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The Truelove (Aubrey & Maturin #15)

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  6,368 Ratings  ·  191 Reviews
A British whaler has been captured by an ambitious chief in the sandwich islands at French instigation, and Captain Aubrey, R. N., Is dispatched with the Surprise to restore order. But stowed away in the cable-tier is an escaped female convict. To the officers, Clarissa Harvill is an object of awkward courtliness and dangerous jealousies. Aubrey himself is won over and ind ...more
MP3 Book, 0 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Blackstone Audio, Inc. (first published 1991)
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Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, aubrey-maturin
“I am in favour of leaving people alone, however imperfect their polity may seem. It appears to me that you must not tell other nations how to set their house in order; nor must you compel them to be happy.”
- Patrick O'Brian, the Truelove


When originally published, O'Brian's 15th installment in his Aubrey-Maturin series was originally titled Clarissa Oakes. I'm not sure why the title was changed, but perhaps it is because the focus of this novel is less about Clarissa (Harvill) Oakes (the convict
Jamie Collins
This entry in the Aubrey-Maturin series (which is essentially one very long novel) is mostly a character study as the officers of the Surprise cope with the presence on board of a desirable and not completely inaccessible young woman, surreptitiously rescued from the penal colony at New South Wales and possessing an enigmatic past.

Some of my favorite scenes in these books are the dinner parties at sea: the obsessive polishing of silver (Killick's joy); the donning of formal dress no matter how g
May 26, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
All but the most dedicated Aubrey-Maturin will want to skip this one. A lot of running in place--or, rather, dog paddling--with very little forward motion. It's as if the series became becalmed in the South Pacific. It's fun to read only if it isn't the same stuff we've read in the last fourteen novels.

For example, instead of peppering back story review over the first few chapters, O'Brian dumps twelve--no twenty--pages of narrative on us in the opening scene of the book, semi-disguised as Aubre
Jul 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
I've mentioned before that a series of naval tales stuck in a perpetual 1812 and following the exploits of two individuals that is staggering on past double figures in terms of volumes must run in to problems of repetition and consequently risk dullness.


See the complete review here:
Renee M
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The one with Clarissa Oakes and the Polynesian Queen. I'm still deciding what I think about the deeply pragmatic Clarissa Oakes, which is somewhat surprising given her pronounced position aboard Jack's ship and in a large portion of the story. I am hoping that there will be some closure in the next installment of the series.
Judith Johnson
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always, I love reading the further adventures of Jack, Stephen, Killick, Bonden,Pullings etc, but like Captain Roddy, I'll give this one 4 and a half stars - not quite as thrilling as some. Now I am with child to find out what's happening back at the ranch with Diana, but I'll have to wait - only 5 books left, and I'll have to eke them out! (though there's always re-reading. I'm not a habitual re-reader, but I have read these books several times, and no doubt, should I reach old age, I shall ...more
John Jr.
This volume in Patrick O’Brian’s series of historical novels may seem at first to be a study of the influence of a woman’s presence on a sailing ship full of men. It is that, but it proves to be more.

Relatively early, Clarissa Harvill is found to have been smuggled aboard when the ship was in Sydney, thus violating Captain Aubrey’s well-known prohibition against women; what’s more, she’s an escaped convict from the British penal colony there (not a pretty place as depicted by O’Brian). So there’

I’ve been rereading Patrick O’Brien’s novels in the last few months and a few novels ago (I think it happens around number 12 or 13 in the Aubrey Maturin series) I reached the point at which “novel” stopped actually being a reasonable description of the books. I really enjoy these books, so don’t get the impression that I’m putting them down when I say this. It’s simply that all pretense of being individual, novel length, plots is, by the point, firmly abandoned. The book starts where the previo
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
Jul 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) by:
Following on the heels of the "five-star" "The Nutmeg of Consolation," I am giving this, the 15th volume in the Aubrey-Maturin series, a solid 4.5 stars. This 'chapter' of the canon continues the voyage of HMS Surprise in the Pacific Ocean following her departure from New South Wales, Australia. We meet the beautiful and mysterious Clarissa Harvill, and become aware of the influence and affects that her presence aboard the ship have on her crew. Miss Harvill helps Stephen Maturin clear up a myst ...more
Mar 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, jack-aubrey, 2014
This book kept me interested but all in all I'm afraid that not much really happened in the story. This book is different from others in the cannon I've read so far in that there is a woman on board ship. While this was a new element to introduce, I really couldn't get a grasp on why she was the 'main' character of the story (one edition - don't know if it was American or British - called this book the Clarissa Oakes).

Through it all, I got to see the continuing good relationship between Jack an
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Goodreads Librari...: Please correct page length for 0-393-31016-7 7 16 Jan 11, 2018 05:34AM  
  • Ship of the Line
  • Harbors and High Seas: An Atlas and Geographical Guide to the Complete Aubrey-Maturin Novels of Patrick O'Brian
  • A King's Commander (Alan Lewrie, #7)
  • Lobscouse and Spotted Dog: Which It's a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels
  • Ramage's Diamond (The Lord Ramage Novels, #7)
  • Patrick O'Brian's Navy
  • Seaflower (Kydd Sea Adventures, #3)
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
More about Patrick O'Brian...

Other Books in the Series

Aubrey & Maturin (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • Master and Commander (Aubrey & Maturin, #1)
  • Post Captain
  • H.M.S. Surprise
  • The Mauritius Command
  • Desolation Island
  • The Fortune of War
  • The Surgeon's Mate
  • The Ionian Mission
  • Treason's Harbour
  • The Far Side of the World

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“I am in favour of leaving people alone, however imperfect their polity may seem. It appears to me that you must not tell other nations how to set their house in order; nor must you compel them to be happy.” 14 likes
“You are to consider that a certain melancholy and often a certain irascibility accompany advancing age: indeed it might be said that advancing age equals ill-temper. On reaching the middle years a man perceives that he is no longer able to do certain things, that what looks he may have had are deserting him, that he has a ponderous great belly, and that however much he may yet burn he is no longer attractive to women; and he rebels. Fortitude, resignation and philosophy are of more value than any pills, red, white or blue.” 9 likes
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