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Patrick O'Brian's Navy [Hardcover]

Richard O'Neill
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 34.50
Price: CDN$ 21.63 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Sept. 4 2003
From the moment that Master and Commander, the first of Patrick O'Brian's sequence of 20 novels about the 19th century British Royal Navy officer Jack Aubrey and his surgeon colleague Stephen Maturin, was published in 1970, critics hailed his work as a masterpiece of historical recreation. Called "the best historical novels ever written" by the New York Times, the books have sold millions of copies. This first full-color illustrated companion to the Aubrey-Maturin series, timed to coincide with the release of the blockbuster Twentieth-Century Fox film adaptation starring Russell Crowe, explains the fascinating physical details of Jack Aubrey's fictional world. An in-depth historical reference, it brings to life the political, cultural, and physical setting of O'Brian's novels. Annotated drawings, paintings, and diagrams reveal the complex partsof a ship and its rigging, weaponry, crew quarters and duties, below-deck conditions, and fighting tactics, while maps illustrate the location featured in each novel.

Frequently Bought Together

Patrick O'Brian's Navy + Harbors and High Seas: An Atlas and Georgraphical Guide to the Complete Aubrey-Maturin Novels of Patrick O'Brian, Third Edition + A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian
Price For All Three: CDN$ 54.12


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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 (Learn More)
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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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By John Kwok TOP 100 REVIEWER
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a beautiful book April 10 2004
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Chip
Format:Hardcover
This book strikes a good balance between the quantity of information, the quality of the pictures and the narrative. I bought this book when I was around 6 books into O'Brian's series. I thought what better way to get some good background on the series and an understanding of the naval and historical concepts that O'Brian writes about. The problem is that the author sneaks in jaw-dropping spoilers that have just about ruined the remainder of the series for me. The spoilers are completely unnecessary - it seems almost as if the author went out of his way to squeeze them in. It is quite unfortunate that a book that labels itself as a companion to the series gives away critical plot details that occur in the late books of the series. This book should have made the O'Brian books more enjoyable - instead the "surprise" (ha ha ha!) has been ruined for me. Do NOT read this book if you are in the process of reading the adventures of Jack Aubrey - unless of course you enjoy massive spoilers.
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