Men-of-War: Life in Nelson's Navy

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9780393038583: Men-of-War: Life in Nelson's Navy

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. Photographs, drawings, cartoons, charts, and full-color paintings

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Review:

Any Aubrey Maturin reader determined to learn the locations of the orlop and the mizenmast, the etiquette of epaulettes, or the range of a 32-pounder will delight in this invaluable reference companion to O'Brian's epic and series. An exploration of what daily life was like in Nelson's navy, for everyone from the captain on down to the rawest recruit. Line drawings and charts help us understand the construction and rigging of the great ships, the types and dispositions of the guns, and how they operated in battle. Contemporary drawings and cartoons illustrate aspects of naval life from the press gang to the scullery. Finally, a generous selection of full-color paintings renders the majesty and the excitement of fleet actions in the age of fighting sail.

About the Author:

Patrick O'Brian's acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series of historical novels has been described as "a masterpiece" (David Mamet, New York Times), "addictively readable" (Patrick T. Reardon, Chicago Tribune), and "the best historical novels ever written" (Richard Snow, New York Times Book Review), which "should have been on those lists of the greatest novels of the 20th century" (George Will).Set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, O'Brian's twenty-volume series centers on the enduring friendship between naval officer Jack Aubrey and physician (and spy) Stephen Maturin. The Far Side of the World, the tenth book in the series, was adapted into a 2003 film directed by Peter Weir and starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany. The film was nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture. The books are now available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book format.In addition to the Aubrey/Maturin novels, Patrick O'Brian wrote several books including the novels Testimonies, The Golden Ocean, and The Unknown Shore, as well as biographies of Joseph Banks and Picasso. He translated many works from French into English, among them the novels and memoirs of Simone de Beauvoir, the first volume of Jean Lacouture's biography of Charles de Gaulle, and famed fugitive Henri Cherrière's memoir Papillon. O'Brian died in January 2000.

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