The Letter of Marque

Patrick O'Brian, Author, Geoff Hunt, Photographer W. W. Norton & Company $24 (288p) ISBN 978-0-393-02874-4
If Jane Austen wrote Royal Navy yarns, they might read like this sequel to Master and Commander and Post Captain (which Norton issues in paperback in August). In the early 1800s, Captain Jack Aubrey, unjustly drummed out of service, is now master of the ``letter of marque'' (privateer) frigate Surprise , secretly owned by Stephen Maturin, ship's doctor/naturalist/abandoned husband/opium-eater and intelligence agent. The major events here are two great sea victories that make Jack a rich folk-hero, and Stephen's winning back of his wife and breaking his laudanum habit. Jack's seamanship and heroism are complemented by Stephen's absent-minded brilliance, their friendship cemented by their shared music-making (violin and cello, respectively). The early-19th-century locutions are fascinating, as are the evocation of period shipboard life (including ship-provisioning and naval lingo), Whitehall politics (rotten boroughs, etc.) and drug addiction (coca leaf-chewing as well as opium-eating). Seafarers and landlubbers alike will enjoy this swift, witty tale of money and love. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/17/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
Paperback - 280 pages - 978-0-00-727555-7
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-393-30905-8
Vinyl-bound - 521 pages - 978-1-56956-419-6
MP3 CD - 978-0-7861-7618-2
Compact Disc - 8 pages - 978-0-7861-6649-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-375-41598-2
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4332-7197-7
Hardcover - 278 pages - 978-0-7862-1925-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-4520-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-7861-7184-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-4688-8
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-7861-5338-1
Open Ebook - 978-0-393-06365-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4640-4759-6
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