View Full Version : Patrick O'Brian Audiobooks Collection - 26 Unabridged Books
03-27-2012, 09:47 AM
Patrick O'Brian, CBE (12 December 1914 – 2 January 2000), born Richard Patrick Russ, was an English novelist and translator, best known for his Aubrey–Maturin series of novels set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars and centred on the friendship of English Naval Captain Jack Aubrey and the Irish–Catalan physician Stephen Maturin. The 20-novel series is known for its well-researched and highly detailed portrayal of early 19th century life, as well as its authentic and evocative language. A partially-finished twenty-first novel in the series was published posthumously containing facing pages of handwriting and typescript.
O'Brian was born Richard Patrick Russ, in Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire and was the son of a physician of German descent and an English mother of Irish descent. The eighth of nine children, he lost his mother at the age of three, and his biographers describe a fairly isolated childhood, with sporadic schooling and long intervals at home with his father and stepmother, during which time his literary career began. In 1934 he underwent a brief period of pilot training with the Royal Air Force but this was not successful, and by 1935 he was living in London, where he married his first wife, Elizabeth, in 1936. They had two children; the second, a daughter, suffered from spina bifida and died in 1942 aged three, by which time O'Brian had left the family in their remote country cottage and returned to London, where he worked throughout the war. Commentators including biographer Dean King have claimed that O'Brian was actively involved in intelligence work and perhaps special operations overseas during the war and that these experiences informed those of his character Stephen Maturin, an intelligence agent. However, O'Brian's stepson Nikolai Tolstoy disputes this, although he confirms that O'Brian worked as a volunteer ambulance driver during the Blitz, where he met Mary, the separated wife of Russian-born nobleman and lawyer Count Dimitri Tolstoy. They lived together through the latter part of the war, and after both were divorced from their previous spouses they married in July 1945. The following month he changed his name by deed poll to Patrick O'Brian.
O'Brian protected his privacy fiercely and was reluctant to reveal any details about his private life or past, preferring to include no biographical details on his book jackets and supplying only a minimum of personal information when pressed to do so. For many years reviewers and journalists presumed he was Irish, and he took no steps to correct the impression. In 1998 a BBC documentary followed by an exposé in the Daily Telegraph made public the facts of his ancestry, original name and first marriage, provoking considerable critical media comment. In the introduction to his biography of O'Brian, his stepson and O'Brian historian Nikolai Tolstoy claims to give a more accurate and balanced account of his late stepfather's character, actions and motives, particularly in respect of his first marriage and family.
O'Brian died in January 2000 during a stay in Dublin, and his body was returned to Collioure, where he is buried next to his wife.
Dean H. King's life of O'Brian, Patrick O'Brian: A Life Revealed was the first biography to document O'Brian's early life under his original name.
Nikolai Tolstoy is O'Brian's stepson through O'Brian's marriage to Mary (Wicksteed) Tolstoy, who divorced Count Dmitri Tolstoy in order to marry O'Brian in 1945. In November 2004, Nikolai Tolstoy published Patrick O'Brian: The Making of the Novelist, the first volume in a two-part biography of O'Brian using material from the Russ and Tolstoy families and sources, including O'Brian's personal papers and library, which Tolstoy inherited on O'Brian's death.
O'Brian published two novels, a collection of stories and several uncollected stories under his original name, Richard Patrick Russ. His first book, Caesar: The Life Story of a Panda-Leopard, was written at the age of 12 and published three years later in 1930. It was a critical success, with a recommendation in the New Statesman and positive reviews in publications including the New York Herald Tribune and the Saturday Review of Literature. Other stories followed, published in boys' magazines and annuals and incorporating themes of natural history and adventure, and a collection of these and other animal stories was published in 1934 under the title Beasts Royal, with illustrations by the noted artist Charles Tunnicliffe, illustrator of Tarka the Otter. Hussein: An entertainment, set in India, was published in 1938, when he was 23. It was notable for being the first book of contemporary fiction ever published by the Oxford University Press, to whose annuals for boys he had been a regular contributor for some years.
O'Brian published very little under his original name of Russ during World War II, and nothing after 1940. His change of surname in 1945 necessarily meant abandoning the literary reputation he had built up as R. P. Russ, and although he returned to writing after the war, when he moved to rural Wales, his non-fiction anthology A Book of Voyages (1947) attracted little attention. A collection of short stories, The Last Pool, was published in 1950 and was more widely and favourably reviewed, although sales were low.
In the 1950s O'Brian wrote three books aimed at a younger age group, The Road to Samarcand, The Golden Ocean, and The Unknown Shore. Although written many years before the Aubrey–Maturin series, the three novels reveal literary antecedents of Aubrey and Maturin. In the Road to Samarcand they can be discerned in Captain Sullivan and Professor Ayrton. In The Golden Ocean and The Unknown Shore, based on events of the Anson circumnavigation of 1740–1743, they can be clearly seen in the characters of Jack Byron and Tobias Barrow.
The Aubrey–Maturin Series
Patrick O'Brian - Master And Commander (read by Patrick Tull)
Master and Commander is a historical naval novel by Patrick O'Brian. First published in 1969 (US) (1970 in UK), it is first in the Aubrey-Maturin series of stories of Captain Jack Aubrey and the naval surgeon Stephen Maturin. Closely based on the historical feats of Lord Cochrane, O'Brian's novel is set in the Napoleonic Wars. Receiving many compliments from historians and literary critics and with a large popular following, Master and Commander has been reprinted a number of times. In 2003 the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, with actors Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany, was made, using themes but not the plot from the book Master and Commander and many other books in the series.Also introduced into the story are Master's Mates Thomas Pullings, William Mowett, midshipman William Babbington, and James Dillon, the Sophie's first lieutenant. Dillon and Stephen both have secret backgrounds as members of the United Irishmen.
Aubrey improves Sophie's sailing qualities by adding a longer yard which allows him to spread a larger mainsail. She then is sent to accompany a small convoy of merchant ships. During their journey east, the new captain, Aubrey, takes the opportunity to get to know his sailors and work them into a fighting unit. As he does this, he and the crew explain many naval matters to Maturin (and to the reader) since the doctor has never served aboard a man-of-war.
After the convoy duties, Lord Keith allows Aubrey to cruise independently, looking for French merchants. After a number of prizes are taken, they meet and defeat the Cacafuego, a Spanish frigate, losing a number of crew, including Dillon, in the bloody action and gaining the respect of other naval officers. However, Captain Harte, the commandant at Mahon, has a grudge against Aubrey, who has been having an affair with his wife. His malevolence ensures the victory brings Aubrey and his crew no official recognition, promotion, or significant prize money, although Aubrey gains a reputation among members of the British Navy as one of its great, young fighting captains.
On her following escort duty, Sophie is captured by a squadron of four large French warships after a pursuit and a brave but hopeless resistance. The Battle of Algeciras begins, and after a short period as prisoners of war, they are exchanged, missing the fighting. Back at Gibraltar, Aubrey must undergo a court-martial over the loss of his ship, but he is cleared of the charges.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 699 MB
03-27-2012, 09:48 AM
Patrick O'Brian - Post Captain (read by Patrick Tull)
Post Captain is a 1972 historical naval novel by Patrick O'Brian. It is second in the Aubrey–Maturin series of stories set in the early-nineteenth century, concerning the adventures of Captain Jack Aubrey and naval surgeon Stephen Maturin. It has been described as Patrick O'Brian's tribute to Jane Austen with part of it set in the domestic English countryside and the interaction of families.
The novel starts during the Peace of Amiens. Jack Aubrey sets up a bachelor household in a country district, becoming friendly with a neighbouring household with several marriageable daughters. When he falls into financial difficulty, he leaves England with his friend Stephen Maturin. When the Peace is ended, they escape from France and return to England. Aubrey pleads for any ship. After many tribulations and disagreements with Maturin and others, he is eventually successful in his career.
The book begins in 1802 with the conclusion of the French Revolutionary Wars and the start of the Peace of Amiens. Commander Jack Aubrey returns to England to take up the life of a country squire. He meets the Williams family, and their cousin Diana Villiers. Aubrey courts Sophia Williams (the eldest daughter), but is also attracted to Diana, with whom he commences an affair.
Aubrey plans to marry Sophia Williams, but his fortune soon disappears when he is forced to repay the prize money for a merchant ship which has been deemed an unlawful capture and his prize-agent absconds with much of the rest. Aubrey flees the country to avoid going to debtors' prison.
While in France, war with England breaks out again, and French authorities begin rounding up all English subjects. Tipped off by Jean-Anne Christy de la Pallière, the French captain who had captured him in Master and Commander, Stephen smuggles Jack out of the country dressed in a bear costume. Finally making it to Gibraltar, Jack and Stephen take passage aboard a British East India Company ship. The ship is captured by the privateer Bellone, but a British squadron overtakes them and rescues Jack and Stephen.
Returning to England at the outbreak of war in 1803, Jack is offered a letter of marque by a Mr. Canning. Jack turns Canning down and is soon given command of HMS Polychrest, an odd ship that was designed to launch a secret weapon. The ship is structurally unsound and sails poorly, and its first lieutenant is very free with punishment. Placed under the command of Admiral Harte, with whose wife Jack had an affair, Jack is given a free hand in the hope that his lucky streak of capturing prizes will continue. Jack's luck does not prevail, only managing to drive the privateer Bellone aground outside a Spanish port, but with no other prizes. Disappointing Admiral Harte, Jack is assigned to escort convoys up and down the English Channel. During this time, he gets a reputation for lingering in port as he carries on an affair with Diana.
Meanwhile, Stephen is sent on an intelligence gathering mission in Spain. Upon returning, Stephen is advised by Heneage Dundas, a close friend of Jack's, to warn him about visiting Diana. When Stephen does so, Jack is angry and accuses Stephen of lying to him as to where he had been during his absence. Soon they challenge each other to a duel. While in port, Jack calls on Diana, but finds her with Canning. Prior to the date of the duel, Jack is ordered to raid the French port of Chaulieu to sink the assembled French troopships and gunboats and to destroy the corvette Fanciulla. On the way, the crew plans to mutiny because of the treatment they receive from Lieutenant Parker. Stephen overhears their plans and goes to Jack - the first time they have spoken since the challenge. Forewarned, Jack quashes the mutiny by separating the instigators and some loyal crew in a ship's boat.
Fearing that a change in parliamentary leadership will leave Jack without a command, Stephen asks that the Lively be included in the squadron sent to intercept the Spanish. The Admiralty grants this request, assigns Stephen the title of captain pro tem so he will receive a generous share of the prize money, and tasks him to negotiate the treasure fleet's surrender. Because of Stephen's temporary rank and his now-obvious connection to the Admiralty, Jack realizes that Stephen has been a spy for Britain.
