No fiction writer of modern times has captured the world of wooden walls, broadsides, and the press gang as successfully as Patrick OBrian. The twenty books in the OBrian canon featuring the lives and adventures of Captain Jack Aubrey and his confidant, naval surgeon Stephen Maturin, have been lauded across the world for their blend of classic storytelling, historical accuracy, and inspired characterizations. In this new work respected naval historian Brian Lavery explores the historical framework of the OBrian novels by examining the facts behind the grand narrative and putting the key episodes in context while detailing naval life in the era of Nelson and Napoleon. With well over a hundred illustrations, the book presents contemporary plans, drawings, engravings, maps, and photographs of museum artifacts that have inspired age-of-sail novelists and moviemakers. Introducing the book is a foreword by Peter Weir, director of the upcoming film of OBrians novel Master and Commander. Avid age-of-sail fans will not want to miss this colorfully detailed complement to the OBrian series.