Sailings this week

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Sailings this week

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1varielle
gen. 3, 2012, 11:57am

Or any week. Thanks to being completely corrupted by the Folio Society I've been working my way through the series. Just started the Far Side of the World. Where are you presently sailing with Jack and Stephen?

2zenomax
gen. 3, 2012, 12:45pm

Re-reading The Reverse of the Medal for the nth time. One of my favourites - despite or perhaps because of much of the action taking place on land.

3N.D.R.
Editat: gen. 31, 2012, 8:13am

The Commodore will be next for me.

OK I romped through that, and The Yellow Admiral is now waiting by me bed (while I finish The Hogfather).

4lorax
gen. 5, 2012, 10:05am

Currently rereading The Nutmeg of Consolation.

5elenchus
gen. 5, 2012, 11:30am

In port for liberty after completing HMS Surprise, my first undertaking through the entire series. I have 6 other volumes on my shelves to get through before scrabbling together the cash to purchase further volumnes from Folio, expect to take to the high seas by Spring.

6bookish_b
feb. 1, 2012, 2:51am

Recently finished The Hundred Days (19), which unfortunately didn't delight me nearly as much as most of the other books in the series. It had it's moments, of course, but the depth of intrigue, and the heart pounding excitement of the naval actions just didn't compare. Overall, what a treasure this series is. I absolutely love Jack and Stephen (especially Stephen). If only the stories could go on forever.

7GirlFromIpanema
Editat: gen. 13, 2015, 3:55pm

Currently in the Arafura Sea on HMAS Hammersley... --oops, wrong show ;-D.

I fell off the wagon about 18 months ago, but got out "The Yellow Admiral" to continue my journey (first time through the Canon). I agree that some of the later volumes seem a bit slow. I've got all 20 volumes as HarperCollins paperbacks, though I would love to own hardcovers like those from Folio --if I win the lottery...

Looking forward to start again (Post Captain! Yay!).

8varielle
feb. 1, 2012, 12:45pm

Starting The Reverse of the Medal this weekend.

9elenchus
març 1, 2012, 9:33am

Blast!

I pulled Fortune of War from my shelf, ready for the spring sail I mentioned in 6: sat down last night and read all of Chapter 1, and part of Chapter 2. Wanted to continue but it was past midnight ...

It was great getting back into the doings of Aubrey & Maturin, and I thought how nice O'Brian's approach to the series. So much happened between the opening of this volume and the close of the last! I wonder if it will feature in more detail later, or just part of the rich backstory he's developed for his world and its characters.

Then I realised: I was reading Volume 6, but I'd left off with Volume 3.

So after this enjoyable false start, I'll return to port and set sail properly later this week, installed in my Mauritius Command. Once my shelves are properly arranged, of course.

10N.D.R.
març 29, 2012, 8:02am

I'm now half way through The Hundred Days. I started the series in January 2001; three this year (so far).

11varielle
març 29, 2012, 8:49am

Just started The Letter of Marque. Poor Jack is so sad.

12elenchus
Editat: març 29, 2012, 12:48pm

>10 N.D.R.:, 11

You're each going along at a prodigious rate. I'm hoping for 2 this year, maybe 3 but that only by December.

13Enodia
març 29, 2012, 3:24pm

well in that case i must really be cracking on!
i'm just starting the series for the second time with M&C, but i plan to be finished before the end of the year.

i first finished the series about three years ago, and since then i've been through many nautical journeys with Hornblower (excellent!), Alexander Kent's 'Bolitho' series (it's okay, not great), C. Northcote Parkinson's 'Richard DeLancey' series (not bad), a few of Dudley Pope's 'Ramage' books (better than Kent, imo), a few of the Alan Lewrie adventures by Dewey Lambdin (i like these), Rafael Sabatini's 'Capt. Blood' books, and some Richard Woodman, Edwin P. Hoyt, Gene Hackman ('The Wake of the Pole Star'), etc, not to mention the better part of Bernard Cornwell's 'Sharpe' series (great stuff!).

so now i figured i would see O'Brian in a different light, being somehow less impressed as i am now such an 'old tar'.
not so.
these books are on a level above any of the others (with the possible exception of Sharpe), the characters far more developed and the technical descriptions far more detailed. half way through the first book one already has a feel for who these people are, an understanding one rarely gets from Bolitho or DeLancey.

so with the end of Master and Commander i will have sunk the horizon, on my way to adventure and glory once again!

14elenchus
abr. 4, 2012, 10:38pm

Started Desolation Island last evening, directly upon finishing Mauritius Command.

I'm finding Don Seltzer's Aubrey-Maturin Chronology and Michael Schuyler's Butcher's Bill to be fine sailing companions, though they are full of spoilers so I prefer to reflect upon where I've been rather than take a peek at where I'm headed.