The Spanish convoy refuses to surrender and a quick battle breaks out. One Spanish frigate explodes and the other three surrender.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 810 MB
Patrick O'Brian - H.M.S. Surprise (read by Simon Vance)
HMS Surprise is a 1973 historical naval novel by Patrick O'Brian. It is third in the Aubrey-Maturin series of stories that follow the partnership of Captain Jack Aubrey and the naval surgeon Stephen Maturin. In it Aubrey gains command of HMS Surprise, the most important fictional ship in the Aubrey-Maturin series.
As the book opens the Admiralty is debating on how to reward the captains who captured the Spanish gold ships. Since Spain was not at war the prizes are not considered prizes and the captains end up with much smaller bounties than they thought they would receive. In the same meeting the new First Lord of the Admiralty mentions Stephen's name even though it is in a classified folder, blowing his cover as a spy.
Stephen willingly goes on a mission to Spain anyway, and is to be picked up by Jack while he is guiding on a return journey with HMS Lively to English waters. Stephen is captured and is being tortured by French intelligence when Jack gets to Port Mahon. A Catalan revolutionary gives Jack Stephen's location, to which Jack leads a party rescuing Stephen and killing the French interrogators.
Upon returning to England Jack finds that the fortune he had expected from the Spanish gold fleet was not as large as he had hoped and he is still in debt. Jack is taken by bailiffs and is held in a sponging-house. Stephen returns to Sir Joseph and tells of his capture and Jack’s predicament.
As the journey continues the Surprise goes wide around the Cape of Good Hope, at the time held by the Dutch who are at war with England. To avoid encounters, Surprise navigates into the waters of the Antarctic Ocean and has to weather a severe storm. The ambassador at this time becomes very ill. The Surprise puts into India, to refit from the storm and to rest the ambassador. While ashore Stephen meets a local street-wise child, a girl named Dil, who eagerly shows him around the city. While watching a parade with Dil Stephen runs into Diana, who had moved with the wealthy merchant Richard Canning from London to India. They spend several days together and Stephen asks her to marry him. She doesn’t answer him before he has to leave. Meanwhile Dil is killed when she is robbed of silver bracelets which Stephen gave her.
The ambassador dies east of India and the Surprise turns around, setting sail for Britain. They soon encounter the East India Company's China Fleet, returning to England, unescorted. A day after leaving the China Fleet the Surprise spots a French squadron cruising the Indian Ocean. Surprise engages the smallest ship of the squadron, the corvette Berceau, shredding her rigging, then turns and makes speed back to the China Fleet to warn them and organize a defence.
Choosing the largest ships of the China Fleet, Jack dresses them as Men-of-War and sends some of his officers to help them fight. The French squadron closes on the Surprise and the large Indiamen. The Surprise turns and engages the largest French warship, the 74-gun ship of the line Marengo, and exchanges broadsides with the heavier ship. One of the Indiamen soon engages the French ship from the other side, forcing her to disengage. The damage from the action forces the entire French squadron to flee to refit.
Upon entering Calcutta, Jack receives praise from the merchants who refit the Surprise and allow him to transport jewels as freight. While in India, Canning confronts Stephen and they challenge each other to a duel. During the duel Canning shoots Stephen in the ribs, but Stephen hits Canning in the heart, killing him. Stephen convinces Diana to return to England, though on a merchant ship instead of Surprise; Jack will hear nothing of it. Meanwhile, Stephen is running a high fever because the bullet is still lodged in his ribs. With the help of Jack and the ambassador’s surgeon, Stephen operates on himself, removing the bullet.
As the Surprise sails home they stop at Madeira, and there Stephen finds that Diana has left him for a Mr. Johnstone from America (called "Mr. Johnson" in later books). Jack, on the other hand, had sent ahead for Sophie so that he may marry her now that he is out of debt, but she is not on the island. Within a day’s sailing, Jack overtakes an English frigate in the night and finds that Sophie is aboard. She refuses to marry him then but promises that once they return to England, she will.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 505 MB
03-27-2012, 09:49 AM
Patrick O'Brian - The Mauritius Command (read by Patrick Tull)
The Mauritius Command is a historical naval novel by British author Patrick O'Brian. It is fourth in the Aubrey-Maturin series of stories that follow the partnership of Captain Jack Aubrey and the naval surgeon Stephen Maturin. It retells in fictional form the real campaign carried out by the Royal Navy in 1810 under Commodore Josias Rowley. As is common to most of the stories, Aubrey's inspired tactical seamanship is a suitable foil for the dramatic and "Machiavellian" scheming of his medical man and intelligence expert Maturin. Both Britain and France need to protect their trade routes and prey on the enemy in the Indian Ocean. Mauritius and La Réunion are suitably placed to be desirable bases for both countries. At the start of the book the French hold the islands and are capturing British ships.
The long journey takes the squadron to the Cape of Good Hope. On the way Aubrey attempts to bring the crew up to his standards of efficiency, but he is only partly successful. They meet with the French ship Hébé which is escorting a captured merchant ship. After a brief chase the French are overcome and the ships captured. Hébé turns out to be HMS Hyaena captured some time before by the French. He sends the prizes to Gibraltar under the command of the Boadicea's aged First Lieutenant Akers. Aubrey uses this device to be rid of the officer and send home letters, one of which attempts to excuse his leaving early without Lady Clonfert.
On arrival, Aubrey meets Admiral Bertie and also has to contend with the disparate characters of his captains. One of these is Lord Clonfert, a minor member of the Irish aristocracy who has political influence, and who served with Jack Aubrey whilst out in the West Indies. They were involved in an action together and he had some reservations at the time about Clonfert's courage. Another is Captain Corbett who is a harsh disciplinarian and drives his men almost to the point of mutiny. Barett Bonden, usually Aubrey's coxswain, and Preserved Killick request permission to join Aubrey once more, particularly as Bonden was given fifty lashes for an unpolished firing piece on his gun.
During his campaign Aubrey temporarily switches his pennant to the elderly 64-gun ship of the line HMS Raisonnable, but returns to the more seaworthy HMS Boadicea with the onset of the tropical cyclone season. La Réunion is captured almost bloodlessly after a landing by British East India Company troops under the cooperative Colonel Keating, their path already softened up by Maturin's propaganda and political machinations. Mauritius proves a tougher nut to crack. As HMS Néréide is detached to chase the Iphigenia to Port South East on Mauritius, Maturin suffers a serious fall and spends much time in the company of Lord Clonfert and Mr. McAdam, Clonfert's learned but drunken surgeon. The first demonstrates himself to be a largely ineffective person, craving the fawning attentions of his officers and crew, whilst McAdam, a less convivial conversationalist, is made fun of by the young officers particularly when "in his cups."
Aubrey immediately rushes to see if Iphigenia and Île de la Passe can be saved but the British are chased off after finding both are clearly in French hands. After eventually making contact with the Emma transport and the Windham, which itself appears to be unseaworthy, Aubrey believes his fortunes have changed when HMS Africaine - now commanded by Captain Corbett - re-joins them. Sailing in chase of the French during the night, Africaine clashes with the Astrée and the renamed Iphigenia (once again the French Iphigenie). But the encounter goes badly and Corbett is killed during the fight, probably, as the ship's surgeon informs Maturin later, by his own oppressed men. The French capture the ship, but leave it dismasted when the Boadicea and Aubrey bear down on them and, much to Aubrey's joy, refuse an engagement. Joined by the Otter and Staunch, the flotilla eventually reaches harbour and Africaine's refit is the Commodore's top priority.
Before repairs are complete the Pearl races towards harbour, meeting HMS Boadicea with the news that Bombay is nearby, being pounded by both the French Vénus and Victor. Outrunning the Staunch and Otter, Jack engages the pair who have captured Bombay and makes use of extra volunteer crew from the refitting HMS Africaine to board both Bombay, recapturing her, and the Venus. During the encounter the French Commodore, Hamelin, is killed by grapeshot in his heart. Now with news that Bellone and Minerve are almost certainly "heaved down", and Iphigenia and Néréide are likely to be of little use even if refitted, Aubrey believes the tide has turned in his favour. En-route from St. Denis to take Mauritius from the French, the squadron encounters a large British force under the command of Admiral Bertie, who proceeds to steal Aubrey and Keating's thunder by taking command of the whole invasion force and claiming the honours. However, news of the birth of his son causes Aubrey to remain ebullient even when everyone expects his mood to be downcast.
The final invasion, based almost entirely on Aubrey and Keating's original plan, is almost without bloodshed. The French capitulate after being given honourable terms, and Maturin finds that Clonfert has committed suicide by removing the bandages from his wounds while captured, unable to face up to the jubilation of his rival, Jack Aubrey, in victory. A ceremonial dinner is given back in Cape Town and Admiral Bertie, under the impression that Aubrey has influential political connections, gives Aubrey the honour of taking the dispatches aboard the Boadicea and sailing for England in compensation for "stealing" his victory.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 581 MB
Patrick O'Brian - Desolation Island (read by Patrick Tull)
Desolation Island is an historical novel by Patrick O'Brian. It is the fifth book in the Aubrey-Maturin series, and is set prior to the War of 1812.
Jack Aubrey has been ashore for a while and is getting into difficulties due to his belief in the honesty of others in business and cards. Stephen Maturin is also in personal trouble over his relationship with Diana Villiers and his laudanum addiction. Aubrey is offered either the old HMS Leopard for a mission to Australia to support Captain Bligh against the settlers opposed to his rule, or a newly building 74-gun third rate, HMS Ajax, for sailing in the Mediterranean. Sophie Aubrey, afraid that staying at home will only make the situation worse asks Maturin for help. She eventually convinces Aubrey to take command of the Leopard, even though he will have to take some transported convicts, so that he can help Maturin get over his disappointment regarding Diana. The actual orders for Jack are to restore Captain Bligh as Governor of the New South Wales colony after an officers' revolt had toppled him. One of the convicts, Louisa Wogan, proves to be an American spy and also a friend of Diana Villiers.
Being east of the Cape, the Leopard sets sail for Australia. The ship stops near an iceberg to take on ice to replace her jettisoned water but unfortunately is struck, damaging the rudder and causing a severe leak. After trying for several days to keep it afloat by pumping, Grant finally asks permission to leave the ship in the cutter once the water reaches the orlop deck. He and the hands are given permission to leave the ship heading for Cape Town (with a bundle of dispatches from Stephen), but many of Aubrey's old shipmates and the other officers remain. The Leopard continues running east pumping all the time and finally is able to find a safe harbour in a bay of Desolation Island.
