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

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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.

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393089165
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
05/31/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
205,790
File size:
6 MB

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