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NAPOLEONIC WARS > 10. HF - HMS SURPRISE - CHAPTER 10 (331 - 348) (05/30/11 - 06/05/11) ~ No spoilers, please

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35521 comments Mod

Welcome to the group discussion of the book HMS Surprise by Patrick O'Brian. This discussion is being led by Assisting Moderator - Christopher Tolley.

During the week of May 30th – June 5th we are reading:

Week Ten - May 30 - June 5 - Chapter 10 - p. 331-348

This thread will discuss the following:

Week Ten - May 30 - June 5 - Chapter 10 - p. 331-348

Remember, these weekly non spoiler threads are just that - non spoiler. There are many other threads where "spoiler information" can be placed including the glossary and any of the other supplemental threads.

We will open up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we have done for other spotlighted reads.

We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library, on iTunes for the ipad, Audible etc. There are also downloadable eBook versions available. However, be careful, if you do go for an audible version that some audible formats are abridged and not unabridged.

There is still time remaining to obtain the book and get started. There is no rush and we are thrilled to have you join us. It is never too late to get started and/or to post.



H.M.S. 'Surprise' (Aubrey/Maturin #3) by Patrick O'Brian by Patrick O'BrianPatrick O'Brian

Attached is the link to the full TOC and Syllabus:

Here is a link to the Introduction Thread for this book:

And here is the link to the glossary which is a spoiler thread where anything can be discussed regarding the book including historical events, famous people, locations, naval history depicted in the novel and the like.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I must be getting over-used to O'Brian because this time I found Stephen's dueling with Canning regrettable, of course, nevertheless perfectly understandable and ordinary. Canning was pretty abominable to Stephen, listening in to Stephen's conversation with Diana then striking Stephen when Stephen responded with mere defiance and not insult. For those who had not read the other O'Brian books, or perhaps weren't paying attention earlier in the book, Stephen is a deadly pistol shot. He takes Canning's bullet then coolly switches his pistol from his right to his left hand. However, he probably asked too much of himself in hoping he would only wound Canning, especially having been shot himself first. I couldn't help thinking in the whole dueling episode Stephen is shown as altogether too demanding of himself, pushing himself beyond his own boundaries. The duel is an afterthought, he leaves Canning's presence and only later, when he gets back to the ship, does he ask Etherege to convey the message that he desires satisfaction. It is as if he feels he has a duty to be insulted. What do you think?

The two tigers, Wrong and Right, symbolize the excruciating ambiguity of Stephen's relationship with Diana. Neither Wrong nor Right ever prevail, they only get pulled back from each other on their chains on occasion. The scene between Stephen and Diana prior to Canning's bursting in is as brillant a picture of tortured romance as anything I've read in any novel, historical, contemporary, classic or otherwise. As I'm sitting here writing I can't help thinking of Heathcliff and Catherine in Wuthering Heights. Diana certainly does not say yes to Stephen's proposal. Like the Surprise's mission to deliver Stanhope, was Stephen's mission over 15,000 miles equally a failure?

Please feel free to share any thoughts you may have about the about the above or anything else you found interesting in the book so far.

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