While there, Aubrey has the ship repaired but because he has no forge, cannot complete the repair of the rudder. Maturin on the other hand is in paradise as he and Herapath collect vast quantities of the local animal life for the doctor's collection. The men dine on penguin, seal and albatross eggs, much to Maturin's disgust. He claims a small island in the bay as his own, and often separates himself from the crew. An American whaler sets into the bay for supplies. They are suspicious of the British, especially since it is the Leopard as the same ship under a different commander had attacked the unprepared USS Chesapeake to recover fugitive British hands (see Chesapeake-Leopard Affair). The Americans, however, are suffering from scurvy - and their captain from a septic tooth - so they agree to have Maturin treat them in exchange for the use of their much-needed forge.
Maturin manipulates Herapath into deserting with Louisa Wogan (pregnant with Herapath's baby) to the American ship, having prepared some false intelligence which they carry with them. As the book ends, he and Barrett Bonden watch them from their island as they are taken on board the American whaler.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 545 MB
03-27-2012, 09:50 AM
Patrick O'Brian - The Fortune Of War (read by Simon Vance)
The Fortune of War is a historical novel written by British author Patrick O'Brian. It is the sixth book in the Aubrey-Maturin series, and is set during the War of 1812.
The Fortune of War contains lightly fictionalized accounts of the battle between HMS Java and USS Constitution, and the battle between HMS Shannon and USS Chesapeake.
The Americans capture Aubrey and become suspicious of him as a former commander of HMS Leopard, due to the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair.
This book extensively explores Maturin's character while he and Aubrey languish in captivity in Boston, as he manifests his various roles: doctor, spy, and tormented lover. It continues the account of Maturin's pursuit of Diana Villiers, with whom he remains deeply in love.
They rendezvous with Lambert's prize, the William off the coast of Brazil, and soon the watch aloft hails a ship hull up on the horizon, the USS Constitution, which they immediately pursue. Jack and his Leopards man two guns but the ensuing fight goes badly when the Java's foremast gives way. The American commander makes few mistakes and eventually the Java is forced to strike its colours. Constitution has to return to Boston to refit and during the voyage Maturin strikes up conversation with a French passenger, Pontet-Canet, and Mr. Evans, the amiable ship's surgeon. Hopes are high for the wounded Captain Lambert's survival but he dies of his wounds and grief after arriving ashore. Aubrey, who was shot in one arm, manages against expectations to survive.
Once in Boston, Aubrey convalesces from his wounds in Dr. Choate's hospital for lunatics, waiting for the next prisoner exchange. He is caught unawares when, amidst this type of unhinged patient, a Jahleel Brenton of the Navy Department starts to quiz him about the behaviour of the Leopard and its dealings with the US merchantman, the Alice B. Sawyer. Maturin meanwhile is reacquainted with both Louisa Wogan and Michael Herapath and the latter's father - a wealthy merchant and former Loyalist - who still feels sympathy towards the British. Maturin meets Diana Villiers once again, now the mistress of an American spymaster, Harry Johnson. Johnson visits Aubrey who, unawares, makes free with his comments about Maturin, only to realise his folly later in a bedside conversation with Stephen.
Aubrey is frustrated by his enforced inactivity whilst Maturin meets trouble at the hands of the French in the persons of Pontet-Canet and Dubreuil. During a second attempt at abduction, Maturin escapes to Diana Villiers' rooms in the Franchon hotel and kills both Frenchmen when they come searching for him. Stephen also discovers that Johnson had secretly opened a letter from Diana stating her love and regard for him. Now at risk from both the French and Johnson, their need to escape becomes paramount. Enlisting the help of the older Mr. Herapath and a small ugly slab-sided fishing boat from one of his trading vessels, Aubrey, Maturin and Diana escape to sea. They rendezvous with the thirty-eight gun frigate, HMS Shannon, entering the outer harbour on blockade duty and are taken on board. As his water supplies aboard the Shannon are coming to an end, Captain Philip Broke - a cousin and childhood friend of Jack's - writes to Captain Lawrence, the commander of the thirty-eight gun USS Chesapeake lying in harbour, challenging him to come out and fight. The Chesapeake, already in the process of weighing anchor, comes out in apparent pursuit of Aubrey and engages the Shannon. The Shannon's crew has had long years of practice at her great guns, aptly demonstrated to Jack Aubrey in practice, and the resultant clash brings about the Royal Navy's first victory in the war (having already lost three frigates).
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 439 MB
Patrick O'Brian - The Surgeon's Mate (read by Simon Vance)
The Surgeon's Mate is a historical novel written by Patrick O'Brian and set during the Napoleonic Wars. It is the seventh book in the Aubrey–Maturin series.
The Surgeon's Mate starts in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, having escaped from the Americans in Boston aboard HMS Shannon, start their return journey to England aboard a packet ship. Two American privateer schooners — commissioned by Harry Johnson, an American spymaster — doggedly pursue the packet ship across the Grand Banks until one of them fortuitously hits an iceberg. On their return to England, Stephen receives an invitation to speak at the Institut in Paris on the extinct avifauna of Rodriguez Island and he and Diana visit the city. Stephen arranges for Diana, who is pregnant with Johnson's child, to stay with a friend Adhemar de La Mothe for her lying-in.
The British Admiralty is keen to capture the fortress at fictitious Grimsholm Island (distinct from the Grimsholmen nature reserve) owing to its highly strategic location in the Baltic. Maturin, accompanied by Jack Aubrey and Jagiello, a remarkably talented and handsome young Lithuanian, embarks on a mission to persuade the Catalan garrison of the fortress to defect. Aboard HMS Ariel, Aubrey manages to capture the Minnie, a swift Danish privateer cum merchantman, after a day-long chase. Once Stephen Maturin and British hands are aboard, they pretend to give chase to her in order to deceive the Spanish garrison. Maturin is eventually landed and, in the absence of any French officers, warmly welcomed by his Catalan godfather, Ramon d'Ullastret. The next morning, the Catalan troops and their colonel are loaded aboard the transport ships and the successful expedition receives a warm welcome back at base from Admiral Sir James Saumarez.
Caught up in a storm in the English Channel, the Ariel spots HMS Jason pursuing a French two-decker, the Meduse. Aubrey decides to help the chase and blasts the Meduse with his carronades without suffering much damage, slowing her pace enough for the Jason to gain. After losing sight of them, the Ariel is caught up in two nights of dark, stormy weather and finds herself fifty miles off course with the wind dead on shore. Aubrey attempts to club-haul her but the Ariel ends up beached on the shore. After a brief period of imprisonment in Brittany, Jack, Stephen and Jagiello are taken to Paris, accompanied by a Monsieur Duhamel. Imprisoned in the Temple prison, Aubrey attempts to break out down the immense stone privy as Stephen is interrogated by French officers, who represent a different intelligence agency than Duhamel's. In the meantime, Duhamel has approached Stephen with an offer to take peace offerings to the King and British government (presumably a plan hatched up by Talleyrand and some senior officials). Duhamel also gives Stephen some English newspapers to read and Jack's spirits are buoyed to learn from the Naval Chronicle that HMS Ajax defeated the Meduse in the action which beached his ship, the Ariel. Stephen's second interrogation is interrupted by the American, Johnson, who is able to identify Maturin as an intelligence agent and the killer of French spies, Dubreuil and Pontet-Canet. This action places Maturin in great danger.
It also turns out that Diana Villiers has given her great diamond, the Blue Peter, to a Minister's wife to help secure their release. Just as Jack breaks through the privy, four Frenchmen enter their prison cell — D'Anglars, Duhamel, a foreign ministry official and a cloaked officer. After agreeing terms, the prisoners are taken down to two carriages and spirited out of Paris (accompanied by Diana who has lost her baby) to a waiting cartel at Calais, the Oedipus commanded by William Babbington. Safely away, Stephen proposes to Diana Villiers once again and they are finally married on board by Babbington, with Jack giving her away.
The book title is a triple entendre in its use of the term "mate", referring to a ship's surgeon's assistant, a chess reference to Maturin's successful espionage efforts (i.e., checkmate), and Maturin getting married at the end of the story.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 523 MB
03-27-2012, 09:50 AM
Patrick O'Brian - The Ionian Mission (read by Simon Vance)
The Ionian Mission (1981) is a historical novel by Patrick O'Brian, set during the Napoleonic Wars. It is the eighth in the Aubrey-Maturin series.
The book opens with Captain Jack Aubrey and his lieutenants Pullings and Mowett aboard HMS Worcester, waiting for Jack's friend, and the ship's surgeon, Stephen Maturin to embark. Stephen is late because his wife, Diana, had thrown a party. He drives to the coast to meet his ship, but the carriage, driven by his friend Jagiello, has an accident. Finally Stephen arrives in time and they set sail for the Mediterranean.
Worcester joins the blockade off Toulon under the command of Admiral Thornton. The ship soon settles into the blockade routine, with some of the crew improvising a choir and the midshipmen's berth acting out Hamlet. Jack's relationship with his aristocratic third lieutenant Somers deteriorates during the long blockade, culminating in a confrontation when a drunken Somers causes the ship to miss stays. Somers is transferred to another ship. In the meantime Stephen befriends Mr Martin, an impoverished parson and fellow bird lover, before he joins HMS Berwick. Stephen, after consulting with Admiral Thornton, is set ashore in Spain and spends his time there setting up a meeting with French royalists. While Admiral Thornton is in Malta, Admiral Harte, Thornton's second-in-command, sends Jack and William Babbington, the latter commanding the brig HMS Dryad, to take presents to the Pasha of Barka and deliver a new envoy, Mr Consul Hamilton. Upon discovering two French ships in Medina (now part of the city of Tunis), Jack and Babbington both enter the port, hoping to fight the French. However, as the port is a neutral location, the French are required to fire first and this they refuse to do. Despite tempting the French several times, the British have to leave and Jack's reputation as a fighting captain is dented.
During a strong storm the French fleet leaves port, hoping to evade the British and enter the Atlantic. The British fleet gives chase, and although they catch them, the wind changes direction and the French men-of-war return to Toulon. The fastest British ships attempt to cut off their rear and Worcester exchanges a few shots with the slowest ship - the 80 gun Robuste - before giving up the chase. Admiral Thornton is too worn down by disappointment to continue and leaves the station. Admiral Harte, overcome by the political complexity of his temporary position as Commander-in-Chief, appoints Jack and his officers to command HMS Surprise - Worcester having been sent to Gibraltar for repairs and Captain Lambert, Surprise's former commander, and his first lieutenant having being killed by the same cannon ball. Also, in a show of false goodwill, he allows Jack to hand-pick his crew.
