Which it is the *official* Aubrey-Maturin thread for salty sea-dogs, for all love

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  • otto Moderator 9 Sep 2009 14:26:23 49,322 posts
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    I've just finished my fourth read through of the twenty Aubrey-Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brian and my heart is heavy. I wipe away a (manly) tear at the thought that I will never find out what happened next (yes I've read the unfinished 21st one); and I will miss these two most vivid of all fictional characters until I read them all over again in a couple of years' time.

    This series just has it all: nerdly attention to detail, be it historical, linguistic, ornithological, naval; genuine literary merit; humour, in spades; fully immersive addictiveness; and so on. I always get this real sense of loss as I approach the end of the series. :(

    Uh but anyway, this time through I noticed loads of continuity errors so I'm just going to list them for the other Aubrey-Maturin nerds to confirm or reject:

    (All spoiler tagged)

    - In 'The Commodore', Stephen and Clarissa reminisce on two separate occasions about "the dear Nutmeg" and their adventures in her, but Jack and Stephen left the Nutmeg for the Surprise well before Clarissa ever enters the plot.

    - A midshipman called Wetherby becomes a midshipman called Witherby in the following novel.

    - In one of the later novels, Jack talks about the Surprises that have been with him for years, and mentions Joe Plaice and some other random name as having been with him since the Sophie and Bonden for nearly as long; but Bonden was already his coxswain in the Sophie while I don't think Joe Plaice joined until the Polychrest or possibly even later.

    - At one point Jack and Stephen are reminiscing about Naples but at no point in their relationship have they ever been in Naples on service together.

    - At another point, Stephen is reminiscing about the time that Jack rescued him from a desert island where he had been marooned with a big lump of ambergris on the beach; but both Jack and Stephen were marooned on that island and the ambergris turned out to be a lump of bone or something equally worthless.

    - In The Yellow Admiral a first class volunteer Geoghegan dies after a fall from the topyards but there he is again in The Hundred Days (unless he's a random namesake); and there are a couple of other resurrected sailors in other books.


    Anyway that's off my chest, regardless these are still probably my most favouritest books in the world.
  • otto Moderator 9 Sep 2009 14:28:30 49,322 posts
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    Oh and making a quick reference to the film, it has to be one of the best novel to cinema adaptations ever made, and the casting is perfect, except for Bonden. I mean, casting a Scottish hobbit as Bonden: wtf?
  • LeD 9 Sep 2009 14:28:50 7,030 posts
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    Sounds well gay
  • Deleted user 9 September 2009 14:31:13
    I'm on readthrough - er... however many years it is since we first started doing this.

    The Naples thing? Maybe they didn't go during one of the books. Many things happen apart from the books - visits to Vienna are swept away in a sentence. Things mentioned need not have actually occurred within the narrative.

    Also you may have to allow that Jack and Stephen get their memories muddled.

    I'm currently deep into The Ionian Mission once again, in my annual ramble through the 20 books. It really just the most magnificent nonsense. My favourite books too.
  • Deleted user 9 September 2009 14:32:05
    A glass of wine with you sir!
  • jonsaan 9 Sep 2009 14:36:10 27,052 posts
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    Thread title makes me think of spunk.
  • brokenkey 9 Sep 2009 14:49:41 10,516 posts
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    Master & Commander is the first one, which I'm just coming to the end of having eeked it out over 10 days to keep sane in an islamic country during ramadan.
  • otto Moderator 9 Sep 2009 15:44:13 49,322 posts
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    I thought of a couple of other minor niggles:

    - Just who the hell owned Surprise and Ringle in the end?? Stephen bought Surprise, and promised to sell it to Jack when they were in the South Pacific after he thought his bank had gone bust, and after that it was described as being Jack's, but then things became very unclear after that... and then Jack won the Ringle from Heneage Dundas in a game of cards, but in The Hundred Days he tells Lord Keith that it belongs to the Doctor.

    - and then there's a passage where Stephen and Diana are reminiscing about something (I forget the details) but it's most definitely a reminiscence which is way off the mark as it refers to a time when she'd run off to American with Johnson....


    Ha, anyway, minor silly niggles of an OCD nature, in no way do they detract from the stupendous goodliness of these great great books.

    @ Bremenacht:

    You are very good sir! /down in one
  • Deleted user 9 September 2009 16:15:06
    The only issues I really had reading them was an odd obsession with using 'roar' too much. No-one ever seems to say anything, they roar it. Surprised half the characters aren't completely deaf by now.
  • Deleted user 9 September 2009 16:38:40
    otto wrote:
    - Just who the hell owned Surprise and Ringle in the end?? Stephen bought Surprise, and promised to sell it to Jack when they were in the South Pacific after he thought his bank had gone bust, and after that it was described as being Jack's, but then things became very unclear after that... and then Jack won the Ringle from Heneage Dundas in a game of cards, but in The Hundred Days he tells Lord Keith that it belongs to the Doctor.


    Well R belongs to S as it is its tender by that point. So one imagines if he sold S it would come with R.

    Otto you need to add "...for all love." at the end of the thread title. :)
  • otto Moderator 9 Sep 2009 17:10:59 49,322 posts
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    Gremmi wrote:
    The only issues I really had reading them was an odd obsession with using 'roar' too much. No-one ever seems to say anything, they roar it. Surprised half the characters aren't completely deaf by now.
    They did do a lot of roaring. And funnily enough most of them were half deaf! But then they did also spend a lot of time exercising the great guns with live rounds and a cleared deck, fore and aft, bulkheads struck down and stowed. \o/
  • Deleted user 8 January 2010 12:34:44
    A new BBC history series on the Royal Navy begins soon. Looks right up the street of Aubrey/Maturin fans for all love.

