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Description - The Nutmeg of Consolation by Patrick O'Brian

Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin tales are widely acknowledged to be the greatest series of historical novels ever written. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of their beginning, with Master and Commander, these evocative stories are being re-issued in paperback with smart new livery. This is the fourteenth book in the series. Patrick O'Brian is regarded by many as the greatest living historical novelist writing in English. In The Nutmeg of Consolation, Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin begin stranded on an uninhabited island in the Dutch East Indies, attacked by ferocious Malay pirates. They contrive their escape, but after a stay in Batavia and a change of ship, they are caught up in a night chase in the fiercely tidal waters and then embroiled in the much more insidious conflicts of the terrifying penal settlements of New South Wales. It is one of O'Brian's most accomplished and gripping books.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780006499299
ISBN-10: 0006499295
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 130mm x 24mm)
Pages: 368
Imprint: Harper
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publish Date: 10-Jul-1997
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - The Nutmeg of Consolation by Patrick O'Brian

US Kirkus Review » Another in O'Brian's stylish epic series devoted to the exploits of Captain Jack Aubrey, his close friend and traveling companion Dr. Steven Maturin, and the men who share their ships - and their adventures - on the high seas of a world nearly two centuries gone. We pick up Aubrey and the crew right where we left them in The Thirteen Gun Salute (p. 496), shipwrecked in the South China Sea after having seen the British envoy they had been carrying sent to a watery grave as a result of his impetuous actions. After a bloody battle with Aborigine invaders and an unexpected rescue, Aubrey is given command of the small Dutch ship whose name serves as the title of this volume. He then overtakes and tricks a French frigate into following him to his rendezvous with his beloved man-of-war, Surprise, leading to the capture of the enemy ship forthwith. Then it's off to the Solomon Islands, where the seagoers rescue two young girls from an island stricken with smallpox, and ultimately to Sydney, where Maturin is provoked into a duel, complicating relationships with officials ashore (as do the two rescued children). The doctor, who is somewhat bemused throughout by his apparently fallen fortunes (thanks to a banking decision made in the previous novel), is, as always, the tale's most interesting character and constantly preoccupied with flora, fauna, and good conversation, not to mention the sumptuous food and drink that he and Aubrey seem to enjoy even in the midst of battle. Witty, literate, and engaging - as Aubrey himself might say, "capital work indeed." (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Patrick O'Brian

Patrick O'Brian, until his death in 2000, was one of our greatest contemporary novelists. He is the author of the acclaimed Aubrey-Maturin tales and the biographer of Joseph Banks and Picasso. He is the author of many other books including Testimonies, and his Collected Short Stories. In 1995 he was the first recipient of the Heywood Hill Prize for a lifetime's contribution to literature. In the same year he was awarded the CBE. In 1997 he received an honorary doctorate of letters from Trinity College, Dublin. He lived for many years in South West France and he died in Dublin in January 2000.

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