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

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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 ...

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New York, NY 1995 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 96 p. Audience: General/trade. Clean, tight copy with no writing. APPEARS NEVER TO HAVE ... BEEN READ! As new dust jacket with light shelf wear for its age. Read more Show Less

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

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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.

A companion to O'Brian's sea novels, this concise, historical overview offers a straightforward explanation of what daily life was like in Admiral Horatio Nelson's navy. Line drawings and charts help readers to understand the construction and rigging of the great ships and the types and disposition of the guns. Contemporary illustrations and cartoons depict various aspects of naval life, from the press gang to the scullery.

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393038583
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick O'Brian

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.

Biography

In addition to the twenty volumes of the highly-respected Aubrey/Maturin series, Patrick O'Brian's many novels include Testimonies, The Golden Ocean, and The Unknown Shore. O'Brian has also written acclaimed biographies of Pablo Picasso and Sir Joseph Banks and has translated many works from the French, among them the novels and memoirs of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Lacouture's biography of Charles de Gaulle. Born in 1914, he passed away in January 2000.

Patrick O'Brian was one of the great authors of the twentieth century, whose novels were often compared by critics to the work of Jane Austen and even Homer. A writer of breathtaking erudition, Mr. O'Brian evoked in complete and dazzling detail an entire world -- that of the British Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. In addition to formidable scholarship, Mr. O'Brian brought to his work keen psychological insights, a sharp wit, and fast-paced, heart-stopping action.

In a cover story in The New York Times Book Review published on January 6, 1991, nine years to the day before Mr. O'Brian's death, Richard Snow wrote that Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin naval adventure novels are "the best historical novels ever written. On every page Mr. O'Brian reminds us with subtle artistry of the most important of all historical lessons: that times change but people don't, that the griefs and follies and victories of the men and women who were here before us are in fact the maps of our own lives." In a Washington Post article published August 2, 1992, Ken Ringle wrote, "The Aubrey/Maturin series far beyond any episodic chronicle, ebbs and flows with the timeless tide of character and the human heart."

W.W. Norton & Company began publishing Patrick O'Brian's books in 1990. The previous year, Norton's editor-in-chief, Starling Lawrence, had read The Reverse of the Medal on a trans-Atlantic flight, fallen hard for the series, and had become convinced that Norton ought to publish Mr. O'Brian's works in the U.S. Norton decided to publish each new book in hardcover as it was completed and to bring out the earlier books in the series in paperback until they had caught up. The first season, Norton published The Letter of Marque (# 12) in hardcover and Master and Commander (# 1) and Post Captain (# 2) in paperback. Most recently, Norton published Blue at the Mizzen (# 20) in hardcover in 1999 and in paperback in 2000. At present, Norton has all of the books in the series available in uniform hardcover and paperback editions.

In addition to the twenty books in the Aubrey/Maturin series, Norton has published a short story collection (The Rendezvous and Other Stories) and three of Mr. O'Brian's other novels: Testimonies, The Golden Ocean, and The Unknown Shore. O'Brian has also written acclaimed biographies of Pablo Picasso and Sir Joseph Banks and has translated many works from the French, among them the novels and memoirs of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Lacouture's biography of Charles de Gaulle. In April of 2000, Norton published Caesar: The Life Story of a Panda-Leopard, his very first book, begun when he was just twelve, and Hussein: An Entertainment, written when he was about twenty years old. Both of these books had long been out of print.

Starting in the early 1990s, Mr. O'Brian achieved, at long last, the critical and popular recognition that was his due. All of his new books published since 1993 have appeared on national bestseller charts, and his books have sold well over three million copies in the U.S. alone.

Mr. O'Brian once said, "Obviously, I have lived very much out of the world: I know little of present-day Dublin or London or Paris, even less of post-modernity, post-structuralism, hard rock or rap, and I cannot write with much conviction about the contemporary scene." [Patrick O'Brian: Critical Essays and a Bibliography, edited by Arthur Cunningham]. In fact, Mr. O'Brian often seemed to have walked out of another era, and in his interactions with his publisher, he displayed a level of courtesy and civility rarely seen in our times.

Author biography courtesy of W.W. Norton & Company.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Richard Patrick Russ
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 12, 1914
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire
    1. Date of Death:
      January 2, 2000
    2. Place of Death:
      Dublin, Ireland

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 24, 2012

    A must read

    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.

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