Harte then sends Surprise and Babbington’s Dryad on a mission to the Ionian Sea to put one of three Turkish Beys in control of Kutali and remove the French from Marga. After talking to all three claimants to the city Jack promises British support to Sciahan Bey, the present occupier of the island. The crew spends several days rigging out their cables to bring the expected cannons up to the city's citadel. However, Mustapha, one of the claimants that Jack didn’t back, rebels against the Ottomans and captures the British transport ships. Professor Graham returns from a mission into Turkey and hastily informs Jack about what has happened. Aubrey immediately sets sail and overtakes Mustapha’s two ships - the 32-gun Torgud with two thirty-six pounders on board, and the 20-gun Kitabi. After a long engagement Surprise's crew board and take the Kitabi and Torgud, leaving the Torgud sinking and the Kitabi a prisoner. Lieutenant Pullings is injured but Mowett informs Jack that he has survived.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 508 MB
Patrick O'Brian - Treason's Harbour (read by Patrick Tull)
Treason's Harbour is a historical novel by British author Patrick O'Brian, set during the Napoleonic period, which follows the life of two friends, naval captain Jack Aubrey and his ship's surgeon Stephen Maturin. It is the ninth book in the Aubrey-Maturin series.
Jack and Stephen are at Malta waiting on the repair of the much-battered HMS Surprise, Jack's command. Both men befriend a young pretty lieutenant's wife, Mrs. Fielding, whose husband is a prisoner-of-war in France. French intelligence agents use Lieutenant Fielding's plight to persuade Mrs. Fielding to spy for them. They eventually assign her to find out information from Stephen by making amorous advances towards him. Jack, who is taking Italian lessons from her, rescues her Illyrian mastiff, Ponto, one evening out of a well, but himself falls in. This leads to the rumour that he is sleeping with her. Maturin and Aubrey also meet Andrew Wray again - Second Secretary to the Admiralty, who has been sent to Malta to sort out dockyard corruption. Jack had an unpleasant previous meeting with him at a gambling house in Portsmouth when he indirectly accused Wray of cheating. As Jack formally introduces Captain Pullings to him, Wray tells Pullings he had insisted on Captain Aubrey's recommendation, adding: ' ... at one time Captain Aubrey seemed to do me an injustice, and by promoting his lieutenant I could, as he sea-phrase goes, the better wipe his eye.'
Stephen, who at the beginning of the novel bought a diving bell, is persuaded by moral pressure from the crew and officers to Jack to recover the treasure. After he and Mr Martin bring up the first sealed chest, they find it only contains heavy lead bars and a note, Merde a celui qui le lit. They meet a fishing boat and find out that the galley had been rowing up and down the sea for a month, waiting to lure them under the French fortification's cannon. Their mission a failure, they return on the Niobe to Suez and offload the bitterly disappointed Turkish troops. They have to retrace their steps across the desert but this time their camels are stolen by Bedouin horsemen and they reach Tina almost dead from thirst. Fortunately, the Dromedaries are there to revive them and they return to Malta.
Here Jack learns from Admiral Ives that the Surprise is to return to England and be scrapped. Stephen, meanwhile, renews his acquaintance with Mrs Fielding and plants some false information for her to give Leuseur and also thrashes Wray at piquet for high stakes. Jack is given a mission with the re-fitted Surprise to take the Adriatic convoy up the Ionian. While there he meets an old friend, Captain Cotton of the Nymphe, who has just rescued an escaped French prisoner-of-war, Lieutenant Charles Fielding. Fielding, having heard the rumour of Jack's liaison with his wife, not only refuses his offer to return him to Malta but also requests a "meeting" (a duel).
On the return journey Captain Dundas, commanding the massive seventy-four gun Edinburgh, tells Jack of a small French privateer that Jack eventually captures. Unfortunately the chase brings the Surprise in late to port behind Babbington’s sloop, the Dryad, and the news of Lt. Fielding’s escape has already circulated. Stephen overhears a conversation at Mrs Fielding's house between Leseur and Boulay, placed high up in the Governor's staff, to assassinate her but manages to take her aboard the Surprise. Sir Francis Ives instructs Aubrey to sail for Zambra to threaten the Dey of Mascara into not attacking British ships, accompanied by the Pollux returning Admiral Harte back to England.
While the Pollux is exiting the Bay of Zambra, a French squadron consisting of a double-decked eighty gun man-of-war and two frigates with French colours fire on her. The old sixty-four gun Pollux eventually blows up but damages the French newly-built third rate. The two frigates chase the Surprise deep into the bay and nearly cut her off until the heavier frigate runs aground on a reef called The Brothers. Her smaller consort deserts the fight and Jack, on the political advice of Maturin, sets sail for Gibraltar.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 537 MB
03-27-2012, 09:51 AM
Patrick O'Brian - The Far Side Of The World (read by Patrick Tull)
The Far Side of the World is an historical novel by Patrick O'Brian set during the Napoleonic Wars. It was first published by HarperCollins in 1984 and is the tenth book in the Aubrey-Maturin series, concerning the adventures of naval commander Jack Aubrey, and his friend, ship's surgeon, naturalist and spy, Stephen Maturin. The novel provided part of the title and some of plot-structure for the 2003 Peter Weir film, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.
The Far Side of the World continues the story of Jack Aubrey's exploits during the War of 1812. Aubrey reports to his commander-in-chief at Gibraltar, who sends him and HMS Surprise to intercept the American frigate USS Norfolk which plans to attack British whalers in the South Seas. Jack makes all haste to have the Surprise victualled as quickly as possible and recruits a new master, a Mr Allen. Not only is he an excellent seaman but he also has an in-depth knowledge of whalers, having sailed previously with James Colnett on a semi exploration-whaling expedition to the South Atlantic. Stephen Maturin also persuades Jack to take Mr Martin along with them, a clergyman who Jack approves of and who is unhappy with his current ship.
Maturin receives disturbing news from his intelligence-chief in London, Sir Joseph Blaine, which tends to confirm his suspicions of treason and infiltration by the French. He also hears from his wife, who has heard rumours of the infidelity he pretended in Valetta, Malta with the red-haired Mrs Fielding for intelligence reasons. He sends a letter to reassure her via Andrew Wray, unaware of the latter's role as a French agent.
The Surprise encounters many setbacks, suffering delays in Brazil from a lightning-struck prow before they round Cape Horn into the Pacific Ocean to locate the Norfolk, which has captured and burnt several whalers. The crew of the Surprise, having nearly been shipwrecked by the tail of a typhoon, finally discover the Norfolk wrecked on a reef by the same typhoon and her crew encamped on an island. Aubrey, Mr Martin and some of the crew take Stephen ashore as he is in a coma after hitting his head in a fall and needs to be on land to be operated on. However, he makes a recovery without an operation. While they are ashore, another heavy storm blows the Surprise away and they are stranded. Relations between the two marooned groups deteriorate rapidly, particularly after Jack announces to the American Captain Palmer that he will have to take his crew prisoner. Some of them are from HMS Hermione, a ship that mutinied in the West Indies and they know they will be hanged if returned to British authorities. The situation reaches a crisis point after Jack orders the crew of the Surprise to lengthen their boat so they can sail away, pushing them particularly hard when he sees an American whaler on the horizon. The crew of the Norfolk sabotage the boat after spotting the same whaler but it is at this point that they see her strike her colours, having been pursued through a gap in the reef by the Surprise.
A sub-plot in the book is the illicit affair between the sweet singing but otherwise untalented Hollom, a passed midshipman who never received a lieutenant's commission and is too old to fit in with the young midshipmen who Jack takes aboard in pity, and the pretty wife brought aboard by the sexually impotent gunner, Horner. Hollom is considered a "Jonah" by the crew - someone who brings bad luck to the ship - and the two lovers are presumed to have been beaten to death by the ferocious, brutal and jealous husband on an island whilst the Surprise is being provisioned. Horner himself sinks into a black despair and is discovered hanged in his cabin.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 609 MB
Patrick O'Brian - The Reverse Of The Medal (read by Patrick Tull)
The Reverse of the Medal is a historical novel by Patrick O'Brian set during the Napoleonic Wars. It was first published by HarperCollins in 1986 and is the eleventh book in the Aubrey-Maturin series, concerning the adventures of naval commander Jack Aubrey, and his friend, ship's surgeon, naturalist and spy, Stephen Maturin.
Jack Aubrey and his crew have made their way in a much knocked-about Surprise from the South Seas to the West Indies Squadron lying off Bridgetown. Here Jack meets his bastard black son, Samuel Panda, a student Catholic priest. His mother was Sally Mpata for whom Jack, as a youngster on HMS Resolution, was turned before the mast by his Captain for having stored her secretly in the cable-tiers.
Whilst returning to England, the Surprise gives chase to the Spartan, an American privateer, which manages to escape in a squall for Brest. Aubrey — whose financial circumstances remain unsatisfactorily complicated — hears a rumour from a stranger he meets in the "Ship Inn" that Britain will soon sign a peace with France. The stranger, ostensibly a diplomatic agent named Palmer, indicates to Aubrey how he can make money on the stock exchange by buying stocks sure to go up as soon as the news becomes public. Aubrey makes the transactions as advised, and also gives the advice to his father, the widely-disliked Radical MP General Aubrey, who makes much larger stock transactions based on this information and spreads the rumour much farther. The rumour of a peace-treaty gets out, and the stock transactions prove highly profitable — more so to the General and his stock-jobbing friends than to Aubrey. But the peace-rumour proves false, Palmer had no government links (it later emerges that two highly-placed English agents in the service of the French controlled him). The authorities arrest Aubrey, imprison him in the Marshalsea, and subject him to a Guildhall trial for fraud.
Maturin receives two pieces of unwelcome news on his return. A political coup has sidelined his chief of intelligence, Sir Joseph Blaine, thus leaving Maturin in an exposed and dangerous position; and he becomes certain that his and Blaine's suspicions about treachery in high places have concrete substance. He also discovers that his wife, Diana, has left him because of the (false) rumours of his infidelity with a red-head in the Mediterranean, and eloped to Sweden with Jagiello, a mutual friend. On the positive side, he has inherited a vast sum from his Spanish godfather and become a very wealthy man.
Maturin tries everything he can to help Aubrey, using his colleagues in the government and hiring an investigator, but cannot secure enough proof to win an acquittal — Palmer, the key figure, having been murdered and mutilated. Despite Aubrey's touching belief in British justice, his is a political trial given that the Government want to attack General Aubrey and his Radical friends. The court - headed by a Judge and Cabinet Minister, Lord Quinborough, convicts him after a two-day trial, fining him £2,500 and sentencing him to one hour on the pillory. However, this punishment is met with a noise similar to the start of a battle: instead of London crowds lampooning him, hordes of Royal Navy personnel arrive to cheer Aubrey on. But the authorities also strike him off the Navy List, something he regards as a far more devastating punishment than time spent on the pillory.
