Synopses & Reviews
Beset by pirates, Knights of Malta, and saboteurs, Captain Matthew Quinton sails to Africa in pursuit of a mountain of gold in this rousing sequel toGentleman Captain.
“A splendid addition to nautical adventure”* sets sail again, this time for the coast of Africa.
When a captured Barbary pirate saves his neck with a tall tale of a fabled mountain of gold, Captain Matthew Quinton has his doubts. But King Charles II can’t resist the chance to outstrip the Dutch with a limitless source of wealth. With the devious pirate O’Dwyer in tow, Quinton embarks on a voyage beyond the map’s edge, still convinced that the mountain is mere legend. But as attempts to sabotage his mission draw closer to the mark, he begins to wonder . . .
Back in England, the king has arranged a wedding between Matthew’s elder brother, the Earl of Ravensden, and a mysterious lady rumored to have murdered her previous two husbands. Resolved not to fail his meddlesome sovereign, and to return home in time to protect his family and his home, Captain Quinton approaches the coast of Africa with a troubled mind.
*Dewey Lambdin, author ofKing, Ship and Sword
Aubrey and Maturin are the most enjoyable literary companions since Holmes and Watson.The experience of reading O'Brian is that of gracious acceptance at one of the banquets of life's feast. . . . It's hard not to find him irresistible.Taken as a whole, the Aubrey/Maturin novels are by a long shot the best things of their kind, so much better than the competition that comparisons long ago ceased to be relevant: they are uniquely excellent.Starred Review. O'Brian is at the top of his elegant form here. He offers a wealth of sly humor . . . some sly set pieces . . . characters who are palpably real and, as always, lapidary prose. This is splendid storytelling from a true master.If there were 17 more novels, I'd start today. --Donald Graham
"The experience of reading O'Brian is that of gracious acceptance at one of the banquets of life's feast. . . . It's hard not to find him irresistible." Commonweal
"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
"Starred Review. O'Brian is at the top of his elegant form here. He offers a wealth of sly humor . . . some sly set pieces . . . characters who are palpably real and, as always, lapidary prose. This is splendid storytelling from a true master." Boston Globe
Life ashore may once again be the undoing of Jack Aubrey in , Patrick O'Brian's best-selling novel and eighteenth volume in the Aubrey/Maturin series. Aubrey, now a considerable though impoverished landowner, has dimmed his prospects at the Admiralty by his erratic voting as a Member of Parliament; he is feuding with his neighbor, a man with strong Navy connections who wants to enclose the common land between their estates; he is on even worse terms with his wife, Sophie, whose mother has ferreted out a most damaging trove of old personal letters. Even Jack's exploits at sea turn sour: in the storm waters off Brest he captures a French privateer laden with gold and ivory, but this at the expense of missing a signal and deserting his post. Worst of all, in the spring of 1814, peace breaks out, and this feeds into Jack's private fears for his career. Fortunately, Jack is not left to his own devices. Stephen Maturin returns from a mission in France with the news that the Chileans, to secure their independence, require a navy, and the service of English officers. Jack is savoring this apparent reprieve for his career, as well as Sophie's forgiveness, when he receives an urgent dispatch ordering him to Gibraltar: Napoleon has escaped from Elba.
"There are those already planning this afternoon's trip to the bookstore. Their only reaction is: Thank god, Patrick O'Brian is still writing. To you, I say, not a moment to lose."--John Balzar,
Having sunk the first ship he commanded off the coast of Ireland, Captain Matthew Quinton is determined to complete his second mission without loss of life or honor. Rebellion is stirring in the Scottish Isles, and King Charles II needs loyal officers to sail north and face the threat. But aboard His Majesty's Ship the Jupiter
, the young “gentleman captain” leads a resentful crew and has but few on whom he can rely. As they approach the wild coast of Scotland, Matthew begins to learn the ropes and win the respect of his fellow officers and sailors.
But he has other worries: a suspicion that the previous captain of the Jupiter was murdered, a feeling that several among his crew have something to hide, and a growing conviction that betrayal lies closer to home than he had thought.
About the Author
Patrick O'Brian's acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series of historical novels has been described as "a masterpiece" (David Mamet, New York Times), "addictively readable" (Patrick T. Reardon, Chicago Tribune), and "the best historical novels ever written" (Richard Snow, New York Times Book Review), which "should have been on those lists of the greatest novels of the 20th century" (George Will).Set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, O'Brian's twenty-volume series centers on the enduring friendship between naval officer Jack Aubrey and physician (and spy) Stephen Maturin. The Far Side of the World, the tenth book in the series, was adapted into a 2003 film directed by Peter Weir and starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany. The film was nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture. The books are now available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book format.In addition to the Aubrey/Maturin novels, Patrick O'Brian wrote several books including the novels Testimonies, The Golden Ocean, and The Unknown Shore, as well as biographies of Joseph Banks and Picasso. He translated many works from French into English, among them the novels and memoirs of Simone de Beauvoir, the first volume of Jean Lacouture's biography of Charles de Gaulle, and famed fugitive Henri Cherrière's memoir Papillon. O'Brian died in January 2000.