Synopses & Reviews
This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against a thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of a life aboard a man-of-war are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.
"Even for a reader not especially interested in matters nautical, the author's easy command of the philosophical, political, sensual and social temper of the times flavors a rich entertainment." Martin Levin, New York Times Book Review
"Some of you...have never read a Patrick O'Brian novel. I beseech you to start now. Start with Master and Commander, which should be available in paperback from your nearest bookseller. And if he or she does not have a copy, then beat the wretched fellow." Kevin Myers, Irish Times
"They're funny, they're exciting, they're informative. There are legions of us who gladly ship out time and time again under Captain Aubrey." The New Yorker
"It has been said that this series is some of the finest historical fiction of our time....Aubrey and Maturin have been described as better than Holmes and Watson, the equal of Quixote and Panza....And the marvel is, it hardly says enough." Los Angeles Times
"I haven't read novels [in the past ten years] except for all of the Patrick O'Brian series. It was, unfortunately, like tripping on heroin. I started on those books and couldn't stop." E. O. Wilson
Now a major motion picture starring Russell Crowe, directed by Peter Weir (Witness
, The Truman Show
It is the dawn of the nineteenth century; Britain is at war with Napoleon's France. When Jack Aubrey, a young lieutenant in Nelson's navy, is promoted to captain, he inherits command of HMS Sophie, an old, slow brig unlikely to make his fortune. But Captain Aubrey is a brave and gifted seaman, his thirst for adventure and victory immense. With the aid of his friend Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and secret intelligence agent, Aubrey and his crew engage in one thrilling battle after another, their journey culminating in a stunning clash with a mighty Spanish frigate against whose guns and manpower the tiny Sophie is hopelessly outmatched.
The beginning to the sweeping Aubrey/Maturin series. "The best sea story I have ever read."--Sir Francis Chichester
About the Author
In addition to twenty volumes in the highly respected Aubrey/Maturin series, Patrick O'Brian's many books include Testimonies, The Golden Ocean, and The Unknown Shore. O'Brian also wrote acclaimed biographies of Pablo Picasso and Sir Joseph Banks and translated many works from the French, among them the novels and memoirs of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Lacouture's biographies of Charles de Gaulle. He passed away in January 2000 at the age of 85.