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Captain Haddock: His nationality?

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#1 · Posted: 9 Jun 2004 16:24
Haddock is definitely supposed to be British - Hergé said he got the idea because his wife described a haddock as "a sad English fish" - though as jock123 says, "anglais" could have been taken to mean "British" instead of "English".
I don't know whether Belgian or French readers of Tintin understand whether Haddock is supposed to be British though - as far as I know, aside from his name there are no explicit references to his nationality in the French-language editions.

And anyone who has seen the Harry Potter films will know that Robbie Coltrane does an extremely passable Westcountry accent - perhaps North Devon/Somerset, I think it's closest to.
#2 · Posted: 9 Jul 2004 12:21
Having seen the Poll for "What nationality is Haddock?", I must say that I read somewhere (can't remember which book, and can't get to it as I am at work, probably either Tintin and Hergé, Reporters, or Tintin: The Complete Companion), that Captain Haddock was so named when Hergé was having dinner with his first wife. Hergé was pondering on a name for his new creation, and his wife suggested he be called 'Haddock', because a Haddock was a 'sad English fish'.
I personally believe he is a west-country man myself.
#3 · Posted: 9 Jul 2004 13:03
The nobility of Europe often used French as their language of choice (the Russian royalty were still using it when they fell), and the Tintin at Sea exhibition gives examples of figures contemporary to Sir Francis who would French-ify their names when writing in French.

It also posits that Hadoque was a Scottish Jacobite, who would have allegience to the Scottish monarchy, and therefore to France through the "Auld Alliance".

In a recent review, someone said that they thought Haddock was given a Scottish accent in the old cartoons. I don't really know if Haddock is English in the original, or just British (Anglaise covers both, in that grey way English is used by many English people to mean British).
Archibald, although Germanic in origin, is a common name in Scotland.

As I said, the word anglais can just as easily mean "British" as "English". Given: that he drinks whisky; that the Karaboudjan (or at least its real-life model the Glengarry) was from Glasgow; that a credible case has been made for Sir Francis as a Jacobite; that "Archibald" is a fairly common name in Scotland; that there are historical links between the Scots and the French; that there is a long history of Scots stereotypes as ship's engineers; and more importantly that I happen to be Scottish, I make a (fairly partisan) claim for Haddock being a Scot!
#4 · Posted: 9 Jul 2004 13:19
He often is seen wearing a suit, but I don't think I have ever seen him wear a kilt, Tintin being the only one who can claim this.
I'd have thought that any proud Scotsman would don his national dress at every opportunity; the end of Red Rackham's Treasure, would have been a perfect time.

I also feel there is a difference between being British and being identified as a Scotsman, and many people drink whiskey.

Definitely see him as an Englishman myself.

#5 · Posted: 9 Jul 2004 13:27
You have some good points Jock. Do you remember the old Belvision cartoon series of Tintin, where Haddock had a soft Irish accent? Do you think this was just for the American audience? I think we can say he does come from the British Isles though!
#6 · Posted: 9 Jul 2004 17:24
I don't currently own a kilt (and the last time I wore one, I was 4!) - but I do own a suit!
The modern kilt is a Victorian invention of Prince Albert's, so perhaps the Haddocks have never taken to it...?

I don't get the bit about being British - all I said was that it is not possible to infer from "anglais" whether "English" or "British" was meant: so it does not preclude Haddock from being Scots...

BTW, Haddock drinks "whisky" (made in Scotland), not "whiskey" (which is a similar spirit, but made outside Scotland ;-))...

Rastapopoulos, it's interesting that you mention the Belvision series, because there too Haddock's accent has been described as Scottish - although your description of it as "soft Irish" is probably as valid, because it was a bit hard to tell exactly where the American voice actor was locating himself! I think it was the late great Paul "Boris Badenov" Frees who supplied the voice, so sadly we may never know what he intended it to be.
#7 · Posted: 9 Jul 2004 23:15
Is Haddock actually supposed to be English in the Belgian versions of Tintin?
His ancestor in French is not "Sir Francis Haddock" but rather "François Hadoque," which'd definitely make his roots francophone.

There is a French word for "British," of course - "Britannique" - but I agree that a non-British writer would rarely make a distinction between "England," "Great Britain" or "The United Kingdom."
Lord knows we in North America rarely do, much as how Britons tend to say "America" when what they mean is the United States...

I seriously doubt, though, that Hergé intended Haddock to be Scottish (got all that out of his system in The Black Island), or that he put any thought into where in England he might have been from...
Much as I doubt whether he figured Trickler to be from suburban St. Louis, or perhaps rural Nebraska, or maybe a quiet side street in Brooklyn... :)
#8 · Posted: 9 Jul 2004 23:38
Well, I had sort of intended my remarks to be light hearted...
...But I think it is as likely to be Scotland as England: after all, much of The Black Island is set in England, and continental Europe, so I don't think he was getting anything "out of his system".
It may indeed have inspired him...!

Britannique of course means British, but that doesn't mean that anglais applies specifically to the English either (much as it pains me!); it definitely encompasses those who live in all of Britain - Welsh too.

Of course, we are basing everything on the supposed anecdote of the "sad English/ British fish" - which we know applies to the fish, but nothing actually says he ever wanted the character to be the same.

In fact, as with so many things, that level of detail may have been added in the telling, and it may have been nothing more than a throw-away remark about haddock being the word for the fish in English which sparked it.

As far as I have been able to ascertain, there is nothing in the stories anywhere to suggest that Haddock is any specific nationality or ethnicity.

Like the little African boy who wrote to Hergé to suggest himself to play Tintin, we can each read whatever we like into the character, as until further data is unearthed, we won't be proven wrong!
#9 · Posted: 11 Jul 2004 07:45
Whoa... the first paragraph from my last post came from another one I posted months ago... can anyone explain that? :S
#10 · Posted: 11 Jul 2004 10:42
Well, some months ago you were part of an expedition which brought back a mummy - a mummy with a curse upon it! Acolytes of the temple from which you took the mummy tracked you down, then, using mystic jungle plants and incantations of the black arts, they put you into a deee-ee-e-p hypnotic sleep...!

Fortunately the curse was lifted, and you awoke, with no memory of the intervening months, but aware of the passage of time... That's what has confused you...


I think that admin may have been doing some house-keeping, and have amalgamated one or more old threads...?

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