Maturin utilises a small part of his new-found wealth to buy the old HMS Surprise at auction, and obtains letters of marque and reprisal so she can operate as a private man-of-war. In part he does this because he remains deeply implicated in the intelligence game and would not sail with anyone other than Jack; he also understands that Aubrey's dismissal from the Navy has wounded his friend dreadfully, and that life ashore as a disgraced officer would probably destroy him. A disgruntled French agent, Duhamel, also makes contact once again with Maturin in London and asks him for assistance in escaping to Quebec. In return, he gives Stephen details of the plot against Aubrey and exposes the British traitors - Wray and Ledward - motivated by profit and by spite against Aubrey.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 433 MB
03-27-2012, 09:52 AM
Patrick O'Brian - The Letter Of Marque (read by Simon Vance)
The Letter of Marque is an historical novel by Patrick O'Brian set during the Napoleonic Wars. It was first published by HarperCollins in 1988 and is the twelfth book in the Aubrey-Maturin series, concerning the adventures of naval commander Jack Aubrey, and his friend, ship's surgeon, naturalist and spy, Stephen Maturin.
In The Letter of Marque, Jack Aubrey, now a civilian, prepares the Surprise to sail as a privateer. The term "Letter of Marque" comes from the legal letters given to captains of private vessels allowing them to wage war in the name of the King against the King's enemies. While Jack often associated "privateers" with legalised pirates, he agrees to sail the Surprise, but always refers to the ship under the more respectable term "Letter of Marque." Jack is bitter and low-spirited about his dismissal from the Navy List, and dreads affronts and disrespectful treatment from any Royal Navy vessels and their officers. However, he is strongly supported by his crew - notably a group of smugglers and Sethian religious fanatics recruited at the little port of Shelmerston (fictional) in south-west England.
The downfall of the traitors Wray and Ledward in the previous book has restored order in British intelligence circles, and Maturin - now the secret owner of Surprise - plans to use her privateering as cover for a covert anti-Spanish mission to South America. The ship is therefore under official protection to an extent and Aubrey's innocence is known privately to many, though the spies are still at large and politics will make his rehabilitation impossible without extraordinary deeds on his part. They depart on a cruise, during which Maturin's servant Padeen becomes a secret laudanum addict after painful dental surgery, diluting Maturin's own supplies with brandy in order to conceal his theft. Maturin is thus unknowingly weaned off his own addiction (though he later substitutes it with the practice of chewing Coca leaves).
The Surprise captures an American privateer's consort, the Merlin, and then boards the privateer Spartan itself, retrieving its valuable cargo of quicksilver, looted from the Spanish barque Azul, as well as tricking her five prizes out of Horta harbour. These, together with his success in the cutting-out of the frigate Diane from the French port of Saint Martin-de-Rey despite serious wounds, make Aubrey both wealthy again and a popular hero. He is offered the opportunity to seek a free pardon, but angrily declines on the grounds that he is innocent and his friends fear that he has missed his chance of redemption. However, Aubrey's embarrassing father, a fugitive since his part in the stock-jobbing affair, is found dead in a ditch, and Aubrey is offered a Parliamentary seat by his cousin, Edward Norton, who owns the borough of Milport. This extra influence is enough for him to receive private assurances from Lord Melville, First Lord of the Admiralty, that he will indeed be restored to the Navy List as soon as the time is right.
Maturin, in possession once more of Diana's magnificent Blue Peter diamond, decides to take it to her in Sweden. He sails part of the way on the old Leopard, now sadly reduced to a lowly transport ship, before re-joining the Surprise. He meets his wife Diana in Stockholm and is unsurprised to learn that the letter he sent to her from Gibraltar via Wray, accounting for his supposed infidelity, was never delivered. She also tells him she has not been unfaithful with Jagiello, and has been supporting herself by ascending - whilst mounted on a small Arab horse - in a hot-air balloon before an audience. Maturin is seriously injured in a fall after taking his usual dose of laudanum to soothe himself after their initial meeting, unaware that his tolerance has been reduced by Padeen's actions. Diana nurses him back to health and they become reconciled once more. When the Surprise returns from a trip to Riga to buy poldavy, Maturin hears from Martin about Padeen's laudanum addiction, discovered after he was caught siphoning laudanum from one of the carboys and replacing the tincture with brandy. Stephen is well enough to be finally transported back to the ship, accompanied by Colonel Jagiello's escort, and Diana embarks with him and Jack for home.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 406 MB
Patrick O'Brian - The Thirteen-Gun Salute (read by Patrick Tull)
The Thirteen Gun Salute is an historical novel by Patrick O'Brian set during the Napoleonic Wars. It was first published by HarperCollins in 1989 and is the thirteenth book in the Aubrey–Maturin series, concerning the adventures of naval commander Jack Aubrey, and his friend, ship's surgeon, naturalist and spy, Stephen Maturin. This first edition bears this title, whereas later issues have used The Thirteen-Gun Salute featuring a hyphenated title.
Immediately following The Letter of Marque, the narrative picks up with Jack Aubrey getting the Surprise underway for a mission to South America. Upon reaching Lisbon, however, Dr Maturin is intercepted by Sir Joseph Blaine and told that he and Aubrey will be required to first go on a mission to the Sultan of Pulo Prabang, a piratical Malay state in the South China Sea. They are to transport Fox, the envoy who will lead the mission to persuade the Sultan to become an English rather than French ally. The French are being openly assisted by the same English traitors - Wray and Ledward - who were responsible for Aubrey's former disgrace. With the Surprise now commanded by Captain Pullings, they return with Blaine to England where Jack Aubrey is reinstated with his former seniority as a Post-Captain in the Royal Navy by Lord Melville, First Lord of the Admiralty. He is also given command of the recently captured French ship Diane for the mission ahead. Fatefully, the Diane is the very ship Jack Aubrey had just captured from the French and which had secured his reinstatement, along with appointment to Parliament as member from Milport.
Stephen's work keeps him undercover as a naturalist as he engages in a political duel for influence at the Sultan's court. Although his activities are to go unknown, they prove to be invaluable in both undermining the French efforts and finally exacting his revenge on his enemies, the French agents, Ledward and Wray. Ledward is caught in bed with Abdul, a boy who is the Sultan's cupbearer and catamite, the Sultan having pederast tendencies, though married and fathering a son by his queen. Abdul is gruesomely executed in a bizarre sanctioned execution via "peppering," in which a bag of pepper is placed over the head. The executioners, often the victim's family, then beat the bag, resulting in inhalation of the pepper and painful asphyxiation. Wray and Ledward are banished from the court for their indiscretions, effectively ending the French mission. Wray tries to change sides in exchange for protection but he and Ledward are later assassinated. Maturin dissects their bodies with a fellow natural philosopher and intelligence agent, the Dutchman van Buren.
After a long drunken feast, at which Fox and his retinue behave grossly, the Diane makes for Batavia and to rendezvous with the Surprise off the False Natunas. Fox behaves with increasing arrogance during the return voyage, the success of the treaty having gone to his head. Jack has words with him, Stephen turns against him for his incivility, and the rest of crew of the Diane loathe him. One night the frigate strikes a hidden reef and her captain and crew are shipwrecked on a desert island. Fox and his colleagues decide to sail for Batavia in Diane's pinnace, but are caught in a typhoon and presumed killed. During the same typhoon, the marooned Diane is destroyed but Aubrey's crew are able to build a fair-sized schooner from what remains of the frigate - her starboard bow and hull.
The title refers to the honour, a thirteen-gun salute, that is due to Fox as an official envoy and representative of the King.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 542 MB
03-27-2012, 09:52 AM
Patrick O'Brian - The Nutmeg Of Consolation (read by Patrick Tull)
The Nutmeg of Consolation is a historical novel, the fourteenth in the Aubrey-Maturin series, written by British author Patrick O'Brian. The book is set during the Napoleonic Wars and concerns the adventures of naval commander Jack Aubrey, and his friend, ship's surgeon, naturalist and spy, Stephen Maturin. Its opening chapter continues directly from the ending of the previous novel in the series, The Thirteen-Gun Salute.
The Nutmeg of Consolation opens with Aubrey and his crew shipwrecked on a remote island in the South China Sea after surviving the destruction of HMS Diane in a typhoon. A cricket match is taking place between the sailors and marines - an attempt by the Captain to keep up the crew's spirits as they build the schooner needed for reaching Batavia. Stephen Maturin is also proving his worth by killing game for the pot, particularly wild boar and babirussas. The island is visited by two seafaring Dyaks who seem very interested in everything within the sailors' encampment, especially Jack's silver that Killick deliberately rescued from the Diane. The Dyaks promise to take a message to Batavia in exchange for twenty "joes" (Portuguese Johanna coins), but instead return in a seagoing proa. After killing and beheading the ship's carpenter and some other crew members, they attack the encampment and burn the schooner, but are routed after a bloody conflict and their proa sunk by the last remaining ball from the captain's "long nine" gun.
Whilst Stephen is out hunting, he chances upon four Chinese children collecting birds' nests from the surrounding cliffs, when one of the boys is injured. They inform him their junk is on its way to Batavia to fetch a cargo of ore from Ketapan in Borneo. After Stephen treats the boy, the children's father, Li Po, is persuaded to carry the remaining crew of the Diane in the empty holds of his roomy junk back to Batavia. It is intercepted by a pirate canoe, but it belongs to Wan Da, whom Stephen knows well from Prabang. Upon arriving in Batavia, Aubrey is provided by Sir Stamford Raffles with a 20-gun ship which Aubrey renames Nutmeg of Consolation after one of the titles of the Sultan of Kampong. Back at sea, Aubrey hears from a Dutch merchantman that a French frigate, the Cornelie is watering at an island, Nil Desperandum. Aubrey attempts to disguise the Nutmeg as another Dutch merchantman and, on being smoked, engages in battle with the Cornelie but then has to turn tail. With the slower Cornelie in pursuit, Jack attempts to outwit her in the Salibabu Passage but is outmanoeuvred and nearly out-gunned until, at the height of the chase, Nutmeg encounters the Surprise, under the temporary command of Commander Thomas Pullings, accompanied by the Triton, a British privateer. The Surprise and Nutmeg give chase but the Cornelie soon founders and the survivors, including Dumesnil, a French officer Jack and Stephen had met previously, and a third-lieutenant, are taken on board.
Resuming command of Surprise, Aubrey and Maturin continue their interrupted journey to New South Wales. On their way to Australia, Maturin rescues two young Melanesian girls, the sole survivors of an outbreak of smallpox brought by a South Seas whaler to the remote Sweeting's Island. Once in New South Wales the book contains graphic descriptions of the life in the penal colony under Governor Lachlan Macquarie shortly after the "Rum Rebellion" of the New South Wales Corps and its coup against Governor William Bligh. Stephen attends at formal dinner, hosted by Mrs Macquarie and the Governor's deputy, Colonel McPherson, at Government House. After hearing the name of Sir Joseph Banks insulted, and being insulted himself, he fights and wins a duel against a Captain Lowe.
