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OK I romped through that, and The Yellow Admiral is now waiting by me bed (while I finish The Hogfather).
I fell off the wagon about 18 months ago, but got out "The Yellow Admiral" to continue my journey (first time through the Canon). I agree that some of the later volumes seem a bit slow. I've got all 20 volumes as HarperCollins paperbacks, though I would love to own hardcovers like those from Folio --if I win the lottery...
Looking forward to start again (Post Captain! Yay!).
I pulled Fortune of War from my shelf, ready for the spring sail I mentioned in 6: sat down last night and read all of Chapter 1, and part of Chapter 2. Wanted to continue but it was past midnight ...
It was great getting back into the doings of Aubrey & Maturin, and I thought how nice O'Brian's approach to the series. So much happened between the opening of this volume and the close of the last! I wonder if it will feature in more detail later, or just part of the rich backstory he's developed for his world and its characters.
Then I realised: I was reading Volume 6, but I'd left off with Volume 3.
So after this enjoyable false start, I'll return to port and set sail properly later this week, installed in my Mauritius Command. Once my shelves are properly arranged, of course.
You're each going along at a prodigious rate. I'm hoping for 2 this year, maybe 3 but that only by December.
i'm just starting the series for the second time with M&C, but i plan to be finished before the end of the year.
i first finished the series about three years ago, and since then i've been through many nautical journeys with Hornblower (excellent!), Alexander Kent's 'Bolitho' series (it's okay, not great), C. Northcote Parkinson's 'Richard DeLancey' series (not bad), a few of Dudley Pope's 'Ramage' books (better than Kent, imo), a few of the Alan Lewrie adventures by Dewey Lambdin (i like these), Rafael Sabatini's 'Capt. Blood' books, and some Richard Woodman, Edwin P. Hoyt, Gene Hackman ('The Wake of the Pole Star'), etc, not to mention the better part of Bernard Cornwell's 'Sharpe' series (great stuff!).
so now i figured i would see O'Brian in a different light, being somehow less impressed as i am now such an 'old tar'.
these books are on a level above any of the others (with the possible exception of Sharpe), the characters far more developed and the technical descriptions far more detailed. half way through the first book one already has a feel for who these people are, an understanding one rarely gets from Bolitho or DeLancey.
so with the end of Master and Commander i will have sunk the horizon, on my way to adventure and glory once again!
I'm finding Don Seltzer's Aubrey-Maturin Chronology and Michael Schuyler's Butcher's Bill to be fine sailing companions, though they are full of spoilers so I prefer to reflect upon where I've been rather than take a peek at where I'm headed.
Each is available as a PDF online.
i had started this one my first time through, right after reading M&C. once i realized that i was out of sequence i put it aside until i finished Post Captain, then read it again in order.
i guess i know Chapter 1 of HMS Surprise better than anything else in the canon!
it was three years ago, at about 1:30 in the morning, and me and the dog were sitting on the front porch reading together, when Liebe suddenly jumped up to check out a cat or possum or whatever, right while i was in mid-sip.
i remember it like it was just 3 years ago...
So far I've avoided accidents, but when it happens it's far more likely to be from "a dish of tea" or a pot of coffee. I can only hope mine comes without any rat feces.
I've just departed Desolation Island and will foray into other adventures for a bit. I expect to consider the Fortune of War later this year.
i started The Mauritius Command a day or two ago, and i recall this being one of my favorites the first time through. so far it is proving true this time too.
lots of action here! and the scene ashore at the Cape with Stephen observing the 'experiment' at the inn is wonderful.
yes, that is the scene.
the Russian Capt. falls sideways off his chair, and Stephen merely looks at him and says "inconclusive"... lol!
the characters are fully developed now, and their personal histories are a matter of course and don't need any heavy-handed narration. we know what Stephen will think of Jack's actions (for instance), we can anticipate Jack's reaction when he reads some foolish admiral's order. they are old friends and we are privy.
anyway, mission accomplished.
i am hereby requested and required to board the 'orrible old Leopard and proceed to Desolation Island... not a moment to lose!
Re the red wine stain, my mug says "Charles Lamb once told Coleridge he was especially fond of books containing traces of buttered muffins", but I try to keep mine clean.
You bring up Blue at the Mizzen so I'll ask a question I've been leaving until the time I get to that point in the series: everywhere else it's the mizen, is the Mizzen something else? Somewhere else?
You must be reading editions that are rife with typos, then. "Mizzen" is correct and I don't recall seeing it any other way in any of my copies.
I just looked it up in an online dictionary and saw that it derives from the Catalan mitjana. How come Maturin is so erudite but is unable to learn nautical terminology that he is in contact with every day?
Now I doubt myself: the question occurred to me, I thought, when comparing references in the text of my Folio Society editions to the title of that book. Maybe I've been wrong. I'll keep an eye out next time I'm reading. I must say, I'm not sure why the question would have occurred to me at all if there isn't that discrepancy, yet I'd be surprised if the FS editions had that typo.
Page 1 of The Fortune of War, Folio Society edition (2nd Printing / 2010):
"... in spite of her pennant and the dingy ensign at her mizen-peak, she looked like an unusually shabby merchant ship." (This in reference to the poor Leopard, limping in after her misadventures in Desolation Island).
So is that a typo, or an alternative spelling? It is rendered distinctly with a single "z".
Just lurking at the moment but as soon as I get my last missing book (#16) I will start with #1 and re-read them all in sequence. Should be finished in a couple of years :-)
I found it amusing to identify the weevil scene from the film, lifted from a passage in The Fortune of War.
That is dizzying to contemplate. I wonder if ever I shall reach that stage!
I will say, the first chapter is a showcase of both Maturin and Aubrey, separately and in their particular friendship. It could stand alone as an example of their charm, idiosyncracies, and humour. O'Brian almost took it over the top, I imagine he had a bit of fun writing it.
It's good to be under sail, like Jack I've been stuck ashore for months on end.
And the humour makes quite an appearance, I found myself laughing aloud probably once per chapter, sometimes more often.
The only thing "missing" was Stephen's naturalism did not play a central role, though there were a good number of references to prior episodes. (ETA And, a brief description of his foray to view the spotted eagle.) This is perhaps the only aspect of the novel which is unrepresentative of the canon generally.
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