    Empire of the Seas Linky
  • otto Moderator 8 Jan 2010 12:37:19 49,322 posts
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    More for my iPlayer list!! Can't wait.
  • polar 8 Jan 2010 13:13:32 1,098 posts
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    I'm currently reading them through for the 2nd time. I'm taking my time on this run-through, reading other books in between. I hardly think I can match you for detail Otto, because you've read so much more of Aubrey-Maturin. The points you raise are nitpicking of the highest order. O'Brian would have been in his 70s & 80s writing those books, give the guy a break.

    The series is full of spelling mistakes with names, Sophia/Sophie, Awkward Davies/Davis, Faster Doudle/Doodle, but so what?

    I've noticed similar small mistakes re-reading the books, but I've always just ingored them - I'll keep an eye out from now on, if only to try and match you for Aubrey/Maturin nerdiness.
  • MetalDog 8 Jan 2010 13:19:11 24,076 posts
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    I got about five books in before the unrequited love thing with Stephen and Danawasshername made me quit. Does that ever end? I love the dudes and the ships and the fighting, but the unrequited love thing was a PITA and seemed to be increasing each book.
  • polar 8 Jan 2010 13:25:02 1,098 posts
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    MetalDog wrote:
    I got about five books in before the unrequited love thing with Stephen and Danawasshername made me quit. Does that ever end? I love the dudes and the ships and the fighting, but the unrequited love thing was a PITA and seemed to be increasing each book.

    My God, you've only just scrathed the surface, my dear. I cant believe you stopped reading at that point - I was absolutely hooked after reading Post Captain. Go read the rest of them now, there's not a moment to be lost.
  • Deleted user 8 January 2010 13:25:11
    MetalDog wrote:
    I got about five books in before the unrequited love thing with Stephen and Danawasshername made me quit. Does that ever end? I love the dudes and the ships and the fighting, but the unrequited love thing was a PITA and seemed to be increasing each book.

    Yes it does get resolved. See spoiler below. Their relationship is actually one my favourite things in the series. Though alas ultimately I have far too much in common with Stephen than I'd like.

    Stephen and Diana do get married - and not far into the series
  • MetalDog 8 Jan 2010 13:28:04 24,076 posts
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    The general domestics and soap opera goes down and stays down? And five books out of twenty is a quarter! That's not a surface scratch, that's a very large bite.

    It might be better going now anyway, at the time the whole subject of unrequited love make me want to hurl myself under a train.
  • Deleted user 8 January 2010 13:29:33
    I wouldn't say it stays down. But as the series continues things are more resolved. And later on they stay away from home for much more time on longer voyages.
  • Deleted user 8 January 2010 13:34:29
    Maturin wrote:
    A new BBC history series on the Royal Navy begins soon. Looks right up the street of Aubrey/Maturin fans for all love.

    Empire of the Seas Linky

    The blurb:

    For centuries the Royal Navy has strived to help make Britain one of the world's great maritime superpowers.

    In Empire Of The Seas, a Timewatch series, historian and avid sailor Dan Snow goes beyond the battle tactics to reveal a surprising history.

    Travelling across the oceans and with unique access to the modern fleet, Dan examines the impact of the Royal Navy on society, from its role in the foundation of the Bank Of England to the creation of a model for the civil service.

    The series unearths rarely seen manuscripts and records, and reveals the hidden human stories behind the famous battles. Offering a fresh perspective, Empire Of The Seas tells a fascinating story of how Royal Navy ships on the high seas have inspired the people of Britain.

    Sounds good. I like the 'hidden human stories'. Just as interesting as the bigger pictures, imo.
  • Deleted user 8 January 2010 13:46:51
    Dan Snow seems like a nice guy, but I dunno, perhaps a tad lightweight.

    Unfair of me, yah.
  • polar 8 Jan 2010 13:53:04 1,098 posts
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    MetalDog wrote:
    The general domestics and soap opera goes down and stays down? And five books out of twenty is a quarter! That's not a surface scratch, that's a very large bite.

    It might be better going now anyway, at the time the whole subject of unrequited love make me want to hurl myself under a train.

    Sorry, what I meant was you'd only scratched the surface in terms of the Maturin Villiers relationship.
  • jellyhead 8 Jan 2010 13:53:16 24,347 posts
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    His other stuff has been a bit light but worth watching, can't see how this will be any different from the usual Discovery/History channel documentaries which i enjoy but find a little light too.

    Never know, might have some depth to them. I'll keep an eye out for sure.
  • brokenkey 8 Jan 2010 14:12:57 10,516 posts
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    MetalDog wrote:
    It might be better going now anyway, at the time the whole subject of unrequited love make me want to hurl myself under a train.

    Touched a nerve eh? Come on MD, let it out with us, we are your friends.
  • MetalDog 8 Jan 2010 14:14:16 24,076 posts
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    Heh, I've learned to live with it.
  • Deleted user 8 January 2010 14:18:43
    I thought it was done well. No coyness or mawkishness - Maturin is still Maturin; Diana is still Diana. It doesn't last long enough to grate.
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