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Letter of Marque, The

O'BRIAN, Patrick (1914-2000)

8,207 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0002231492 / ISBN 13: 9780002231497
Published by Collins, London, 1988
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Fine Editions Ltd (New York, NY, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

First Impression (no additional printings noted). Tall 8vo: 284pp. Publisher's French blue cloth, spine stamped in gilt (still brilliant); pictorial dust jacket illustrated by Geoff Hunt and priced £10.95. Fine and unread, page edges tanned (as often), else clean, tight and unmarked. Twelfth installment in the Aubrey-Maturin series of nautical historical novels-20 completed and one left unfinished-set during the Napoleonic Wars and featuring naval commander Jack Aubrey and ship's surgeon (and secret agent) Stephen Maturin. This episode opens with the HMS Surprise in close pursuit of an American privateer in the South Pacific, while en route to deliver Maturin on a clandestine mission to Peru. Most of the narrative centers on Maturin's exploits inciting revolution against the Spanish colonial government in Lima. Note: With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, with dust jackets carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory # BB1206

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Letter of Marque, The

Publisher: Collins, London

Publication Date: 1988

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


Struck off the Navy List for a crime he did not commit, Jack Aubrey takes command of a privateer and begins a voyage which may, just may, restore him to the rank. Jack Aubrey is a naval officer, a post-captain of experience and capacity. When The Letter of Marque opens he has been struck off the Navy List for a crime he has not committed. With Aubrey is his friend and ship's surgeon Stephen Maturin, who is also an unofficial British intelligence agent. Maturin has bought for Aubrey his old ship the Surprise, so that the misery of ejection from the service can be palliated by the command of what Aubrey calls a 'private man-of-war' -- a letter of marque, a privateer. Together they sail on a voyage which, if successful, might restore Aubrey to the rank, and the raison d'etre, whose loss he so much regrets. Around these simple, ostensibly familar elements Patrick O'Brian has written a novel of great narrative power, exploring his extraordinary world once more, in a tale full of human feeling and rarely matched in its drama.


When Jack Aubrey is unfairly deprived of his commission in the Royal Navy, Stephen Maturin comes to the rescue, purchasing the captain's former ship and outfitting it as a privateer, to be commanded by...Jack Aubrey. Soon the Surprise is off to sea, on a mission that Aubrey hopes will redeem his good name. The author's grasp of period detail is astonishing as ever--and so is his gift for pure entertainment.

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