm reason to think that the character himself was supposed to be English. Later in this biography Harry Thompson uses this unproven assertion that Haddock is English to "prove" his argument that the expedition in The Shooting Star isn't entirely made up of German, Nazi-occupied and Nazi-sympathetic-"neutral" nationalities, so maybe that's why he's so keen on Haddock being a Brit. But, as I say, no real reason or evidence for this assumption is given.

Whether the person who wrote the Wikipedia article you quote was taking his/her "facts" regarding Haddock's nationality from Harry Thompson's book, I don't know, but it seems possible.
jock123
Moderator
#33 · Posted: 11 Dec 2006 12:10 · Edited by: jock123
Tintin Quiz
Admiral Sir Richard Haddock serving in the battle of Sole Bay
The ins and outs of the sad English/ British fish have been discussed further up the thread already, but I was charmed to see that a Haddock fought in Sole Bay - something is definitely fishy about that! ;-)
jock123
the last time I wore a kilt I was 4 years old
Oh, and in reading back through the thread, I will make a personal update, and say that, as of July this year, I now own a kilt, and have worn it to my brother’s wedding!
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#34 · Posted: 11 Dec 2006 13:46 · Edited by: Harrock n roll
Balthazar is absolutely right in that the Wikipedia page doesn't make any case that Haddock is English. The “sad English fish” story on its own is certainly no basis for the claim.

I think the best case for it was made in the Tintin at Sea book. It includes many points already mentioned in this thread about the Chevalier de Hadoque’s familiarity with Royal Navy customs: the very un-French rum found on-board the Unicorn; the cannons which are “secured in the English manner”; the Unicorn scrolls which use ‘W’ for west when it ought to be ‘O’ for ‘Ouest’.

There’s even evidence that Hadoque - possibly a Jacobite who Francisized his name (no pun intended!) and opted for the Paris meridian - still ‘speaks’ English; the shout of “Hurrah”, unheard of in Louis XIV’s fleet, but familiar in the Royal Navy.

Of course, it could be that Hergé was using many English references for his ship research and the English customs just ‘slipped in’ accidentally. It's possible.

However, I think the best evidence is that Hergé might have intended Haddock to be a Brit because of the list of possible first names Hergé made for Picaros. They are overwhelmingly Anglo-Saxon or British in origin and spelling - Marmaduke, Edward, Richard, Harold, Henry, John, etc - and of course Hergé finally settled on the very Scottish Archibald.

Having recently re-read this thread and taking into account all the other evidence put forward here - his former sea-mates having English names like Allan Thompson, Jumbo and Chester, the Karaboudjan/Glengarry connection, etc - I’d say there’s a very strong case that he really was meant to be a Brit. The Haddock name list finally swung it for me anyway!

jock123
the last time I wore a kilt I was 4 years old
Oh, and in reading back through the thread, I will make a personal update, and say that, as of July this year, I now own a kilt, and have worn it to my brother's wedding!


You mean you've grown out of that old one already? ;-)
sliat_1981
Member
#35 · Posted: 28 May 2007 07:40 · Edited by: sliat_1981
I dont know about you, but I never though of Haddock as anything but Belgian, just like the most the regulars. There was nothing to suggest he wasn't. I think if he was British, it would have been mentioned. He was never given a British accent in any of the French-language movies he appeared in (in the French versions). None of the ones I saw anyway.
miloumuttmitt
Member
#36 · Posted: 28 May 2007 16:42
On the official Tintin website, the Haddock insult page has him talking in an accent halfway between a British and a Scottish.
Wamthet
Member
#37 · Posted: 10 Jun 2007 13:15
He is British, isn't he? Archibald tends to be a predominantly British name.
sliat_1981
Member
#38 · Posted: 19 Jun 2007 21:16 · Edited by: sliat_1981
Herge's name was George, which could be mistaken for an English name. I'm sure there are French people called Archibald. That couldn't make him British because he coull also be Canadian, American or Australian with that name. I'm not saying I'm right, but I never had any reason to believe this Capatin living in Belgium was anything but a Belgian.
In The Secret Of The Unicorn, Haddock's decendant was called François in the original French version. If he had meant him to be English shouldn't he have used the English spelling, Francis, even in the original one? Also in the original French one the ship was French. The translators (or whoever) may have wanted to present him as English (they put a Union flag on the ship), but it seems to me, Herge intended him to be Belgian (or French). They also find out François used a French chart. It seems the Haddock is obviously decended from a French ancestory. I know this could still make him British with French ancestory, but I just don't see any concrete evidence that he was English. I'm not saying I'm right, I'm just saying I'm just not sure.
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#39 · Posted: 21 Jun 2007 00:15
sliat_1981
Herge's name was George

Hergé's first name is Georges. Don't forget the s, it's crucial!
Mike1
Member
#40 · Posted: 28 Jun 2007 16:04
If you have the French edition, «L'affaire Tournesol», there is a following exchange between Haddock and Lampion that might suggest that Haddock is British. Since I can read French I don't need or have the English edition so I don't know what it says there.

Anyway, Haddock and Tintin was in Switzerland and in a helicopter trying to chase Tournesol and his kidnappers who was fleeing by boat. Haddock was calling Lampion asking for assistance and pleading that the call was not a prank which Lampion thinks it was:

Here is the dialogue if you can read French:

Haddock: Fichez-moi la paix avec vos assurances, mille sabords!... Je ne plaisante pas... Prévenez la police suisse et la police française... Il faut qu'on arrête ces gaillards...

Lampion: Ha! ha! ha!...Pendant que j'y suis, vous ne voulez pas que je téléphone à l'Amirauté britannique pour qu'on vous envoie la Home Fleet?... Sacré Haddock, va!...

I would say he is British, perhaps on the Scottish side. Very few people in Belgium has a name like that or drinks whisky.

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