The Letter of Marque (Aubrey & Maturin #12)
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For Stephen, it's his long-term opium habit. (He is not addicted, of course. Never in life.) When his self-medi ...more
Perhaps it was because I listened to the story on audio-book and the narrator was awful; a pompous theatrical darling whose Irish accent, for the character Stephen Maturin, was so bad it was bordering on offensiv ...more
Some of this I read, and some I listened to Patrick Tull's wonderful reading. For me, the humor comes through more str ...more
I fell in love with the series from the opening scene of Master and Commander, and went on to read all 20 Aubrey-Maturin novels. The characters of Jack Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin were initialized in that opening scene, and grew through the entire series. This is the best historical fiction I have read. In the series, I learned about British, French, Dutch, and Spanish naval operations during the Napoleonic wars. I also first learned of Napoleon's command and espionage structu ...more
This opens a new chapter in the saga, moving the story along to a different era and introduce ...more
I am always in awe of the deep intelligence and und ...more
This story, back in the Surprise was no exception. A different Jack Aubrey, now out of the service, but a compelling sea voyage and prizes for all at the end. I am happy to leave them until - next time.
But of course he can't just come out with it. He wouldn't be St ...more
Happily, Stephen Maturin buys the HMS Surprise and the adventure continues in one of Jack's (and this reader's) favorite ship. Redemption and reunion are strong themes in the book, whi ...more
The Letter of Marque has been one of the quickest reads in the Aubrey/Maturin series. In large part this is because of the immense relief at having Jack's luck return. As I've said in a previous review, I don't by any means need every book in the series to have a "happily ever after" ending; but build-up of bad luck and bad breaks over the past few volumes had become overwhelming. In this volume, Jack is lucky once more, and so many of the loose ends of sadness are resolved happily. This is the...more
We left these two in a rather sad state of affairs in the last book, The Reverse of the Medal. Aubrey's long and glorious naval career was in tatters, after his enemies duped him and were able to have him charged with manipulating the stock market. Anyone who knows Aubrey knows he is too much of a simpleton about finances t ...more
Everything goes almost too smoothly in The Letter of Marque after Jack's disgrace, having been framed for stock manipulation in the previous book Reverse of the Medal. Stephen inherits a fortune, buys the Surprise, obtains a Letter of Marque for the Surprise from the Admiralty and another letter which forbids the pressing of the Surprise's crew, Jack gets his pick of any sailor he wants, the Admiralty gives Jack and Stephen a secret mission to S. America, Jack captures a weal ...more
This episode in the Aubrey/Maturin series really lets you see the difference between the way things are done in the Royal Navy (tm) and the workings of a Privateer or to use the more polite terms a Private Man-of-War or a Letter of the Marque.
In previous books O'Brian has shown how Aubrey struggles to have a happy ship sometimes saddled with completely unexperienced and unwanted hands. So often he only succeeds in recruiting enough good crew members because of his r ...more
Set in the ...more
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[Captain Aubrey] "Well, I am ashamed to say he took a pistol-ball out of the small of my back. It must have been when I turned to hail for more hands- thank God I did not. At the time I thought it was one of those vile horses that were capering about abaft the wheel."
"Oh, sir, surely a horse would never have fired off a pistol?”
'Hey there,' he cried, hurrying after her, 'this is Dr Maturin's cabin. Who are you, ma'am?'
'I am his wife, sir,' she said, 'and I beg you will desire the carpenter to sling a cot for me here.' She pointed, and then bending and peering out of the scuttle she cried 'Here they are. Pray let people stand by to help him aboard: he will be lying on a door.' She urged West out of the cabin and on deck, and there he and the amazed foremast hands saw a blue and gold coach and four, escorted by a troop of cavalry in mauve coats with silver facings, driving slowly along the quay with their captain and a Swedish officer on the box, their surgeon and his mate leaning out of the windows, and all of them, now joined by the lady on deck, singing Ah tutti contenti saremo cosí, ah tutti contenti saremo, saremo cosí with surprisingly melodious full-throated happiness.”