Stephen and Martin tour the countryside examining the local flora and fauna and collecting specimens. They make their way to the Hunter Valley to stay with Paulton, and Maturin is reunited with his former assistant Padeen Colman at Woolloo-Woolloo. The Irishman was convicted for stealing laudanum from an Edinburgh apothecary and, after being flogged with 200 lashes for absconding from the penal settlement, was transferred to Paulton's farm after Maturin bribed a local clerk. Stephen makes plans to have him transferred secretly to the Surprise but his plans are checked by Jack. Maturin also hears from an officer of the recently arrived Waverley that his wife Diana has borne him a daughter.
Stephen and Martin, keen to have one more look for the elusive duck-billed platypus (Ornithorhynchus paradoxus) or 'water-mole', are taken on a final expedition in the Surprise's cutter by Barret Bonden. Stephen has also secretly arranged to rendezvous with Colman at Bird Island but, as they arrive early, he and Martin search the local pools and spot two platypuses. Stephen manages to secure one - a male - in his net but his arm is pierced by its two poison-spurs. He, along with Padeen, are taken back to the frigate and to everyone's relief Stephen slowly regains consciousness once he is back on board.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 523 MB
Patrick O'Brian - Clarissa Oakes (read by Patrick Tull)
Clarissa Oakes (titled The Truelove in the U.S.A.; 1993) is an historical novel set during the Napoleonic Wars, written by British author Patrick O'Brian. It is the fifteenth book in the Aubrey-Maturin series, concerning the adventures of naval commander Jack Aubrey, and his friend, ship's surgeon, naturalist and spy, Stephen Maturin.
Clarissa Oakes opens with the Surprise on her way back to England from Port Jackson in New South Wales. Jack Aubrey is in an ill-humour as a result of the frigate's visit to the penal settlement - firstly, because Stephen Maturin fought a duel with an army officer, consequently antagonizing the local administration, and secondly because Padeen Colman, Stephen's servant and an absconder, was secreted aboard the ship against his express wishes. Jack also observes a certain ribaldry amongst his crew and remains puzzled until he and Captain Pullings stumble across a young female convict, Clarissa Harvill, during a ship's inspection. Jack learns that she was smuggled aboard the frigate in Sydney by Midshipman Oakes and is at first determined to leave them both on Norfolk Island but has a change of heart after being dosed with laudanum by Maturin and allows the couple to stay aboard until they can be put off at a hospitable port.
As the Surprise leaves, they spot a cutter, the Eclair. Believing her Captain to be after stowaways, Clarissa and Oakes are hastily married by Martin, the ship's assistant surgeon and a clergyman, and Jack orders Bonden to hide Padeen Colman. It turns out, however, that the cutter is simply bearing Sydney dispatches and mail for Aubrey, the former instructing him to settle a local dispute on Moahu, a British island to the south of the Sandwich group. A gun room feast, hosted by Tom Pullings, is held in honour of the newlyweds. Despite the delicious food (a swordfish caught by Davies earlier), it proves to be a dismal affair given the level of animosity existing amongst some of the gun room members, particularly West and Davidge. The cause is jealousy over Clarissa, who (it turns out later) has had sexual liaisons with several of the ship's officers. This ill-will spreads to the crew, who divide in pro-and anti-Clarissa factions.
The ship spots a whaler and lands on the South Sea island of Annamooka. Wainright, the Daisy's captain, comes aboard and fills Jack in on the situation on Moahu - there is a war between Kalahua in the north and Puolani in the south, with the northern chief being supported by a French-owned twenty-two gun privateer, the Franklin, sailing under the American flag. The privateer has also captured the Truelove, a Whitby-built British whaler. While the Surprise reprovisions, Clarissa, who has received a black eye from Oakes, also confesses to Maturin on their botanizing walk together about her being sexually abused as a young girl and later working as a bookkeeper and occasional prostitute at a brothel in Picadilly. These experiences formed her sexual outlook, a combination of indifference and complete nonchalance. When she mentions that an aristocratic acquaintance of Ledward's and Wray's had visited the brothel, Stephen realises that this is the highly-placed traitor they are seeking.
Aubrey drives his frigate's crew hard on the trip to Moahu to quell the dissension aboard. On reaching land, they pick up the Truelove, a Nootka fur-trader, and a column is sent to intercept the fleeing French - the skirmish is won but Davidge is killed. The Surprise then sails to the south of the island to defend Queen Puolani against the main body of French and Kalahua's tribesmen. Aubrey sets up carronades in a cleft and there is a terrific slaughter of the enemy the following day. The Truelove departs, commanded by Oakes and with Clarissa on board bearing Stephen's coded letter to intelligence official Sir Joseph Blaine, describing the highly-placed informant. The Franklin puts her nose in but sails away immediately, with the Surprise giving chase.
Clarissa Oakes was published in the U.S. as The Truelove, which is the name of a ship in the novel.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 436 MB
03-27-2012, 09:53 AM
Patrick O'Brian - The Wine-Dark Sea (read by Simon Vance)
The Wine-Dark Sea is an historical novel set during the Napoleonic Wars, written by British author Patrick O'Brian and published by HarperCollins in 1993. It is the sixteenth volume in the Aubrey-Maturin series, and became Patrick O'Brian's first bestseller in the United States. The novel features the adventures of naval commander Jack Aubrey, and his friend, ship's surgeon, naturalist and spy, Stephen Maturin. The novel's title is the English translation of a formula (frequently-used phrase) from Homer.
The narrative opens with the close pursuit of an American privateer, the Franklin, by Aubrey and Maturin's Surprise, a fictionalised version of the original HMS Surprise in the South Pacific, interrupted by an submarine volcanic eruption which completely disables the former and severely damages the latter. The Franklin is easily taken as most of its crew are either dead, severely wounded or drunk, and Monsieur Dutourd, its French owner, is taken on board. A wealthy philanthropist, he intended to colonise a South Pacific island, Moahu, and establish a paradise of equality, justice, and little labour, after first enriching himself by committing piracy on assorted British whalers and merchantmen, and then wiping out the island's hostile native population.
Maturin recognises Dutourd from earlier days in the high society salons of Paris, and takes pains to hide his identity from the Frenchman. Aubrey, meanwhile, finds that not only does Dutourd not know the basic courtesies of life at sea, but does not have a letter of marque permitting him to operate the Franklin as a privateer. The Franklin having taken several British ships as prizes, Dutourd's legal status is that of a pirate, liable to be hanged.
An American whaler is taken by the Surprise and the Franklin, and a British sailor on the whaler tells Aubrey of a French ship — the Alastor — turned a true pirate, unlike the Franklin, flying the black flag and demanding immediate surrender or death of its victims. The Franklin encounters the Alastor first and is outmatched, but the Surprise overcomes the pirates, with Aubrey receiving severe wounds to his eye from wadding and his thigh from a pike thrust.
The story now turns to Maturin's secret mission to Peru. He is put ashore to incite revolution against the Spanish colonial government and makes valuable contact among local military and government officials sympathetic to Peruvian independence. He is also aided by Aubrey's illegitimate son, Sam Panda, a prominent official in the Roman Catholic Church and close to becoming a prelate. Stephen also meets Dr Geary from the Three Graces and is able to secure a passage home for Mr Martin who has been severely laid low by what he presumed was the Sydney pox, but in fact which turned out to be simply bad salt sores.
Having eventually made his way from Lima to Arica, and then taken ship from Valparaíso, Aubrey eventually picks Maturin up in Chile. Stephen informs him of three American China ships sailing from Boston. The Surprise sails to intercept them off Cape Horn but, as she prepares to engage them, is herself fired upon by a thirty-eight gun US frigate. After avoiding an iceberg, the Surprise is chased until her pursuer sails down a lane in the ice field that is a dead-end. The Surprise escapes but then loses her main mast and rudder after being struck by lightning. Jury-rigged, her crew spot a ship hull-down on the horizon and fear that it is the more powerful American frigate back in pursuit. However, the ship turns out to be the Berenice, a sixty-four-gun ship of the line commanded by Aubrey's old friend Heneage Dundas, accompanied by an American clipper they have taken and are using as a tender. Dundas provisions them with spars, cordage, storage and a Pakenham substitute rudder (and the much-needed pepper that Maturin needs to preserve his specimens from a moth) and as the book ends the Surprise is homeward bound.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 416 MB
Patrick O'Brian - The Commodore (read by Simon Vance)
The Commodore is an historical novel set during the Napoleonic Wars, written by British author Patrick O'Brian and published by HarperCollins in 1995. It is the seventeenth volume in the Aubrey-Maturin series. The novel features the adventures of naval commander Jack Aubrey, and his friend, ship's surgeon, naturalist and spy, Stephen Maturin. The main characters are rising in seniority with the Royal Navy and many of the problems of naval life of the period are included with the story, which ranges from Ireland to the West African coast.
The Commodore opens with Jack winning the Ringle, a Baltimore Clipper, from his friend Captain Dundas, the Surprise having accompanied the Berenice back from Chile. Aubrey and Maturin have returned to England, (after adventures in the South Pacific and South America) where the latter finds that his young daughter Brigid appears to be an "idiot" or "natural" (to use the language of the time) and unable to speak, and that his wife Diana has fled the situation, leaving Brigid in the care of the newly-widowed Clarissa Oakes.
When Stephen meets Sir Joseph Blaine at Black's, their club, he is told that Clarissa's information led to the Duke of Habachtsthal being supposed the third conspirator in the Ledward-Wray conspiracy. Unfortunately, the Duke is too highly placed for Blaine's investigation to do much good and in fact does even more harm to Stephen and his friends. Blaine tells Stephen that the Duke's influence has delayed the pardons of both Clarissa and Padeen as well as instigated an investigation into Stephen's role in the Irish revolt. After hearing this information, Stephen asks Jack for the Ringle and sets off to cash out his bank accounts and then proceeds to have Clarissa, Padeen and Brigid taken to live at the Benedictine house in Ávila, Spain out of the clutches of the Duke. Blaine hires Pratt, whom Stephen had employed in The Reverse of the Medal, to gather information on the Duke.
Once the squadron is formed, Aubrey and Maturin are very publicly instructed to disrupt the African slave trade, now illegal, but the true mission of the squadron is to intercept a French invasion force which expects a sympathetic welcome in Maturin's native Ireland. The squadron begins on a difficult note, when the Admiralty reassigns the powerful frigate Pyramus, replacing her with the smaller frigate Thames instead. Also, the Stately is commanded by Duff, a paederast, who destroys discipline by taking young lovers among his forecastlemen. Another of the captains is a tyrant, Captain Thomas who, unlike Aubrey, values spit and polish more than efficiency in battle, and indiscriminately flogs his crewmen. These two captains and their crews soon find themselves at odds, threatening the squadron's efficiency.
