"The best historical novels ever written."—Richard Snow, New York Times Book Review Third in the series of Aubrey-Maturin adventures, this book is set among the strange sights and smells of the Indian subcontinent, and in the distant waters ploughed by the ships of the East India Company. Aubrey is on the defensive, pitting wits and seamanship against an enemy enjoying overwhelming local superiority. But somewhere in the Indian Ocean lies the prize that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams: the ships sent by Napoleon to attack the China Fleet...
Captain Jack Aubrey of Nelson's navy, is taking a British ambassador to the East Indies. Travelling through the Indian sub-continent, and archipelago of islands, they are where the French have an overwhelming superiority.
Persons, Animals, Ships and Cannon in the Aubrey-Maturin Sea Novels
Author: Anthony Gary Brown
Category: Literary Criticism
Now in its second edition, this expanded work catalogs every person, animal, ship and cannon mentioned by name in the 21 books of Patrick O’Brian’s series on the maritime adventures of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin. The novels, renowned for their “far-ranging web of wit and allusion,” teem with thousands of characters and ships, both imaginary and historical. From Master and Commander to 21: The Unfinished Voyage, this book distinguishes the fictional from the factual, making a useful series companion for the casual reader and the most ardent fans. Each of the more than 5,000 alphabetized entries provides a reference to the novels and chapters in which the topic appears. Additionally, biographical notes on the historical figures are included, with sources provided in an annotated bibliography.
After two years of bloody fighting and heavy losses, after enduring the hurricane of 1824, HMS SURPRISE struggles to make Falmouth port in a dreadful state, very severely damaged and sinking, dozens of her crew wounded and injured, all her officers and men utterly exhausted.Will she be hulked or even broken up? Doctor Simon Ferguson, traumatised by so many deaths, has had enough and leaves for his home in the Isles. The First Lord ponders the frigate's futureas her men are paid off. Battered and broken, HMS SURPRISE's very existence is in doubt.Actual historical events form the stirring backcloth to a story about fighting men in violent times. Life and death in the turmoil and terror they endure is described in vivid detail as the barky comes alive once more in an exciting climax to one of the most famous battles in the Greek war of independence.
What Fiction Tells us About Conflict, From The Iliad to Catch-22
Author: Christopher Coker
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Since Achilles first stormed into our imagination, literature has introduced its readers to truly unforgettable martial characters. In Men at War, Christopher Coker discusses some of the most famous of these fictional creations and their impact on our understanding of war and masculinity. Grouped into five archetypes-warriors, heroes, villains, survivors and victims-these characters range across 3000 years of history, through epic poems, the modern novel and one of the twentieth century's most famous film scripts. Great authors like Homer and Tolstoy show us aspects of reality invisible except through a literary lens, while fictional characters such as Achilles and Falstaff, Robert Jordan and Jack Aubrey, are not just larger than life; they are life's largeness-and this is why we seek them out. Although the Greeks knew that the lovers, wives and mothers of soldiers are the chief victims of battle, for the combatants, war is a masculine pursuit. Each of Coker's chapters explores what fiction tells us about war's appeal to young men and the way it makes- and breaks-them. The existential appeal of war too is perhaps best conveyed in fictional accounts, and these too are scrutinized by the author.
The fictional exploits of sailors in the Royal Navy have thrilled readers around the world. This title covers various aspects of the Royal Navy including the workings of the admiralty, the designs and building of ships, life on board, food and drink, discipline, seamanship, merchant fleets, and opposing navies.
Lincoln P. Paine's SHIPS OF THE WORLD: AN HISTORICAL HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA was honored as one of the best reference books of the year by the New York Public Library, and Library Journal described it as "clearly the most fascinating book of the year." Now, in two equally fascinating new books, Paine focuses on two of the most interesting areas of maritime history: WARSHIPS OF THE WORLD TO 1900 and SHIPS OF DISCOVERY AND EXPLORATION. WARSHIPS OF THE WORLD TO 1900 traces the history of naval warfare through the stories of more than two hundred of the most famous and important fighting ships, from the earliest triremes and Viking longships to the Mary Rose, Wasa, Bonhomme Richard, HMS Victory, USS Constitution, USS Monitor, and Mikasa. Each ship is described in a vivid short essay that captures its personality as well as its physical characteristics, construction, and history, from the drawing board to the scrap yard or museum. Paintings and photographs show the grandeur and grace of these vessels that helped shape world events. An introductory essay, maps, and a chronology offer the reader a global perspective on the course of naval history from antiquity to the present.
