HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Reverse of the Medal (1986)

by Patrick O'Brian

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Aubrey-Maturin (11)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,116205,296 (4.2)26
In the early 1800s, the British Navy stands as the only bulwark against the militant fanaticism of Napoleonic France. Captain Jack Aubrey, R.N., ashore after a successful tour of duty, is persuaded by a casual acquaintance to make certain investments in the city. This innocent decision ensnares him in the London criminal underground and in government espionage, the province of his friend Stephen Maturin. Is Aubrey's humiliation and the threatened ruin of his career a deliberate plot? This dark tale is a fitting backdrop to the brilliant characterization, sparkling dialogue, and meticulous detail which O'Brian's readers have come to expect.… (more)
Recently added byMendoLibrary, Renabur, gilgalad, private library, jcoyte

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 26 mentions

English (17)  Swedish (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
This is the eleventh in the Aubrey/Maturin series of novels, which stretches to twenty volumes completed in the author's lifetime and a 21st published posthumously having (I assume) been finished or at least tidied up by another.

THIS REVIEW HAS BEEN CURTAILED IN PROTEST AT GOODREADS' CENSORSHIP POLICY

See the complete review here:

http://arbieroo.booklikes.com/post/334971/post ( )
  Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
The Reverse of the Medal, Patrick O’Brian’s eleventh book in his Aubrey-Maturin series, picks up shortly after the events of The Far Side of The World, with Captain Jack Aubrey returning the HMS Surprise to England, where the aging ship will be sold out of the service and possibly reduced to scrap. A sense of melancholy overhangs the events of this novel, both with the impending loss of the Surprise and other events.

Aubrey must reconcile his own sense of the passage of time and a cruel world, as he encounters both his bastard son, Samuel Panda, and must participate in a courts martial in which the various accused are certain of a guilty verdict. When the crew return home, they find things similarly bleak ashore. Dr. Stephen Maturin learns that his wife, Diana, has abandoned him over a perceived slight during his time in the Mediterranean. Jack, meanwhile, receives what seems a lucky stock tip that results in his arrest for fraud on the Stock Exchange, further complicating his naïve notions of justice. O’Brian is in full force in this novel as he captures the sense of melancholy through Jack’s observations, writing, “Jack observed with regret that the fine coloured coats of his youth were losing more and more ground to black, which, though well enough in particular cases, gave the far pavement a mourning air. To be sure, bottle-green, claret-coloured and bright blue did appear now and then, but the far side of the street was not the flower-garden that once it had been. And pantaloons were almost universal among the young” (pg. 110). Though the trial would seem outlandish, O’Brian’s careful attention to historical detail ensure that it is accurate, as he based the culminating events of the novel on James Beresford Atlay’s account of the trial and conviction of Lord Cochrane before Lord Ellenborough at the Guildhall for a fraud on the Stock Exchange

Like the previous four novels, The Reverse of the Medal exists outside the normal flow of time – this novel being the fifth of twelve to exist in what O’Brian described as an extended 1812, with these dozen books taking place between the beginning of June 1813 and November 1813. Like his previous novels, O’Brian perfectly recreates the world of the Napoleonic War in 1812, using Aubrey and Stephen’s melancholy to reflect their awareness of the rapid changes occurring in this era and the passage of time in the series’ internal chronology. This Folio Society edition reprints the original text with insets containing historical portraits and sketches to illustrate some of the scenes. ( )
1 vote DarthDeverell | Dec 8, 2018 |
The torment of Jack's trial for supposedly rigging the stock market is beautifully drawn and exquisitely painful, and when he is put in the stocks, the support from the officers and sailors made me weep, again. ( )
  Matt_B | Mar 26, 2016 |
Captain Jack Aubrey and his particular friend, Dr. Steven Maturin, return to England. Within days of his arrival, Jack's credulous nature (at least on land) and kind heart put him in the crosshairs of a political scandal. While he withstands imprisonment and trial, Steven tries to figure out the truth of the matter.

Another beautifully written novel from O'Brian. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
In which, the Surprise has perhaps one final opportunity to demonstrate her honour, before sold into salvage. Aubrey meets ashore an emissary to France for His Majesty, bearing news and a rare opportunity; Maturin devises with Blaine a trap for the suspected mole, leaving marked currency with Wray & Barrow. Both scenarios play into bigger schemes than are expected.

//

Mowett's poetry has found a publisher, though Stephen suspects a swindle. Martin publishes a pamphlet on immorality in the navy, effectively ending his career as naval chaplain; apparently never thought to consult Stephen on it, knowing he'd agree with the moral sentiments. Duhamel returns the Blue Peter, and fingers Palmer, Wray, and "Smith" as agents of Lucan, in return for passage to Canada aboard HMS Eurydice, courtesy of Henneage Dundas.

Stephen's godfather provides a means of rescue for dear Surprise. Stephen himself wipes the nose of a petty bureaucrat, and avoids the snares of one Madame de La Feullade. Mentions a "lost page" from Gibbon's Decline and Fall, pulled at page-proof stage to avoid offending friends at bar & bench. Much less botanising this time round.

At tale's open, Jack meets for the first time Samuel Panda, his son by Sally Mputa, the woman whom he kept aboard HMS Resolution, and for which he was disrated. At the close, he sits in Marshalsea awaiting trial for Stock Exchange fraud (an incidental victim of a Tory plot against Gen Aubrey and the Radicals). Sentenced to be pilloried but saved from public abuse with the roused indignation of seamen and naval officers.

In effect Part One of a miniseries-within-a-series, comprising with the next volume a fulcrum in Jack's and Stephen's joint career: each is separated -- body and spirit -- from an institution dear to his sense of self. Jack is formally dismissed the service, and though still very much involved in Admiralty plans (both naval and intelligence) the lost status is crucial. Stephen finds Diana has left for Sweden, seemingly in reprisal for a perceived and unforgivable indiscretion.

Stephen purchases Surprise, and obtains from Sir Joseph letters of marque and reprisal against several nations, in advance of a proposed intelligence mission to Chile and Peru.

//

No interior map in this installment, the endpapers are of London and the Thames: Jack's and Stephen's private clubs off Piccadilly, the Royal Society and Liberties, Parliament and the Admiralty, King's Bench and Marshalsea prisons. ( )
1 vote elenchus | Jun 22, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patrick O'Brianprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brown, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hunt, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jendis, MatthiasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merla, PaolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oca, Aleida Lama Montes deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tull, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
The West Indies squadron lay off Bridgetown, sheltered from the north-east tradewind and basking in the brilliant sun.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

In the early 1800s, the British Navy stands as the only bulwark against the militant fanaticism of Napoleonic France. Captain Jack Aubrey, R.N., ashore after a successful tour of duty, is persuaded by a casual acquaintance to make certain investments in the city. This innocent decision ensnares him in the London criminal underground and in government espionage, the province of his friend Stephen Maturin. Is Aubrey's humiliation and the threatened ruin of his career a deliberate plot? This dark tale is a fitting backdrop to the brilliant characterization, sparkling dialogue, and meticulous detail which O'Brian's readers have come to expect.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.2)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 5
2.5 2
3 52
3.5 12
4 158
4.5 24
5 142

W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393309606, 0393037118

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 150,637,999 books! | Top bar: Always visible