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Hey Gang,

Hope everyone is doing well in 2022!  I wanted to share a little bit about two Christmas gifts I got for my wife (and myself =).  One is the Patrick O'Brien Series, which is a beautiful collection of tales including Master and Commander, etc.  A lot of complaints have been made regarding the print size and the thin paper, but it is quite an amazing compilation of sea novels set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, and centered on the friendship of the English naval captain Jack Aubrey and the Irish–Catalan physician Stephen Maturin.  I also bought her A Sea of Words: : A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian, written by Dean King, John Hattendorf, and J. Worth Estes.  Surprisingly, she actually loved these gifts!  They both are truly beautiful works, and the Sea of Words is full of useful information regarding nautical terms, etc., with awesome drawings (albeit few and far between).IMG_0418.thumb.jpeg.7092caff3dda9be57efb3eee88dd9941.jpeg

 

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Edited by HardeeHarHar
Grammar
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2 hours ago, HardeeHarHar said:

please share if you have any sources.  The Sea of Words is pretty awesome!

I went to every second hand bookstore I could find in Toronto. I don't know where else to check, All I know is the ones I like were printed circa 1996.

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Thanks for posting this - I'd not seen the Sea of Words book before. I've just found a used second edition on World of Books for £3.99 and free p&p so that'll probably prompt me to read the O'Brian books again. I got the Harper Collins editions in the nineties, and tend to read through the whole series about once a decade. They never go stale.

 

Derek 

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@glbarlow That's the hardcover set I have, but I couldn't take the time to figure out if it was going to be cost-effective to purchase the individual books on Amazon or whether I could find some vendor who had all of the individual books for sale as a collection.  Seems like Amazon would be the approach...

Edited by HardeeHarHar
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When I retired fifteen years ago, in 2006, I had lots of free time to read for leisure. I picked-up Patrick O'Brian's "Master & Commander" on a friend's recommendation because he knew I had lived in England. I got hooked, totally consumed for a couple months reading the entire Aubrey/Maturin series; absolutely brilliant writing, storytelling of epic proportions (and really stunning artwork on the book covers).

 

Three years later, Peter Weir made one of THE classic films for us shipmodelheads! Master & Commander: The Far Side of The World.

 

About ten years later in 2013, an embryonic ModelShipWorld was launched.

 

I give my "high fives" to Mr. O'Brian, Mr. Weir and the many, many Tars - and Officers - of MSW for introducing and then guiding me in this fascinating, engaging and challenging world of model ship building.

Ron

 

 

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It's also worth noting that the series has also been released several times in audiobook format, and I've listened through each. In my opinion, the version with Simon Vance narrating is absolutely fantastic; he captures the characters, dialogue, dialects, and tone of the series perfectly. The version with Patrick Tull as narrator is serviceable, but I don't feel that his narrative choices seem as right; Aubrey comes across as too upper-class patrician, and Maturin is almost an Irish caricature. I feel like Tull is simply reading yet another story, while Vance actually understands and appreciates what he's reading. Others' opinions may vary, of course. Listening to the series really lets you immerse yourself in the world, letting it go by at a reader's pace. If you're fortunate, your local library has them in physical or digital form; I've been able to download both versions that way.

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Certainly a must read, PoB. Even his early writings answer.

 

I became very interested in the man himself and spent a summer reading about O’Brien’s life. I was absolutely shocked to discover that the man who wrote all of those beautiful books was such a monster. If monster is too harsh, then he was a liar for certain, and that’s being generous. I love his work, but I wouldn’t invite him over for dinner!

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Oh yes, O’Brien certainly had a dark side. It’s also interesting to note that although he claimed to have sailed on large sailing ships, and the prodigious, intricate detail about sailing in his books, it seems he had no practical knowledge of sailing in real life. There are a couple examples where real sailors had to intervene to prevent disaster. It does seem that he was good at reading about how ships worked and incorporating these details into his novels. Several folks are on record that they don’t believe he had ever been to sea. It does follow once you read about the rest of the lies he told. 

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