Four volumes of history and biography for fans of the Aubrey-Maturin novels, with lore on the Royal Navy and much more.
What is a sandgrouse, and where does it live? What are the medical properties of lignum vitae, and how did Stephen Maturin use it to repair his viola? Who is Adm. Lord Keith, and why is his wife so friendly with Capt. Jack Aubrey? More than any other contemporary author, Patrick O’Brian knew the past. His twenty Aubrey–Maturin novels, beginning with Master and Commander (1969), are distinguished by deep characterization, heart-stopping naval combat, and an attention to detail that enriches and enlivens his stories. In the revised edition of A Sea of Words, Dean King and his collaborators dive into Jack Aubrey’s world.
In the revised edition of Harbors and High Seas, King details not just where Aubrey and Maturin went, but how they got there. Packed with maps and illustrations from the greatest age of sail, it is an incomparable reference for devotees of O’Brian’s novels and anyone who has dreamed of climbing aboard a warship, as well as a captivating portrait of life on the sea during a time when nothing stood between man and ocean but grit, daring, and a few creaking planks of wood.
At the dawn of the nineteenth century, the British navy was the mightiest instrument of war the world had ever known. The Royal Navy patrolled the seas from India to the Caribbean, connecting an empire with footholds in every corner of the earth. Such a massive navy required the service of more than 100,000 men—from officers to deckhands to surgeons. Their stories are collected in Every Man Will Do His Duty. The inspiration for the bestselling novels of Patrick O’Brian and C. S. Forester, these twenty-two memoirs and diaries, edited by Dean King, provide a true portrait of life aboard British warships during one of the most significant eras of world history.
Patrick O’Brian was well into his seventies when the world fell in love with his greatest creation: the maritime adventures of Royal Navy Capt. Jack Aubrey and ship’s surgeon Stephen Maturin. But despite his fame, little detail was available about the life of the reclusive author, whose mysterious past King uncovers in this groundbreaking biography. King traces O’Brian’s personal history from his beginnings as a London-born Protestant named Richard Patrick Russ to his tortured relationship with his first wife and child to his emergence from World War II with the entirely new identity under which he would publish twenty volumes in the Aubrey–Maturin series. What King unearths is a life no less thrilling than the seafaring world of O’Brian’s imagination. Patrick O’Brian: A Life Revealed is a penetrating and insightful examination of one of the modern world’s most acclaimed historical novelists.
Open Road Media; June 2016
- ISBN 9781504038973
- Read online, or download in secure EPUB format
- Title: The World of Patrick O'Brian
- Author: Dean King
Imprint: Open Road Media
In The Press
“To any disoriented lubber who needs to take a quick bearing on Aubrey’s world of staysails and sternposts, [A Sea of Words] will be a useful compass.” —The Economist
“The assorted world travels of Aubrey and Maturin can leave you geographically adrift. With not a moment to lose, help is but a bookstore away. Harbors and High Seas . . . comes in handy if you’re reading the series over a number of years and need a quick reminder of past plots.” —Chicago Tribune
“One of the best books that has been produced on this fascinating subject . . . [Every Man Will Do His Duty] is full of true high adventure, important information, fascinating anecdotes, and high deeds.” —The Napoleon Series
“King casts a sober eye but not a cold heart on this secretive writer whose devotees should rejoice at this account of his life, written with appreciative balance, rich with literary insight.” —Los Angeles Times on Patrick O’Brian: A Life Revealed
About The Author
Dean King is an award-winning and bestselling author of narrative nonfiction and other works on historical and maritime adventure, including A Sea of Words (1995), Harbors and High Seas (1996), and Every Man Will Do His Duty (1997), all companion works to Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin novels. A foremost expert on O’Brian, King also published a biography of the acclaimed author, entitled Patrick O’Brian: A Life Revealed (2000). Most recently, King has published the national bestseller Skeletons on the Zahara (2004), about twelve shipwrecked American sailors’ hellish journey across the Sahara Desert, and Unbound (2010), about the women who embarked on Mao’s Long March in 1934. King’s writing has also appeared in Granta, Esquire, Garden & Gun, Men’s Journal, Outside, and the New York Times.