enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: Patrick O'Brian, H.M.S. Surprise

I read this book about 2010-07-25. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1973. This note was last modified Tuesday, 06-May-2014 13:18:59 PDT.

This is book 3 of the "Aubrey-Maturin" series.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


Third in the series. Stephen knows they aren't going to get the full prize money for the Spanish treasure ship, but Jack does not yet. He's still on the Lively, so he hasn't had a chance to spend the money he won't get yet. Apparently I haven't reread this one since I started the book log.

A copy of the Times, with his and Sophie's engagement announcement in it, made its way on board, and the officers are very obliging (they've met Sophie in the recent past, you may recall).

He's now heading in in a small boat to pick up Stephen. "No answering light. But that did not worry him" is not what I would call the most subtle piece of foreshadowing ever performed in literature, but it does the job. A few sentences later he thinks something "still without any apprehension". And then Joan Maragall, who seems to be a man, appears with the bad news that Stephen has been captured, and has been tortured (explaining his writing not looking as expected).

They do of course rescue him; but his reduced physical capability goes through the rest of the books, especially the next couple.

And then off to India, with the many lovely scenes of Stephen wandering around interacting with mostly poor people. And the next steps of the Diana story, which is really entierly bizarre. Stephen kills Canning, accidentally, in a duel (he intended to hit his arm, but got the aorta; Canning had already wounded him).

Aubrey saves the East India Company fleet from the French, and the Company at least is thoroughly grateful, and finds a way to get him enough money to clear his debt. He has just written Sophy to come out to Madiera to meet him.

They proceed home, don't find Sophy in Madeira, and Jack is depressed. But they find her on board a ship they meet, outbound, with Heneage Dundas as Jack had asked. So that marriage is going to go forward (though Sophy insists on being actually married at home, as she promised her mother; though she says she'd sail around the world with Jack).

On the other hand, what Stephen gets is a letter from Diana returning his ring, and saying she's going to America with Mr. Johnson (thus setting up action in a later book).


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David Dyer-Bennet