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Post Captain (1972)

by Patrick O'Brian

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Aubrey-Maturin (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,837692,357 (4.1)146
Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:

"We've beat them before and we'll beat them again."

In 1803, Napoleon smashes the Peace of Amiens, going to war once again. This is doubly alarming news for Captain Jack Aubrey, who is taking refuge in France from his creditors. He is interned but soon escapes from his French debtor's prison, fleeing across the French countryside to lead a ship into battle. After managing to avert a possible mutiny, he pursues his quarry straight into the mouth of a French-held harbor. Stephen Maturin's struggles, with himself as much as with a proud and intelligent woman, are woven into Aubrey's, straining their friendship at times to the breaking point.

The high-seas excitement continues in this second installment of Patrick O'Brian's highly acclaimed series.

.
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» See also 146 mentions

English (64)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (69)
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
Wanted to do a Navy series but this was a hard slog. Tried it a few yrs. ago and couldn't get thru.
2 stars. ( )
  delta61 | Jul 4, 2024 |
Just a bit slow because too much on land rather than sea. ( )
  Abcdarian | May 18, 2024 |
Compared to the first outing, this is a grinding halt to events as Jack & Stephen languish on land amid high society and fine ladies for about half the book. It builds up both of their characters as well as paints more of the era than the view from the sea, but however necessary it still feels like a meandering middle step to later books. ( )
  A.Godhelm | Oct 20, 2023 |
The Peace of Amiens settles on Europe for a hot minute— enough time for Jack Aubrey to settle a bit into country life, fall in love and run up ruinous debt. Napoleon breaks the Peace and in a desperate bid to stay on the British Naval career track, Aubrey accepts the captaincy of an awkward experimental ship. Despite its ungainliness, Aubrey manages to work it to his advantage as Spain threatens to enter the War with France (against England)… Piratical moves, political maneuvering and some deft comic touches make this a joy to read. The nautical terminology is easy to figure out with the diagram of a four-squared ship at the beginning of the book and; just a little extra googling. ( )
  Tanya-dogearedcopy | Sep 7, 2023 |
Good sequel in this great series. ( )
  kslade | Dec 8, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patrick O'Brianprimary authorall editionscalculated
Andersson, StefanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dahlgren, LeifTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hunt, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merla, PaolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nikupaavola, RenneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oca, Aleida Lama Montes deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tull, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waldegrave, WilliamIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wannenmacher, JuttaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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[None]
Dedication
For Mary, with love
First words
At first dawn the swathes of rain drifting eastwards across the Channel parted long enough to show that the chase had altered course.
Quotations
'As for mutinies in general,' said Stephen, 'I am all in favour of 'em. You take men from their homes or their chosen professions, you confine them in insalubrious conditions upon a wholly inadequate diet, you subject them to the tyranny of bosun's mates, you expose them to unimagined perils; what is more, you defraud them of their meagre food, pay and allowances -- everything but this sacred rum of yours. Had I been at Spithead, I should certainly have joined the mutineers. Indeed, I am astonished at their moderation.'
     'Pray, Stephen, do not speak like this, nattering about the service; it makes me so very low. I know things are not perfect, but I cannot reform the world and run a man-of-war. In any case, be candid, and think of the Sophie -- think of any happy ship.'
     'There are such things, sure; but they depend upon the whim, the digestion and the virtue of one or two men, and that is iniquitous. I am opposed to authority, that egg of misery and oppression; I am opposed to it largely for what it does to those who exercise it.'
'I cannot tell you what a relief it is,' he said, bending to see whether the Amethyst's forestaysail were drawing, 'to be at sea. It is so clear and simple. I do not mean just escaping from the bums; I mean all the complications of life on shore. I do not think I am well suited to the land.' [Aubrey]
This morning, when I was walking beside the coach as it laboured up Ports Down Hill and I came to the top, with all Portsmouth harbour suddenly spread below me, and Gosport, Spithead and perhaps half the Channel Fleet glittering there - a powerful squadron moving out past Haslar in line ahead, all studdingsails abroad - I felt a longing for the sea. It has a great cleanliness. There are moments when everything on land seems to me tortuous, dark and squalid; though to be sure, squalor is not lacking aboard a man-of-war. [Maturin's diary]
A foolish German had said that man thought in words. It was totally false; a pernicious doctrine; the thought flashed into being in a hundred simultaneous forms, with a thousand associations, and the speaking mind selected one, forming it grossly into the inadequate symbols of words, inadequate because common to disparate situations - admitted to be inadequate for vast regions of expression, since for them there were the parallel languages of music and painting. Words were not called for in many or indeed most forms of thought: Mozart certainly thought in terms of music. He himself at this moment was thinking in terms of scent. [Maturin musing in an opera box]
[Before an impending gun exercise:] Mrs Miller had been desired to step down into the hold, with a midshipman bearing a handful of cushions to show her the way: asked if she minded a bang, had replied, ’Oh no, I love it.’
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Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:

"We've beat them before and we'll beat them again."

In 1803, Napoleon smashes the Peace of Amiens, going to war once again. This is doubly alarming news for Captain Jack Aubrey, who is taking refuge in France from his creditors. He is interned but soon escapes from his French debtor's prison, fleeing across the French countryside to lead a ship into battle. After managing to avert a possible mutiny, he pursues his quarry straight into the mouth of a French-held harbor. Stephen Maturin's struggles, with himself as much as with a proud and intelligent woman, are woven into Aubrey's, straining their friendship at times to the breaking point.

The high-seas excitement continues in this second installment of Patrick O'Brian's highly acclaimed series.

.

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