Patrick O'Brian's Navy Hardcover – Sep 4 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Both visually impressive and highly informative, this large-format introduction to Napoleonic naval warfare focuses on Patrick O'Brian's splendid Jack Aubrey saga, which it presents as a major work of English literature. In fact, parts of this book (including the material on Lord Cochrane, the original model for Jack Aubrey's character) will be more useful to O'Brian's fans than to the lay reader. However, the book also depicts, in words and pictures, the political background of the Napoleonic Wars, the development of the major navies, the sailors' life at sea (where weather and disease killed far more men than battles did) and the design and construction of the wooden sailing warship. The volume also details the training of officers, fleet actions, frigate actions (prominent in the career of both Cochrane and his avatar) and the role of piracy, slave trading and mutiny in the maritime history of the era. Although not uniformly well reproduced, the illustrations are outstanding, including many period items, and the book as a whole makes a fine treat O'Brian's many fans.
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About the Author
Richard O'Neill is a writer and editor who has specialized in military history for the past 40 years. He is the author of Suicide Squads, a history of the weapons and missions of the Special Attack units of World War II. He has contributed to many books on weaponry and military history, including The Complete Encyclopedia of 20th Century Warships, The Vietnam War and, most recently, An Illustrated History of the Royal Navy. He was a major contributor to Lands And Peoples, a multi-volume educational work, and wrote Presidents of the United States for the Facts America series. He is also the author of The Middle Ages and World War II for the "Historical Facts" illustrated series.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Hardly a breeze was stirring off the French naval base of Brest on January 2nd, 1793 as Captain Robert Barlow (captain by courtesy-he was a "Master and Commander," like Jack Aubrey in the Sophie) allowed the flood tide to carry his brig-sloop HMS Childers, armed with 14 or 16 guns according to different sources, toward the harbor. Read the first page
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a handsome coffee table-size volume, about 150 pages long, and heavily illustrated. The illustrations may be its strongest point - hundreds of them, mostly contemporary to Jack Aubrey's era and mostly reproduced in vivid color. I have seen many of them before, but usually in black-and-white, so even just on this score, "Patrick O'Brian's Navy" is an attractive addition to a historical nautical library. And there are some modern illustrations as well, usually in the form of diagrams to show complex information such as sail and rigging designations, crew assignments, and the arrangement of watches. Other data is conveyed in tabular form, like those for uniform details, prize money distribution, and crew organization for various ship classes.
Although the primary focus is upon the Royal Navy, there are also chapters devoted to what might be called the geo-political world of the Napoleonic Era. There is a conscious effort to tie all this to Jack Aubrey and the O'Brian novels, with the text, detailing historical events in which Jack took part (including those before the start of the book series) and occasionally providing sidebars titled "Through Aubrey's Eyes" that relate particular subjects to volume and chapter of the novels.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is an excellent source of information for all Patrick O'Brian's readers. Most of the questions that come to mind regarding the ships and the British Navy are answered.Published 5 months ago by Michele Breton