Each is available as a PDF online.

15varielle
abr. 9, 2012, 1:43pm

Finished up The Letter of Marque. I thought it was very sweet that Jack gave his little brother the pistol ball Stephen dug out of his back. Can you imagine going back to school and showing off something like that from your famous brother to the other boys? I'm about to start The Thirteen Gun Salute.

16Enodia
abr. 13, 2012, 4:09am

i paid off Post Captain yesterday and i'm just starting HMS Surprise.

i had started this one my first time through, right after reading M&C. once i realized that i was out of sequence i put it aside until i finished Post Captain, then read it again in order.
i guess i know Chapter 1 of HMS Surprise better than anything else in the canon!

;)

17Vigneau
abr. 13, 2012, 12:25pm

Just completed HMS Surprise. Easily the most enjoyable of the first three. It's taken me time to get into this series. After reading Master and Commander I wondered what all the fuss was about. Now I know. I'm glad I persisted which I wouldn't have done if not for all the good reviews. Just bought the next four from FS in the summer sale and looking forward to setting sail again.

18lorax
abr. 19, 2012, 11:07am

17>

I always recommend either starting with HMS Surprise or skipping Post Captain the first time through for exactly that reason, since Surprise is definitely where O'Brian hits his stride. Er, gets the wind in his sails?

19benjclark
abr. 19, 2012, 5:15pm

I'm entirely new to the series (I did see the movie when it came out), but have always wanted to read this series. I started at Master and Commander, finishing last night. I liked it. I really enjoy series and I know the first book isn't where it gets to be the best -- especially when a series, like this one, has been described as just one very long book. I've stockpiled the first four books for marathon reading to help me get through the last throes of being too early to be out in the garden (I live in northern Montana). So tonight I begin Post Captain.

20Enodia
abr. 20, 2012, 4:00am

while re-reading Post Captain recently i came across a small red wine stain on page 213 (it probably won't appear on your copy).

it was three years ago, at about 1:30 in the morning, and me and the dog were sitting on the front porch reading together, when Liebe suddenly jumped up to check out a cat or possum or whatever, right while i was in mid-sip.
i remember it like it was just 3 years ago...

21elenchus
abr. 20, 2012, 9:06am

A very appropriate stain. If it appears during a passage in Jack's cabin, with he & Stephen preparing to play their Corelli, all the better!

So far I've avoided accidents, but when it happens it's far more likely to be from "a dish of tea" or a pot of coffee. I can only hope mine comes without any rat feces.

I've just departed Desolation Island and will foray into other adventures for a bit. I expect to consider the Fortune of War later this year.

22Enodia
abr. 27, 2012, 4:16am

i agree that HMS Surprise is where it all really comes together.
i started The Mauritius Command a day or two ago, and i recall this being one of my favorites the first time through. so far it is proving true this time too.
lots of action here! and the scene ashore at the Cape with Stephen observing the 'experiment' at the inn is wonderful.
:)

23elenchus
abr. 27, 2012, 9:23am

IS that the 'experiment' with the Scottish surgeon? That entire storyline is interesting, and often displays PO'B's droll wit.

24benjclark
abr. 27, 2012, 1:05pm

Mauritius Command last night and certainly tonight too.

25benjclark
abr. 27, 2012, 1:07pm

Also realized I don't have Desolation Island ready to go---. I need to slow down a little until it arrives.

26Enodia
abr. 27, 2012, 2:40pm

"IS that the 'experiment' with the Scottish surgeon? That entire storyline is interesting, and often displays PO'B's droll wit."

yes, that is the scene.
the Russian Capt. falls sideways off his chair, and Stephen merely looks at him and says "inconclusive"... lol!

27Enodia
maig 3, 2012, 3:38am

yep, TMC is a right gooder.
the characters are fully developed now, and their personal histories are a matter of course and don't need any heavy-handed narration. we know what Stephen will think of Jack's actions (for instance), we can anticipate Jack's reaction when he reads some foolish admiral's order. they are old friends and we are privy.

anyway, mission accomplished.
i am hereby requested and required to board the 'orrible old Leopard and proceed to Desolation Island... not a moment to lose!

28justjim
maig 3, 2012, 4:02am

You've got the Leopard? A glass of wine with you sir!

29N.D.R.
maig 4, 2012, 8:21am

Just finished Blue at the Mizzen - bit of a spoiler in the title! I get the impression that O'Brian wished he was Maturin and that he was more interested in natural history than sailing by the end of the series. Most of the naval action in the last few books happens off-stage and is reported, rather than happening directly to the characters.

