H.M.S. Surprise

Patrick O'Brian

Jack Aubrey is back in England and bankrupt. His only escape is to board H.M.S. Surprise as part of a naval entourage accompanying the king’s ambassador to the East Indies. The third installment of the Aubrey-Maturin series.

Published price: US$ 67.95


H.M.S. Surprise

‘a likeable set of youngsters ... the scrubbed, staid example of their elders could not repress their cheerfulness’

Jack Aubrey is back in England and bankrupt. His only escape is to board H.M.S. Surprise as part of a naval entourage accompanying the king’s ambassador to the East Indies. Braving storms and predatory French squadrons, Aubrey and Maturin eventually fight their way to India where they encounter a host of new threats and uncertainties. Set within this new exotic panorama, H.M.S. Surprise balances moments of high drama with compelling depictions of human courage. The nuances of life in Nelson’s navy have never been more accurately evoked.

Also available:
Master and Commander
Post Captain
The Mauritius Command
Desolation Island
The Fortune of War
The Surgeon's Mate
The Ionian Mission
Treason's Harbour
The Far Side of the World
The Reverse of the Medal
The Letter of Marque
The Thirteen Gun Salute
The Nutmeg of Consolation
Clarissa Oakes
The Wine-Dark Sea
The Commodore
The Yellow Admiral
The Hundred Days
Blue at the Mizzen

Read more about the life and work of Patrick O'Brian here

Production Details

H.M.S. Surprise book
  • Bound in buckram
  • blocked with individual designs by Neil Gower
  • Set in Baskerville
  • 12 pages of colour and black & white plates, additional black & white tailpieces and specially commissioned maps and battle plans
  • Book size: 9" × 6¼"
  • 326 pages

Aubrey and Maturin: The Bond of Friendship

The partnership between Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin is at the heart of Patrick O’Brian’s masterful series. Beyond the beautifully textured period setting and the thrilling skirmishes and naval battles (many based on real events), the popularity of the novels stems from these two engaging, intriguing protagonists, with Aubrey’s passionate nature providing a marvellous foil for Maturin’s more enigmatic character. Two centuries may separate us from them, but O’Brian creates an utterly compelling portrait of two men and a world at war.

‘A brilliant achievement. These novels display staggering erudition on almost all aspects of early 19th-century life’

In 1991, an article appeared in The New York Times entitled ‘An Author I’d Walk the Plank For’. Like millions of readers around the world, the writer, Richard Snow, had become addicted to Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey–Maturin series. Set against the sprawling canvas of the Napoleonic Wars, O’Brian’s naval adventure novels evoke this period in history like no others. Their success is down to the vim and vigour of O’Brian’s prose, his extraordinary eye for period detail and his ear for language. In Snow’s words: ‘O’Brian summoned up with casual omniscience the workaday magic of a vanished time.’

About Patrick O'Brian

Patrick O’Brian (1914–2000) was best known for his Aubrey/ Maturin series of historical novels set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, the first of which, Master and Commander, was published in 1969. In addition to novel-writing, O’Brian was a biographer (Joseph Banks, 1987; Picasso, 1976) and translator. After the Second World War, he settled in the South of France and translated many works from French into English, among them the novels of Simone de Beauvoir and Henri Charrière’s memoir Papillon. He received a CBE in 1997.


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