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Harbors and High Seas: An Atlas and Geographical Guide to the Aubrey-Maturin Novels of Patrick O'Brian Hardcover – May, 1996
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Top Customer Reviews
Now as I travel the world in the O'Brian series I know where I am and where I've been -- and often where I'm going. The maps are outstanding (I always thought a map here and there in the novels themselves was called for), and King's narrative takes me ashore in places all over the aquatic world to round out my adventures with my favorite literary characters.
The old pictures from The Naval Chronicle are worthy -- and thoughtful -- additions to the whole fine work.
I guess I'll be reading Aubrey/Maturin books forever, and with Harbors and High Seas right at hand. Too bad the guide had to end with The Commodore but, hey, I'm not complaining. I'm happy for what's here.
Thanks to King, too, for his lexicon, A Sea of Words. That was the finishing touch for the O'Brian addict that I am -- I want to KNOW what a studding sail is, a snow (for I, like Maturin, thought a "snow" must be a white ship), the mainchains (not "chains" at all), the messenger (definitely not a means by which you might get a message to Garcia) . . .
A tip of the hat and a warm thank you to Dean King and his cohorts: John B. Hattendorf, J.Read more ›
The only downside to having this companion is the irresistable temptation to read ahead...the plot lines of the first 17 books are all given in general outline. As O'Brian readers know, however, much of the joy is as much in the characterization and writing as in the plot line. So, even if you do look ahead, it in all likelihood only will increase your desire to move on to the next book....I personally can hardly wait to get to Treason's Harbour and the mood that O'Brian will create around historic Malta.
If you love maps, though, and have always used them to add a visual learning dimension and reference to the words, you can't possibly read the books without it.
In closing, I guess I should add the warning that as addictive as these books are, they become even more addictive with the companion.
Of course, it embraces more titles of the series. But King and cohorts have spent some worthy time enlarging what was already there.
For just one example, the new edition has a biographical sketch of Lord Cochrane, the real fighting captain that Aubrey is patterned after. It was Cochrane, as captain of the little 16-gun Speedy, who captured the 36-gun Spanish ship that is the Cacafuego in the novel. Cochrane believed that anything shocking, out of the ordinary, was a valuable battle strategy. So he had his men blacken their faces and swarmed aboard the superior ship screaming bloody murder, exactly as Aubrey did.
Cochrane, like Aubrey, fell afoul of real-life jealousies and suffered the considerable consequences. It seems that military commanders with blood and guts run chills of jealousy up the spines of their more timid counterparts, and so find themselves in hot water. A modern example is Gen. George Patton -- he made too many other generals (Viscount Montgomery for one) appear hung up on dead center while he blasted full-speed ahead.
The new version of Harbors etc. bears a fine original cover painting by Geoff Hunt, who illustrated all the covers of the O'Brian sea stories.
Aubrey/Maturin fans who already have the 1966 version will find this a worthy addition. Those who don't -- well, how are you to learn what o'clock it is, Mate?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good summary and the maps are a great help to make sense of locations mentioned in the books. Not all locations in the stories actually exist.Published 1 month ago by Chad Smith
Just starting into it, but it looks like it will be a welcome (maybe even necessary) companion to the understanding of O'Brian's fine novels.Published 4 months ago by BAK
Haven't read it as it was purchased as a gift. The recipient really liked it. Thanks!Published 6 months ago by csf
I got this reference/companion book for my Patrick O'Brian series "Master and Commander" in the ebook format. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Louis C
A complete compliment to the Jack Aubrey series and answer a lot of questions about where things happened.Published 9 months ago by John Downing