Re the red wine stain, my mug says "Charles Lamb once told Coleridge he was especially fond of books containing traces of buttered muffins", but I try to keep mine clean.

30elenchus
maig 4, 2012, 9:01am

I've not made it through the Canon yet: that's an interesting observation about naval action moving off-stage. I've found the onshore plot developments as satisfying as those asea, but certainly the balance is important.

You bring up Blue at the Mizzen so I'll ask a question I've been leaving until the time I get to that point in the series: everywhere else it's the mizen, is the Mizzen something else? Somewhere else?

31lorax
maig 4, 2012, 9:17am

30>

You must be reading editions that are rife with typos, then. "Mizzen" is correct and I don't recall seeing it any other way in any of my copies.

32N.D.R.
maig 4, 2012, 11:44am

Mizen and mizzen are alternative spellings of the same thing. Different publishers perhaps?

I just looked it up in an online dictionary and saw that it derives from the Catalan mitjana. How come Maturin is so erudite but is unable to learn nautical terminology that he is in contact with every day?

33elenchus
maig 4, 2012, 12:12pm

>31 lorax:

Now I doubt myself: the question occurred to me, I thought, when comparing references in the text of my Folio Society editions to the title of that book. Maybe I've been wrong. I'll keep an eye out next time I'm reading. I must say, I'm not sure why the question would have occurred to me at all if there isn't that discrepancy, yet I'd be surprised if the FS editions had that typo.

34Enodia
maig 18, 2012, 4:57pm

Desolation Island is now in my wake, and i'm off to the colonies for more trouble, but i guess those are The Fortunes of War.

35elenchus
Editat: juny 15, 2012, 7:52pm

>30 elenchus: - 33

Page 1 of The Fortune of War, Folio Society edition (2nd Printing / 2010):
"... in spite of her pennant and the dingy ensign at her mizen-peak, she looked like an unusually shabby merchant ship." (This in reference to the poor Leopard, limping in after her misadventures in Desolation Island).

So is that a typo, or an alternative spelling? It is rendered distinctly with a single "z".

36Foretopman
juny 15, 2012, 9:27pm

>35 elenchus: My understanding is that the single z spelling was more common 200 years ago, and in the present day is more likely to be encountered in the UK than in the US (which is not to say that it is currently common in the UK).

37elenchus
juny 18, 2012, 11:15am

Makes sense, I think I'm curious that O'Brian doesn't keep the same spelling for the title of the later book, Blue at the Mizzen. That's what prompted me to wonder whether the two spellings were different words / held distinct meanings.

38varielle
jul. 30, 2012, 3:30pm

Well, sailings over the last few weeks. I just got back from a ten day cruise in the Baltic where our friends Aubrey and Maturin have sailed a few times. Even with modern technology I could see how an inattentive sailor could run afoul. Particularly near Finland I notice quite a few small rock outcroppings that were just a few feet above the water and some just under the surface. How they managed in the age of sail is truly astounding.

39elenchus
jul. 30, 2012, 10:37pm

Any pictures to share? I'm not a cruise ship fan, but I'm not handy with a line or a boom in even the calmest weather, so that would be the only way I'd see first-hand what the waters are like in any of their sea roads.

40guido47
jul. 30, 2012, 11:26pm

Hi Group,
Just lurking at the moment but as soon as I get my last missing book (#16) I will start with #1 and re-read them all in sequence. Should be finished in a couple of years :-)

41varielle
jul. 31, 2012, 1:08pm

The pics I took were mostly ashore, if you don't count the ones with me sitting on deck with a wineglass in my hand.

42elenchus
ag. 5, 2012, 10:02pm

HA! A good alternative, above deck with a wineglass!

43varielle
des. 4, 2012, 1:20pm

I'm laid up with a new knee and decided to take a Nutmeg of Consolation from Aubrey and Maturin. Unfortunately, they seem to be stranded on a desert island and Maturin has the flux. I'm sure Jack will get us out of this situation soon.

44elenchus
des. 4, 2012, 1:22pm

My reading schedule is in the doldrums, but I'm hoping to take out Fortunes of War before year's end. Not sure how realistic an aim that is.

45varielle
des. 6, 2012, 8:45pm

Did I mention that the stranded Dianes are also suffering from a cannibal problem?

46varielle
gen. 18, 2013, 3:43pm

I've left the Captain and the good doctor, who has been poisoned by a platypus whom he interrupted romancing a lady platypus, to sail off with that landlubber soldier Richard Sharpe in Sharpe's Trafalgar.

47elenchus
gen. 18, 2013, 4:08pm

Didn't make it out before the end of 2012, but I'm currently sailing from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic (part of the way in a cutter after a nasty ship fire).

