- Paperback: 342 pages
- Publisher: McFarland Publishing (July 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786406844
- ISBN-13: 978-0786406845
- Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #706,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Persons, Animals, Ships and Cannon in the Aubrey-Maturin Sea Novels of Patrick O'Brian
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Staking out the literary territory between John Jakes and James Joyce, Patrick O'Brian has produced a penetratingly intelligent series of historical novels based on the early-19th-century exploits of a pair of naval officers. This series has developed a strong and loyal following; but many readers will need a little help matching the author's erudition. Scholar, writer, and fan Anthony Gary Brown has stepped up to lend others a hand with Persons, Animals, Ships and Cannon in the Aubrey-Maturin Sea Novels of Patrick O'Brian. Over 4,500 entries in 342 pages explain the identities and meanings behind the names of all the characters (human and otherwise) in the 19 books published as of 1998. Invaluable as much for its reference use as its wit, Brown's book deserves a place on the shelf along with O'Brian's corpus.
The entries for Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin compose two different distillations of the series, each from one of the character's points of view; each of the rest of the entries--from Abbas Effendi to Zwingerius--details the character or institution's nature, relation to the stories, and place within the books, as well as the derivation of the name and other bits of background not found in the series. Even the lowliest seaman gets a place in this comprehensive tome, so purists and completists will find little to complain about. Before setting sail, it's important to chart your course, and Dr. Brown has made that task immensely simpler and more pleasurable with Persons, Animals, Ships and Cannon in the Aubrey-Maturin Sea Novels of Patrick O'Brian. --Rob Lightner
"an in-depth guide to many factual and fictional aspects of the Aubrey-Maturin series"--ARBA
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As other addicts know, part of the charm of the novels are the numerous obscure and offhand references to various "Persons, Animals, Ships and Cannon." Mr. Brown's handsome, very well written dictionary of ALL of those references is a delightful companion clarifying many nuances in in O'Brian's prose. Actually, it's a joy just browsing through the book without one of the novels at your side.
The book also includes two insightful summaries of each novel, one from Aubrey's point of view and one from Maturin's, as well as descriptions of O'Brian's rare inconsistencies and errors in plotting from novel to novel.