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Patrick O'Brian's Navy Hardcover – Sep 4 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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  • Patrick O'Brian's Navy
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  • A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian
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  • Harbors and High Seas: An Atlas and Geographical Guide to the Complete Aubrey-Maturin Novels of Patrick O'Brian, Third Edition
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press; 1st Edition edition (Sept. 4 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762415401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762415403
  • Product Dimensions: 28 x 2 x 28 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #111,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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First Sentence
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
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Richard O'Neill's coffee table book is a splendid, though terse, overview of the British Royal Navy during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. It does a fine job covering virtually every aspect, from the types of ships to their crews and various subjects such as punishment and entertainment available onshore and off by seamen. It is not the definitive word on the Royal Navy during this period, nor is it meant to be, since O'Neill spends much time relating the real history to the events chronicled in O'Brian's novels. May be regarded as an essential purchase by diehard fans of the Aubrey/Maturin series.
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Format: Hardcover
O'Neill (The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Warships) has produced a full-color reference book that, despite its somewhat misleading title, may turn out to be a useful purchase for followers of O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin novels. The majority of the intelligently selected period paintings and drawings come from the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth, England, and the National Maritime Museum; that they are gathered under one cover is certainly a major strength of the book. In addition to the illustrations, O'Neill provides a well-researched historical account of what was going on during the Napoleonic Wars, a glossary of nautical terminology, and a "cast list" both of major fictional characters and of historical personalities encountered in the novels. For good measure, they also include throughout a series of informational boxes titled "Through Aubrey's Eyes" that provide links between the factual material and scenes and events from the O'Brian novels. Not quite as authoritative as Brian Lavery's Nelson's Navy: The Ships, Men and Organization, 1783- 1815 or as helpful as Dean King's A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion for Patrick O'Brian's Seafaring Tales, this may be an attractive acquisition for large public libraries with an interest both in O'Brian's novels and in the iconography of sea warfare during the Napoleonic era.
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Format: Hardcover
"Patrick O'Brian's Navy: The Illustrated Companion to Jack Aubrey's World" is one of those books that doesn't really have an author. Richard O'Neill is listed as the Consulting Editor, but the Editor and Indexer is Philip de Ste. Croix, and there are a number of "Contributors" including David Miller, who has his own Jack Aubrey-related book coming out soon ("The World of Jack Aubrey").
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.
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Format: Hardcover
This would make a lovely Father's Day present, it is really beautiful. It is also highly interesting and informative. Being a 'coffee table' book can sometimes be a criticism. In this case it is not. This IS a book you will proudly keep where people can see it, but you will also find it infinitely interesting to dip into every now and then.
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