I read this book about 5-May-2005. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1972. This note was last modified Tuesday, 06-May-2014 13:21:02 PDT.
This is book 2 of the "Aubrey-Maturin" series.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
Second of the series.
Diana appears and becomes important. But we're nowhere near done with her yet, dear me no.
Jack loses his first fortune. In fact, he loses it twice, which seems extraordinarly nasty to me. First, his agent steals it and runs off. Then, several prizes are disallowed by the prize court, and he has to pay back the money. This leaves him £11,000 in debt, which in turn gives us considerable information about the law on debt at the time.
And the Polychrest. Oh, my. What a pitiful thing, the poor Polychrest. At least she gets decently sunk, and doesn't kill a lot of people in the process.
Mr. Scriven is interesting, but does seem to appear and disappear mysteriously as the plot finds convenient. (And he gives a good excuse to discuss the state of the publishing industry at the time.)
And Jack and Steven get close enough to a duel to have had their seconds arrange a time and place. Only some combat intervenes -- and in this reading I missed the spot where they say it's resolved and forgotten, somehow, though I remember it existing quite distinctly.