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Master and Commander

by Patrick O’Brian

Master and Commander is the first of Patrick O’Brian’s now famous Aubrey-Maturin novels and establishes the friendship between Captain Jack Aubrey RN and Stephen Maturin, who becomes his secretive ship’s surgeon and an intelligence agent. Master and Commander contains all the action and excitement of a great historical novel. But it alo displays the qualities which have put O’Brian so far ahead of any of his competitors, including his depiction of the detail of life aboard a Nelsonic man-of-war, of weapons, food, conversation and ambience, of the landscape and of the sea. O’ Brian’s portrayal of each of these is faultless and the sense of period throughout is acute.


01 January, 1969

About Patrick O’Brian

Patrick O'Brian, one of our greatest contemporary novelists, is the author of the acclaimed Aubrey-Maturin tales and the biographer of Joseph Banks and Pablo Picasso. His first novel, Testimonies, and his Collected Short Stories were recently republished by HarperCollins. In 1995, he was the first recipient of the Heywood Hill Prize for a lifetime's contribution to literature. In the same year he was awarded the CBE. In 1997 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters by Trinity College, Dublin. He died in January 2000 at the age of 85.


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