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O'Brian, Patrick - The Letter of Marque - ( Item 129937 )

Published in UK by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. 1998. Reprint. Good+ Hardback. Some water marking at the bottom of the prelimiary pages and first leaf of text. Spine has a slight lean. Near Fine Dustjacket. 288 pages. When Jack Aubrey is unfairly deprived of his commission in the Royal Navy, Stephen Maturin comes to the rescue, purchasing the captain's former ship and outfitting it as a privateer, to be commanded by none other than Jack Aubrey. Soon the Surprise is off to sea, on a mission that Aubrey hopes will redeem his good name. The author's grasp of period detail is astonishing as ever--and so is his gift for pure entertainment. --This text refers to the Paperback edition. Review '…full of the energy that comes from a writer having struck a vein… Patrick O'Brian is unquestionably the Homer of the Napoleonic wars.' James Hamilton- Paterson 'You are in for the treat of your lives. Thank God for Patrick O'Brian: his genius illuminates the literature of the English language, and lightens the lives of those who read him.' Kevin Myers, Irish Times 'In a highly competitive field it goes straight to the top. A real first-rater.' Mary Renault 'I never enjoyed a novel about the sea more. It is not only that the author describes the handling of a ship of 1800 with an accuracy that is as comprehensible as it is detailed, a remarkable feat in itself. Mr O'Brian's three chief characters are drawn with no less depth of sympathy than the vessels he describes, a rare achievement save in the greatest writers of this genre. It deserves the widest readership.' Irish Times O'Brian (Desolation Island, 1979, etc.) brings back Captain Jack Aubrey, who is no longer in the Royal Navy but nonetheless still sails against Napoleon. Aubrey is a stern man these days, having been dismissed from the service for false charges of stock fraud. His old friend Stephen Maturin, however, having bought Aubrey's old frigate Surprise, now uses her as a private ship of war (a letter of marque) to cruise upon the enemy and gives Aubrey command of it. The brainy Maturin, secretly an agent in British naval and political intelligence, is the perfect foil for Aubrey, a man socially unsure of himself and pursued by creditors when ashore but on deck beloved by his crew and revered as Lucky Jack Aubrey. Maturin himself has become estranged from his wife, Diana, and hopes to win her back while Aubrey, also married with children, must dig his way out of disgrace. These personal worries add fiber to the characterizations, and the play of strengths and frailties between the two seamen (Maturin is overly fond of tincture of brandy-and-opium) glows with humanity. Indeed, O'Brian is a brilliant stylist of sea-historicals, his every sentence sensuous and emerging from saltwater as naturally as the leap of a flying fish. After a few preliminary skirmishes at sea, with his privateer painted up for deception of the enemy, Jack takes a pistol ball in the back and loses half his blood at St. Martin's, where he has triumphed over the French. While the House of Commons entertains reinstating Jack, who sails to the Gulf of Riga, Maturin goes off to Sweden to find reconciliation with Diana. Authentic and engaging. (Kirkus Reviews) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Price £ 81.70 (inc UK postage)                 Other items you may like                 Others by the same author

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