The Ringle makes it safely to Corunna in Galicia where Stephen sees off his wards and deposits his considerable amounts of gold. The Ringle rendezvouses with the Bellona at the Berlings off Cape Finisterre, and they make their way to the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa, with the crews practising hard at lowering down boats. Stephen survives a near fatal bout of Yellow Fever contracted while traipsing around the swamplands of West Africa in his usual search for rare birds and animals, a quest in which he is ably assisted in Freetown by the British colonial governor's wife, Christine Wood (née Hatherleigh), herself an esteemed naturalist and sister of one of Stephen's fellow members of the Royal Society.
The squadron successfully disrupts the slave trade, saving over 5,000 slaves and having eight slaving ships condemned. Aubrey then hastens to meet the French squadron, commanded by the wily Commodore Esprit-Tranquil Maistral, south and east of the point the French are expected to reach (West Cork). Jack informs his captains of his plan of attack and the Bellona attacks the French pennant-ship, with the Thames and Stately attacking the other French two-decker. The first strikes on a rocky shelf and surrenders; the second badly mauls the Stately (Duff loses a leg) and flees eastwards. The four French troop carriers and one frigate are also captured (one frigate also escapes), aided by the Royal Oak and Warwick, who join the scene of battle.
Maturin finds as the novel closes that the Duke of Habachtsthal has committed suicide. This is possibly due to the threat of trial for treason after being identified by Clarissa Oakes and following extensive investigation carried out by Pratt, a former Bow Street Runner employed by Maturin and Sir Joseph Blaine. Stephen is also happily reunited once more with Diana, who happens to be living near that part of the Irish coast with one of her first husband's uncles.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 413 MB
03-27-2012, 09:54 AM
Patrick O'Brian - The Yellow Admiral (read by Patrick Tull)
The Yellow Admiral is a novel by English author Patrick O'Brian, the eighteenth in the Aubrey-Maturin series of historical fiction set in the era of the Napoleonic Wars.
The novel opens with Jack Aubrey home at Woolcombe in Dorset on parliamentary leave. Once again, Jack’s fortune has come under threat — this time due to a number of legal disputes concerning captured slaving-ships. It appears that Sophie will have to sell Ashgrove Cottage to keep the family solvent. Stephen Maturin has returned from Spain with his family, but impoverished, Spanish authorities having seized his gold after his pro-independence revolutionary activities in Peru. Effectively penniless, Stephen and his retinue stay at Jack's manor.
Stephen and Jack spend time exploring Jack's estate, and Jack explains to Stephen the process of enclosing commons, something which Jack opposes. Many of Jack's wealthy neighbours plan to enclose the common land of Simmon's Lea, thus preventing the villagers from grazing their animals and increasing their dependency on paid employment. Jack becomes the villagers' champion, while Jack's neighbour, Captain Griffiths, fronts the wealthy land-owners. One day at a pub Barrett Bonden accepts a challenge to a boxing-match in the Dripping Pan with Griffith's gamekeeper, which he subsequently loses.
A message arrives for Jack recalling him to the squadron blockading Brest. Diana, understanding that Admiral Stranraer wants Jack to miss the parliamentary vote on enclosing Simmon's Lea, contrives for Jack to leave immediately for London without receiving his orders so that duty will not compel him to miss the vote. Jack prevents the enclosure of Simmon's Lea and returns to Woolcombe. Receiving his orders, he returns to the fleet blockading Brest. Lord Stranraer, who had been a driving force behind his nephew Griffiths' attempts at enclosing Simmon's Lea, was very displeased with Jack for voting against the enclosure and so punishes Jack by sending him to the inshore blockading-squadron. At the same time the Admiral consults Stephen for an ailment that Stephen treats. Before Stephen leaves the flagship he receives a covert mission involving landing on the French coast near Brest.
On the dark of the moon, Jack has Stephen rowed ashore for his covert mission with a Catalan informer, Inigo Bernard. Apparently at the same time, two French ships slip through the blockading squadron in the sector that Jack's ship, Bellona, should have patrolled. The Admiral rebukes Jack and has him return to the offshore squadron. During this time Jack receives a letter from Sophie, in which she, having seen a letter from Amanda Smith (Jack's lover in The Surgeon's Mate), accuses him of adultery and announces her intention of leaving him.
Stephen stops at Woolcombe to see his family and learns about Sophie and Jack’s problems. He also finds that Clarissa and Diana have enlightened Sophie as to the possibility of enjoying sex, and have suggested that she avoid feeling morally superior, perhaps by having her own affair. As Stephen departs to return to the fleet, Sophie writes a letter of reconciliation to Jack. Once Stephen returns to the fleet he once again treats Admiral Stranraer. The Bellona hears distant broadsides and rushes to find the inner squadron fighting two French ships. Upon seeing the Bellona and another British ship, the two seventy-fours turn and run for their harbour.
In the following months the Bellona endlessly sweeps the bay, blockading Brest. During this time Stephen tells Jack of his plan for Chile, which Jack agrees to. After a few more months, the flagship, the Queen Charlotte, comes to visit the inner squadron. The Admiral comes to the Bellona to thank Stephen for his treatment and also invites Jack to dinner with all the captains on the flagship. At the dinner the Admiral informs the captains of progress in the war on land and predicts Napoleon's imminent surrender.
This soon comes to pass, and the Bellona returns to port and into ordinary storage. Jack and Stephen spend time catching up on world-events at Black's and then meet the three men from the Chilean independence-movement at The Grapes in the Liberties of the Savoy. With the Chileans approving of Jack, he goes through the steps of getting suspended from the Navy List so that he can initiate the covert mission to Chile. Stephen finances the fitting-out of the Surprise, and Jack and Stephen set off with their families for Madeira, at which they will part company. The novel ends as they tour the island in company with the Chileans: a message arrives from Lord Keith, commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean, telling Jack that Napoleon has escaped from Elba. He appoints Jack a commodore and tells him to take command of the Royal Navy ships in the harbour of Madeira to blockade the Straits of Gibraltar.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 430 MB
Patrick O'Brian - The Hundred Days (read by Patrick Tull)
The Hundred Days (1998) is a historical novel written by British author Patrick O'Brian. It is the nineteenth novel in the Aubrey-Maturin series, set during the Napoleonic Wars. The title refers to the Hundred Days, a period when Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from Elba and temporarily returned to power in France.
In the novel, Stephen's wife Diana dies, as does Aubrey's mother-in-law, Mrs Williams and her equally unpleasant companion, in a crash when Diana's rash driving overturns their coach. Diana's death leaves Stephen completely shattered, unwilling to eat or speak for long periods of time, but he pulls himself together to foil Napoleon's latest plot. Christine Hatherleigh's husband, Captain Wood, the colonial governor of Sierra Leone also dies (Dr Glover tells Stephen their marriage was almost a sham given that the husband was impotent). And Aubrey's coxswain, Barret Bonden, is killed in single ship action.
The Commodore's squadron leaves Gibraltar to defend a convoy of East Indiamen from the Moorish xebecs and galleys. Although they are successful, Hugh Pomfret—unable to bear the guilt of having killed so many Christian slaves in the galleys—commits suicide. Aubrey is then instructed to proceed to the Adriatic, stopping off in Mahón along the way. The Surprise encounters Captain Christy-Palliere - Captain of the Royalist Caroline - who informs Jack about the French situation in the Adriatic before sailing onto Mahon. The Surprise and Pomone then sail to Ragusa Vecchia where a newly-refitted French frigate is based under the command of Charles de La Tour, an ardent Buonapartist, and sink it. They then proceed to the Porte di Spalato where they meet another French frigate - Drs Stephen and Jacob are sent aboard and an agreement is reached to fight a mock battle after which the French will accompany the English ships back to Malta. They also lay out a considerable amount of gold to have the new French ships burnt in the dockyards along the coast by disgruntled unpaid dockworkers - e.g. Papadopoulos', Pavelic's, Simon Macchabe's and seven off Durazzo itself (Somers likens the destruction 'to buying one's salmon of a fishmonger's slab than catching it with a well-directed fly').
On reaching Algiers, and after meeting the Consul, Sir Peter Clifford, and his wife, Maturin and Jacob attend an interview with the Dey's Vizier at Kasbah, the Dey's palace. Stephen presents the Vizier with a beautiful blue stone and they are instructed to travel onwards to the Dey, Omar Pasha, at his hunting-lodge at Shatt el Khadna. The Dey invites Stephen to go lion hunting with him and the Dey kills a large lion, Mahmud, and Stephen its lioness, which attempts to kill the Dey. For this deed, Omar Pasha swears that no assistance will be given to the Muslim plot. Jacob then discovers the Vizier's message to the Sheikh of Azgar, Ibn Hazm, to have the gold carried by a fast-sailing xebec from Arzila (just SW of Tangiers), captained by an Algerian corsair via the Strait of Gibraltar straight to Durazzo. On their return to Algiers, the Doctors learn that Omar Pasha has been assassinated by the Vizier, who privately admires Buonaparte.
After returning victorious to Gibraltar, there is some dispute over the prize money but Ali Bey is deposed and the new Dey, Hassan, renounces his claim to the gold (given that the Surprise was fired on first) in return for the xebec and a £250,000 loan to consolidate his position in Algiers. The Commander-in-Chief, on the advice of Lord Keith, gives his assent and the Algerine delegation is given a handsome send-off. The end of the book coincides with Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, and thus the effective end of the Napoleonic wars. Aubrey and Maturin set sail for Chile in the Surprise to try and undermine the Spanish colonial rule there - a continuation of the theme of The Wine-Dark Sea.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 432 MB
03-27-2012, 09:55 AM
Patrick O'Brian - Blue At The Mizzen (read by Patrick Tull)
The novel Blue at the Mizzen is the last completed work in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series. A blue ensign at the mizzen-mast indicated the presence of a Rear Admiral of the Blue, the lowest flag-rank in the Royal Navy of the early 19th century.
Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin again sail into the South Pacific on a secret mission: this time to help the Chileans secure independence from Spain.
After the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the Surprise makes her way out of Gibraltar but collides heavily with a Nordic timber ship and has to return for repairs. In the meantime, Aubrey conducts a clandestine affair with his cousin Isobel, Lord Barmouth's new young wife. Admiral Lord Barmouth hastens the repair work, having at first delayed it by giving preference to Royal Navy ships. The frigate makes her way to Madeira for more serious repairs but arrives just in time to see Coelho's famous yard at Funchal in flames. Maturin receives a coded report from Dr Amos Jacob regarding the Chilean situation and takes the Ringle to England, where Sir Joseph Blaine updates him — the Chileans have split into two factions (northern and southern), with the southerners retaining the services of Sir David Lindsay to command the Chilean navy. Whilst Stephen stays with Sophie Aubrey at Woolcombe, Jack returns the Surprise to Seppings' yard in England for a thorough re-fit and also recruits a strong competent crew out of Shelmerston for the long voyage ahead.
