The History Book Club discussion

NAPOLEONIC WARS > 8. HF - POST CAPTAIN - CHAPTER 9 (291 - 322) (12/20/10 - 12/26/10) ~ No spoilers, please

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

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Hello Everyone,

Welcome to the historical fiction discussion of POST CAPTAIN
by Patrick O'Brian.

This is the reading assignment for week eight - (December 20, 2010 to December 26, 2010)

Week Eight - December 20 - December 26 - Chapter 9 - p. 291-322

This is the fourth historical fiction group selected book.

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 if you are catching up.

This book was kicked off on November 1st.

This discussion is being led by assisting moderator - Christopher. During the discussion of Master and Commander, Christopher volunteered to steer us through the second book in the series. Please support him in this effort.

We always enjoy the participation of all group members. 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, and may be available on Kindle or audible.

This thread opens up today December 21st for discussion. This is a non spoiler thread.




Post Captain (Aubrey/Maturin, #2) by Patrick O'Brian Patrick O'Brian Patrick O'Brian

Please feel free to research the complete Table of Contents and Syllabus on this thread and to see which version Christopher is using.

Post Captain is the second book in the series and comes after Master and Commander.

Master and Commander (Aubrey/Maturin, #1) by Patrick O'Brian Patrick O'Brian Patrick O'Brian

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Since yours truly chose to play a favorite O'Brian game last week, guess the obscure 19th century slang, a quick recap of Chapter 8 is in order before we go on to Chapter 9.

Three signal events: Sophie has a horrible, violent row with Diana. Jack appears to wish his own death, p. 256-257. Stephen, who can't swim, takes a walk on the Goodwin Sands when the tide comes in and either plunges into the water to save a pair of boots, or tries to kill himself.

All in all, in my view, a nadir in the plot. The conflict among/between characters has come to a head, or their desperation has reached an extremity. What do you think?

Chapter 9 opens with O'Brian explaining how bad the Polychrest's pressed men are - dangerous. And we learn new things about Stephen, that he is a deadly pistol shot and swordsman. This is a distinctly different aspect of Stephen, a revelation. Is he becoming more himself?

In addition, my opinion is that the Polychrest's destruction of the Bellone (besides being fun to read for us armchair captains) introduces the beginnings of the resolution of the conflicts we have seen thus far in the book. It creates order in the chaos of the characters lives.

What do you think? Do you agree? Please feel free to comment on what I have written or anything else you have found interesting in the book so far.

message 3: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) Stephen's 'suicidal' attempt is indeed rather weird.
Too drama queen for me.

And what is it with his fascination over Diana?
I am tugging my hair when reading about Diana-Sophie-Jack-Stephen love affairs. I skipped many pages already since the first chapters because of I don't want to bore myself with the Jane Austen part of the book.

The Bellone destruction is quite epic.

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

The first time(s) I read Post Captain I was a little miffed at the love triangle stuff. This time I couldn't get enough of it. I like the naval warfare stuff just as much.

If you like battle scenes, you should drop in when we do H.M.S. Surprise in another month or so. Talk about epic.

message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
I have to agree with you the time you wrap up the book; you really understand how all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

I loved this book; it was a different style than the first but the battle scenes and the naval encounters certainly pick up steam.

I think Silvana that Stephen sees a kindred spirit in Diana and is obviously smitten even though he realizes that she is dangerous for him. Some folks cannot get enough of Jane Austen and others not so much. But I do think that it adds to the characterization of the book itself and gives us some insight into the mores of the period.

Stephen was a drug user and I guess he self medicated. He also had other elements to his character and life which were also not so apparent to others close to him even Jack.

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