HMS SURPRISE, after a miraculous escape from the Bay of Navarino, fights on to aid the Greek navy in their struggle against Ottoman superiority. After delivering her cargo of the Tsar's gold to a secret hideaway, unable to make way against strong headwinds and closed within a narrow strait, the frigate is surrounded by a closing Turkish fleet, her destruction or capture seemingly inevitable. A miraculous escape is made through shallow, uncharted waters. At last, temporary repairs made to substantial damages, Surprise and her tender, the schooner Eleanor, make their way home, heading for Falmouth, yet the fog of Cape St. Vincent presents a dreadful catastrophe for them. Home at last but troubled by so many shipmates lost, Captain Patrick O'Connor and Dr Simon Ferguson contemplate their future as bleak destitution looms before them when scores of banks fail in the great financial crash of 1825. Our valiant heroes return once again in another exciting tale aboard the barky.
Captain Pat O'Connor, Lieutenant Duncan Macleod and Doctor Simon Ferguson return from half-pay to command the frigate HMS SURPRISE, returned to service at Plymouth Dock after long years 'in ordinary' to serve the cause of Greek independence. This historical novel is founded upon the continuing voyages of HMS Surprise - the 38-gun, Leda-class frigate of 1812.Though a relatively young ship, she lay at Plymouth Dock in 1822 about to be reduced to a prison hulk. In this story her fate takes its fictional turn for the better. The continuing voyages series, of which this is the first book, is principally a tale of its characters the men of those times, but it is also a story of the effects of war on men: how it affects them, how they respond, what is important to them - set within the backcloth of a relatively confined theatre of war.I fondly imagined for years that the many fans of Patrick O'Brian's seafaring tales of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin sorely lamented, as did I, the end of his wonderful, utterly exceptional stories and hugely missed those two warm and intensely fascinating individuals, characters always of the most engaging interest while possessed of the most human of personalities; for that surely was O'Brian's gift: Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin never resembled superheroes, rather in their warmth and fallibility they endeared themselves to us as any current personality might well do, and the gulf of two hundred years between their (fictional) lives and ours simply faded away. With no prospect (sadly) of any further historical novels from Patrick O'Brian and missing his characters so much myself, I decided I must write a sequel so as to bring them back, to enjoy their company all over again. After writing the first draft and by then in a dialogue with his estate, I was made aware of Patrick O'Brian's wish that no sequel to his series should be published, and hence a different course was subsequently plotted, the finished result being no longer a faithful reproduction of his ingredients but a book with different characters, though one which still draws its inspiration of form and flavour from his genius. This tale, a detailed and interwoven fabric of history and fiction, is set in the early nineteenth-century war of Greek independence. It presents a most suitable subject for a work of historical naval fiction. Adding to the treasure trove of actual events that the historical novelist is blessed with are the real people of those times, many of whom grace this book. It is particularly pleasing to develop this rich mother lode into brief but colourful appearances within the story, the places and timing of which, if not the actualit�, accord with the known detail of their lives. Lord Byron is one such person, and the author has taken the liberty of including a few words of simple yet sublime prose which Byron himself wrote within his journal for the 17th October 1823 describing his quietude in Cephalonia some weeks before he departed for his final destiny in Missolonghi. Notwithstanding that this is a work of fiction the author has strived for the inclusion of many real historical events throughout the story. It is little realised, for example, that the phrase 'truth is stranger than fiction', now in commonplace use, actually originated from Lord Byron. The capture of Byron's companion, Count Gamba, by the Turks which is described in this book was a real event, and there surely cannot be anything stranger in fiction than the true tale of the Turk captain fortuitously recognising his Greek captive counterpart, his own former rescuer, after an interval of fully fifteen years.