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"Vividly detailed 19th-century settings and dramatic tension punctuated with flashes of wry humor make O'Brian's nautical adventure a splendid treat."—Publishers Weekly Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are ordered home by dispatch vessel to bring the news of their latest victory to the government. But Maturin is a marked man for the havoc he has wrought in the French intelligence network in the New World, and the attention of two privateers soon becomes menacing. The chase that follows through the fogs and shallows of the Grand Banks is as tense, and as unexpected in its culmination, as anything Patrick O'Brian has written.
"O'Brian is one author who can put a spark of character into the sawdust of time, and The Ionian Mission is another rattling good yarn." —Stephen Vaughan, The Observer Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, veterans now of many battles, return in this novel to the seas where they first sailed as shipmates. But Jack is now a senior captain commanding a line-of-battle ship in the Royal Navy's blockade of Toulon, and this is a longer, harder, colder war than the dashing frigate actions of his early days. A sudden turn of events takes him and Stephen off on a hazardous mission to the Greek Islands, where all his old skills of seamanship and his proverbial luck when fighting against odds come triumphantly into their own.
"A marvellously full-flavoured, engrossing book, which towers over its current rivals in the genre like a three-decker over a ship's longboat."—Times Literary Supplement Captain Jack Aubrey, R. N., arrives in the Dutch East Indies to find himself appointed to the command of the fastest and best-armed frigate in the Navy. He and his friend Stephen Maturin take passage for England in a dispatch vessel. But the War of 1812 breaks out while they are en route. Bloody actions precipitate them both into new and unexpected scenes where Stephen's past activities as a secret agent return on him with a vengeance.
In Malta for much needed repairs on his ship, Captain Jack Aubrey must rely on his ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, Stephen Maturin, to outwit Napoleon's agents
At the time of his death, Patrick O'Brian was halfway through a novel to follow on from Blue at the Mizzen. These are the chapters he had completed of the final voyage of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin -- the greatest friendship of modern literature. receives the news, in Chile, of his elevation to flag rank: Rear Admiral of the Blue Squadron, with orders to sail to the South Africa station. This new novel, unfinished and untitled at the time of O'Brian's death, would have been a chronicle of that mission, and much else besides. very far in a rare state of almost perfect felicity. Jack has seen his illegitimate son ably discharging important duties. Sophie and his daughters are with him; Brigid is with her father, she's thriving, and Stephen is with a woman who is very dear to him. Jack, at last, is flying a rear-admiral's flag aboard a ship of the line.The three chapters left on O'Brian's death are presented here both in printed version -- including his corrections to the typescript -- and a facsimilie of his manuscript, which goes several pages beyond the end of the typescript and include marginal notes by O'Brian. Surprise with his 'sacred blue flag' through fair, sweet days -- Stephen with his dissections and new love, Killick muttering darkly over the toasted cheese...Of course, we would rather have had the whole story; instead we have this proof that O'Brian's powers of observation, his humour and his understanding of his characters were undiminished to the end. in his chosen genre. His novels embrace with loving clarity the full richness of the 18th-century world. They embody the cruelty of battle, the comedy of men's lives, the uncertain fears that plague their hearts; and yet, not far away, is the vision of an ideal existence.' Amanda Foreman, New York Times
The beginning of the sweeping Aubrey-Maturin series. "The best sea story I have ever read."—Sir Francis Chichester This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against a thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of a life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.
"The relationship [between Aubrey and Maturin]...is about the best thing afloat....For Conradian power of description and sheer excitement there is nothing in naval fiction to beat the stern chase as the outgunned Leopard staggers through mountain waves in icy latitudes to escape the Dutch seventy-four."—Stephen Vaughan, Observer Commissioned to rescue Governor Bligh of Bounty fame, Captain Jack Aubrey and his friend and surgeon Stephen Maturin sail the Leopard to Australia with a hold full of convicts. Among them is a beautiful and dangerous spy—and a treacherous disease that decimates the crew. With a Dutch man-of-war to windward, the undermanned, outgunned Leopard sails for her life into the freezing waters of the Antarctic, where, in mountain seas, the Dutchman closes...
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