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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect Aubrey-Maturin companion . . .,
This review is from: A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian (Paperback)Subtitled "A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian," this is an absolutely marvelous book, the Third Edition of which includes references to all twenty of the Aubrey-Maturin novels. It scores high in the first test given any alphabetically organized reference book, viz., in looking up an entry, ... There's a wide variety of nautical jargon, period medical terminology, the characters' references to natural history and music, and the foreign words and phrases that crop up in the novels. O'Brian describes a large number of real personages, too, all of whom are succinctly biographed. There's also a pretty detailed timeline for the period 1793-1818, a narrative essay on the ins and outs of the Napoleonic wars, a most illuminating discussion of naval medicine and surgery in Maturin's day, and a nice series of period illustrations of ships and boats for those who can't tell a frigate from a corvette, nor a barge from a launch. This is definitely a book to keep at hand while you work your way through the series.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You MUST have this book!,
This review is from: A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian (Paperback)This book is absolutely indispensible for the O'Brian fan. Not only is it full of nautical terms for all us poor lubbers, but it contains much more as well. Herein are descriptions of food, wine, medical terms, natural science, a few people, places, ships, and events, and even foreign phrases lifted right out of the Aubrey/Maturin books and translated for your convenience. It also contains a meaty chapter on the Royal Navy, another on medical science of the era (scary!) and a Napoleonic war timeline. All I could ask for is more illustrations and a chapter explaining the basics of sailing.
I've had this book at my elbow constantly since HMS Surprise (3rd in the series). You'll wonder how you ever got along without it!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely amazing resource,
This review is from: A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian (Paperback)Wow, all I can say is wow. One of the finest glossaries of nautical and late 18th-early 19th century social terms that I have ever come across. The perfect compliment to the O'Brian series of books, especially if one is not familiar with naval terms of that time.
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 Shinning Stars for this BOOK! Excellent!,
This book has diagrams and charts and photos, explains naval medicine and other things, but it's best trait is the "a to z" dictionary of nautical terms and phrases used in the O'Brian books.
5.0 out of 5 stars Handy companion,
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Companion Piece to the Series,
O'Brian's vast vocabulary and vast knowledge of seagoing nomenclature as well as late 18th and early 19th century social mores is impressive. This book allows one to appreciate the level of scholarship applied by O'Brian. However, this is much more than a simple glossary. It includes short biographies of leading personages of the day, histories of important battles, diagrams of ships and rigging and geographical references.
While one can probably get along without this book; assuming one has access to a good dictionary, encyclopedia and other reference books, this tome certainly eases the task.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful resource,
This book is full of definitions and descriptions of all sorts of things found in the Aubrey/Maturin stories. Don't understand weather gage, this book explains it. Have you always wondered what the heck they meant by sailing at so-and-so points to the wind, this book not only has a definition, but a diagram showing it to you.
This is a wonderful resource for old O'Brian readers as well as all you new ones out there. Well worth the investment.
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reference for the Aubrey/Maturin Series,
This review is from: A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion for Patrick O'Brian's Seafaring Tales (Hardcover)For someone starting out in the Aubrey/Maturin (or any other sea stories, for that matter), this is an excellent companion. While I am somewhat familiar with nautical terms, I found it helpful to have a handy reference for the language of the sea and of Georgian Britain. This is a useful volume for fans of other Nelsonian heroes such as Horatio Hornblower, Richard Bolitho, and Nathaniel Drinkwater.
5.0 out of 5 stars For God's sake buy this!,
5.0 out of 5 stars It's essential,
If you ever find yourself in the privilaged position of being able to recommend Patrick O'Brian's magnificant novels to anyone who is so benighted as to have not yet heard of them, don't leave them in the lurch - funish them with a copy of this most excellent tome, to help them on their way! After all, you will remember the number of times you felt compelled to run to your meagre collection of reference sources to find out what O'Brian writes about with such unswerving authority. Even if you cannot gain from it youself, you know that this is _the_ book to have.
I cannot write too highly of it (and I am an able to write too highly of many things when the spirit takes me :). But, To give a copy of "Master and Commander" to a new initiate of Mr O'Brian without also furishing them with a copy of this book is, quite frankly, to condemn your fellow potential Aubreyites to the same fate as yourself - Heck, even I didn't know what a Dutch Galliot looked like until I bought this book!
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A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian by J. Worth Estes (Paperback - Oct. 1 2000)
CDN$ 21.99 CDN$ 15.87