I found it amusing to identify the weevil scene from the film, lifted from a passage in The Fortune of War.

48elenchus
març 1, 2013, 1:24pm

Recently completed The Surgeon's Mate and will take shore leave for a bit before embarking on the next assignment.

49zenomax
març 1, 2013, 4:06pm

Half way through Treasons Harbour. Enjoyed Aubrey's mirth over Mrs Fielding's phrase 'plying the oar' which he rewrote as 'playing the whore'.

50varielle
març 18, 2013, 9:54am

I'm finally heading home with a bilious Jack Aubrey, new daddy Dr. Maturin and a stow away named Clarissa Oakes.

51varielle
abr. 12, 2013, 10:18am

I just finished Sharpe's Prey, in which that land lubber Richard Sharpe was delivered on an espionage mission to Copenhagen in 1807, while the British navy fire-bombed the Danes. I had never heard of this event in the Napoleonic Wars until last summer. While passing through Copenhagen on the way to the airport a tour guide mentioned the destruction of the city by the Brits. It was quite shocking to us Americanos, we always thought the Brits and the Danes got along, but they're still talking about it 200 years later.

52varielle
maig 17, 2013, 10:14am

I'm back in the Pacific with Jack and the Doctor, chasing an American privateer in the Wine-Dark Sea. The sea is acting very strange because of a volcanic eruption that has pummeled the prey and left them begging to be captured. Will our heroes ever get home again?

53elenchus
maig 18, 2013, 11:15pm

Still on hiatus: but always good to hear of the latest excursion!

54varielle
jul. 24, 2013, 3:24pm

It seems the bad guys are after the good doctor, Clarissa Oakes and Padeen as I am venturing out with a new Commodore.

55zenomax
jul. 24, 2013, 4:42pm

I am reading both The Commodore and The Surgeons Mate, picking up whichever is closest at hand. Having read most titles at least 3 times, I no longer feel the need to read in any sort of order. Just happy to enjoy the journey.

56elenchus
jul. 25, 2013, 9:27am

>55 zenomax:

That is dizzying to contemplate. I wonder if ever I shall reach that stage!

57varielle
oct. 9, 2013, 8:49am

I'm suffering through blockade duty and contemplating marital strife in The Yellow Admiral.

58varielle
Editat: oct. 28, 2013, 5:07pm

I'm into The Hundred Days in which Napoleon has escaped from Elba, and our heroes are navigating some difficult political waters in the eastern Med. Alas, my favorite minor character, with a big influence, has appeared on the butcher's bill. So long to fast horses and faster women.

59Bibliophilus
nov. 1, 2013, 10:40pm

Just underway in The Wine-Dark Sea in my second trip through the series.

60varielle
nov. 29, 2013, 3:34pm

I recently finished Blue at the Mizzen and am going through withdrawals. What happened with Christine and what's going on in South Africa? How can I go on without knowing!!

61parelle
des. 17, 2013, 1:08pm

60 > You know, there is volume 21 :) But it's not going to be published by the Folio Society, sadly enough.

62elenchus
gen. 16, 2014, 9:30am

I've left port on the Worcester, readying for an Ionian Mission (which at present, is obscure).

I will say, the first chapter is a showcase of both Maturin and Aubrey, separately and in their particular friendship. It could stand alone as an example of their charm, idiosyncracies, and humour. O'Brian almost took it over the top, I imagine he had a bit of fun writing it.

It's good to be under sail, like Jack I've been stuck ashore for months on end.

63parelle
gen. 17, 2014, 12:26pm

The Ionian Mission is probably my second favorite of the series to the glorious HMS Surprise, I think in part because of that delightful first chapter.

64elenchus
Editat: gen. 27, 2014, 1:04pm

Interesting that The Ionian Mission packs so much into a single installment. Stephen gets a mission ashore, Jack again frets over his situation at home but commands a couple ships and is reunited with dear Surprise, so many of the old hands are mustered for the Worcester and later Surprise, and again a couple examples of the naval action!

And the humour makes quite an appearance, I found myself laughing aloud probably once per chapter, sometimes more often.

The only thing "missing" was Stephen's naturalism did not play a central role, though there were a good number of references to prior episodes. (ETA And, a brief description of his foray to view the spotted eagle.) This is perhaps the only aspect of the novel which is unrepresentative of the canon generally.

65elenchus
maig 5, 2014, 11:52pm

And now to the far side of the world. It's become clear that PO'B is unhurried in his storytelling and his prose, especially in the early chapters. It's a welcome return to the characters and setting. Later chapters, I suspect, will follow the pattern and jump ahead by weeks or even months, leaving major developments to be shared in an aside between Jack and Stephen, or whomever, with me breathlessly trying to keep up.

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