Men-of-War: Life in Nelson's Navy

Men-of-War: Life in Nelson's Navy

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by Patrick O'Brian
     
 

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A concise overview, richly illustrated, of the historical background to the acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin novels.
This book is a companion to Patrick O'Brian's sea novels, a straightforward exploration of what daily life in Nelson's navy was really like, for everyone from the captain down to the rawest recruit. What did they eat? What songs did they sing? What was

Overview

A concise overview, richly illustrated, of the historical background to the acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin novels.
This book is a companion to Patrick O'Brian's sea novels, a straightforward exploration of what daily life in Nelson's navy was really like, for everyone from the captain down to the rawest recruit. What did they eat? What songs did they sing? What was the schedule of watches? How were the officers and crew paid, and what was the division of prize-money?
These questions and many more are answered in Patrick O'Brian's elegant narrative, which includes wonderful anecdotal material on the battles and commanders that established Britain's naval supremacy. Line drawings and charts help us to understand the construction and rigging of the great ships, the types and disposition of the guns, and how they were operated in battle. A number of contemporary drawings and cartoons illustrate aspects of naval life from the press gang to the scullery. Finally, a generous selection of full-color paintings render the majesty and the excitement of fleet actions in the age of fighting sail.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
O'Brian, author of the Aubrey/Maturin sea novels (e.g., The Commodore, Norton, 1995), has compiled this 96-page collection of facts on Lord Nelson's navy. The author describes the ships, guns, crew's life, and songs of the sailors. Most of this information can be found elsewhere and none of it will be new to dedicated naval buffs. Readers of the novels of Dudley Pope, C.S. Forester, and O'Brian who are interested in the difference in armament between frigates and men-of-war or the daily rations of sailors in Nelson's time may find this of value. At $23, it would seem suitable for libraries with strong collections in naval history.-Stanley Itkin, Hillside P.L., New Hyde Park, N.Y.
Gilbert Taylor
O'Brian's 17-volume series of fictional sea sagas (latest: "The Commodore" ) reflects his drawing power, and for his fans comes this description of the warships in which his protagonists Aubrey and Maturin tooled around the world. British warships were the acme of wooden-ship technology, and O'Brian, with the assistance of drawings, takes a word tour through the rigging and innards of ships of the various classes, from swift frigates to lumbering 100-gun monsters. Then he details the smoky, noisy scene of firing the guns, followed by the story of the crew's routine when not girding for battle. Regarding the men, O'Brian outlines an officer's career from midshipman to admiral and contrasts that with the miserable lot of sailors rounded up by the press gang. Their main solace was grog and ballads, which O'Brian helpfully encloses (the lyrics, that is, readers must furnish their own rum). With numerous contemporary color paintings of battle scenes, this overview sails merrily in the wake of O'Brian's seagoing soap operas.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393038583
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
11/28/1995
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Patrick O'Brian's acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series of historical novels has been described as "a masterpiece" (David Mamet, New York Times), "addictively readable" (Patrick T. Reardon, Chicago Tribune), and "the best historical novels ever written" (Richard Snow, New York Times Book Review), which "should have been on those lists of the greatest novels of the 20th century" (George Will).Set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, O'Brian's twenty-volume series centers on the enduring friendship between naval officer Jack Aubrey and physician (and spy) Stephen Maturin. The Far Side of the World, the tenth book in the series, was adapted into a 2003 film directed by Peter Weir and starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany. The film was nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture. The books are now available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book format.In addition to the Aubrey/Maturin novels, Patrick O'Brian wrote several books including the novels Testimonies, The Golden Ocean, and The Unknown Shore, as well as biographies of Joseph Banks and Picasso. He translated many works from French into English, among them the novels and memoirs of Simone de Beauvoir, the first volume of Jean Lacouture's biography of Charles de Gaulle, and famed fugitive Henri Cherrière's memoir Papillon. O'Brian died in January 2000.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
December 12, 1914
Date of Death:
January 2, 2000
Place of Birth:
Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire
Place of Death:
Dublin, Ireland
Education:
Shebbear College, Devon
Website:
http://www.wwnorton.com/pob/pobhome.htm

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Men-of-War: Life in Nelson's Navy 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Coltman More than 1 year ago
If you're reading the Aubrey-Maturin series this should be considered required reading. This explains much of the terms used in the series. I use this as a quick reference.