In London, the Duke of Clarence asks Aubrey to accept his illegitimate son Horatio Hanson (whom the Duke refers to as a former shipmate's son, for propriety's sake) as a midshipman. Initially reluctant, Aubrey finds to his surprise and delight that the boy has the mathematical skills essential for a navigator; and he becomes a competent sailor.
After leaving England, the Surprise first heads for Sierra Leone in order for Maturin to propose marriage to a young attractive widow living in Freetown. Christine Wood shares his tastes for natural philosophy and appears altogether more level-headed than his late wife Diana. Whilst she attracts him physically, so that he has erotic dreams about her, she has suffered from her previous marriage to an impotent husband. Initially unwilling to marry him, she does consent to visit the Aubreys at their home in Dorset and to meet Maturin's daughter Brigid there.
After a difficult rounding of Cape Horn, the expedition reaches San Patricio in Chile, a storage post for whalers. Ringle has to go to a yard for repairs following a grounding in the Pillón passage. After a meeting between Aubrey and Maturin and Sir David Lindsay, in which the two sides agree to mutually support each other, Maturin writes a letter to Blaine describing the different juntas and the training of three republican sloops by the crew of the Surprise, who assist in capturing a moderate privateer. After meeting Dr Jacob once more, Aubrey decides to make his way with the Surprise and Ringle to Valparaiso and Maturin and Jacob ride there by mule. Here they meet General Bernardo O'Higgins (the Supreme Director), and Colonel Eduardo Valdes (a cousin of Maturin's). Learning that the Peruvian viceroy of the Spanish king plans to invade Chile, the group determine to confront the Royalist forces at Valdivia, where the viceroy will need to seek stores. After dinner aboard, the Surprise and Ringle make sail and Aubrey elaborates a plan to drop Chilean troops at Concepcion while the ships destroy the gun-emplacements at Cala Alta and then bombard the fort at Valdivia.
The plan succeeds and the revolutionaries capture four chests of silver and one of gold, conveyed by the Surprise to Valparaiso and then overland to Santiago. Sir David Lindsay fights a duel with one of his officers and dies. Popular local sentiment gradually turns against the British, and Aubrey receives news that the local junta at Villanueva plans to impound his frigate. He decides on a bold action to cut out the Peruvian fifty-gun frigate Esmeralda from Callao to strengthen the Chilean navy. Assisted by the Ringle, Surprise conducts a hard-fought broadside action and eventually the British-Chilean force takes the ship, although Aubrey suffers wounds in the thigh and shoulder. Maturin and Jacob compose a coded message to Sir Joseph Blaine which the schooner takes to the Lisbon packet for delivery via Panama and a returning merchantman.
The President of the Valparaiso junta, Don Miguel Carrera, gives Aubrey and his officers a lavish dinner, after which Aubrey insists on his sailors receiving their share of the prize-money and Esmeralda's value. The next day he receives a note from Don Miguel confirming the delivery of five thousand pieces of eight and use of any naval stores the Surprise requires. With a happy and fully re-equipped ship, Aubrey sets about exercising the young Chilean naval officers as his frigate continues her survey. Finally, Amos Jacob arrives on a green brig with a coded message from Sir Joseph Blaine: the Duke of Clarence requests Horatio Hanson's return to sit his lieutenant's examination (after having fought very valiantly in the cutting-out episode) but, more importantly, the Admiralty requires Aubrey to take command of the South African squadron, hoisting his flag at the River Plate, blue at the mizzen, aboard HMS Implacable.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 402 MB
Patrick O'Brian - The Final Unfinished Voyage Of Jack Aubrey (read by Patrick Tull)
The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey (published in the northern-hemisphere autumn of 2004) is an unfinished historical novel by English author Patrick O'Brian, the twenty-first one in the Aubrey-Maturin series. It appeared in the United States of America under the simpler title of 21.
The story begins with the Surprise in the Strait of Magellan, caught up in foul weather. Hanson first spots Cape Pilar at the very opening of the Strait, and soon the Surprise moors and conducts some trade with the inhospitable locals for meat and vegetables. Having re-provisioned, she and Ringle sail northwards in fine weather until they enter the River Plate and moor close to the island functioning as the main administrative centre. A quarantine officer comes aboard, a Dr Quental, and gives the frigate a clean bill of health.
Wantage informs Maturin of a rumpus in the town: a fight between Protestant mariners from a Boston barque clash with the Catholic locals over the right of polygamy. Further signs of local resentment emerge when a large scow dumps the town's filth next to the frigate and the Portuguese sailors shout abuse at the Surprises. Aubrey spots a black Legate and recognises him as his own natural son, Sam. The Most Reverend Doctor Samuel Mputa, the Papal Nuncio to the Republic of Argentina, has recently saved the government from an open rebellion.
The South African squadron, under its Commander-in-Chief Admiral Lord Leyton, finally makes its appearance and the crew of the Surprise bring their ship up to a high state of perfection. Jack makes his appearance on board HMS Suffolk and sees his rear-admiral's blue flag hoisted on the flagship. He then has an interview with the somewhat cantankerous Admiral, who instructs him to ask Stephen if two of his officers can sail on the Surprise (now a private vessel once more) back to England. While the fleet re-provisions, the Ringle sails off under the steady and capable Lieutenant Harding, and later returns with Sophie Aubrey, Christine Wood, her brother Edward and the three children (Brigid Maturin and Fanny and Charlotte Aubrey) who will sail on with Jack and Stephen to South Africa. The final chapters end with an Admiral's dinner before which Stephen and Jack meet Captain Miller, Leyton's nephew and Jack's neighbour at Caxley. Miller, who has a reputation as a ladies' man and as an excellent shot — nicknamed Hair-Trigger Miller — has been paying court to Christine Wood. The Admiral asks Aubrey if he can take Miller on board with him to take up a new position in Cape Town.
In the last few handwritten pages that follow the end of the typescript, as the South Africa squadron makes its way to St Helena, Mrs Wood asks Stephen to prevent Randolph Miller's unwanted attentions. In doing so, Stephen also calls Miller out for naming him a liar. Miller insists on pistols but Maturin insists on his right, as the aggrieved party, to name the weapons; thus they fight with swords, which puts Miller at a disadvantage. The duel takes place: after three or four thrusts Stephen disarms Miller and demands an apology, which Miller gives him.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 107 MB
03-27-2012, 09:55 AM
Patrick O'Brian - The Catalans (read by Simon Vance)
This novel is a powerful successor to Testimonies, Patrick O'Brian's first novel written for adults. It is set in that corner of France that became O'Brian's adopted home, where the long, dark wall of the Pyrenees runs headlong to meet the Mediterranean. Alain Roig returns to Saint-Féliu after years in the East and finds his family in crisis. His dour, middle-aged cousin Xavier, the mayor and most powerful citizen of the town, has fallen in love and plans to marry Madeleine, the young daughter of the local grocer. The Roig family property is threatened by this union, and Madeleine's relatives object on different grounds.
Xavier is a tragic figure, damned by what he perceives as a lack of feeling; Madeleine is to be his salvation. Unfortunately she does not return his affection, and, as the feasts and harvest festivals of Saint-Féliu are played out, she finds herself falling in love with Alain.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 294 MB
Patrick O'Brian - The Road To Samarcand (read by Simon Vance)
The Road to Samarcand is a novel by English author Patrick O'Brian, published in 1954 and set in Asia during the 1930s. Magazine Publisher's Weekly writes about the novel: "Six decades later, O'Brian's richly told adventure saga, with its muscular prose, supple dialogue and engaging characters, packs a nice old-school punch." The Road to Samarcand precedes by 15 years the first novel of the Aubrey-Maturin series, the canon which brought O'Brian fame, and bears a relationship to its development.
The central character is an American teenaged youth named Derrick, who came to China with his missionary parents. Orphaned prior to the action and taken under his uncle's wing aboard The Wanderer, Derrick is at the wheel of the wind-driven ship in the South China Sea as the action begins. The boy's uncle, Captain Sullivan of the Asian Pacific shipping trade, feels the time has come to prepare Derrick for his future. He, his companion Ross and Derrick's older cousin, all believe that the youth must now leave the ship and attend school in England. This cousin, Professor Ayrton, is en route to China from England as the novel begins. He is an elderly, highly educated man and an expert in oriental archeology. Derrick is unhappy with the prospect of leaving the ship, and Professor Ayrton proposes "to gild the pill of education" by taking the youth back to England via the famous road to Samarcand.
While structured with plot and subplots, and created with a cast of interesting characters, the novel draws its major appeal from O'Brian's great story-telling ability. The product of this ability can be seen as a series of adventures in exotic locales, the type of material designed to resonate in the imagination of a typical teenaged boy. There are neither female characters nor romance in The Road to Samarcand.
The story begins during a voyage on the South China Sea, where almost at once Derrick's ship encounters a typhoon. Surviving this perilous experience, the ship under Captain Sullivan reaches shore and completes the rendezvous with Professor Ayrton. Subsequent adventures are set up by forming and equipping the party for the journey to the road to Samarcand, a route better known today as the Silk Road. Members of the party include his relatives, Cousin Ayrton and Uncle Sullivan; Derrick, himself; Sullivan's intrepid companion, Ross; the ship's Chinese cook, Li Han; and one of Captain Sullivan's seamen, Olaf Svenssen. Horses and Mongolian guides are engaged: during the course of the story Derrick becomes a skilled horseman and learns to speak Mongolian. The party must follow a circuitous route to the road to Samarcand in order both to travel in safety and to satisfy Professor Ayrton's archeological wishes. This circuitous route allows O'Brian to send the band to areas they would otherwise not have traveled and to reveal interesting aspects of the Chinese, Mongolian and Tibetan cultures.
Some adventures are harmless, as when Derrick and his Mongolian companion ride out to hunt with a falcon and when the Professor acquires jade treasure; some involve danger. The latter includes imprisonment, escape, brushes with revolutionaries and bandits, and hand-to-hand fighting. The party becomes involved in deadly skirmishes at a time in history when the old skills of warfare are bowing to superior firepower. As this state-of-affairs turns dramatic, Professor Ayrton is forced to pass himself off as a Russian Army officer who specializes in armament. In reality he is anything but an expert and does not know how even to fire a gun when the expedition begins.
Other adventures involve dangers crossing a glacier where the party must face both blizzard conditions and inimical monks masquerading as yeti, and the loss and eventual rediscovery of party-members, Ross, Li Han and Olaf. As the final adventure, in what can be described as a deus ex machina, the little group escapes disaster in a functioning helicopter, which has been abandoned near the monastery where the band has been virtually imprisoned. O'Brian skirted anachronism in creating this manner of escape. Although the technology was available in the late 1930's, existing helicopters were limited to scarce prototypes, and actual aircraft were not produced in large numbers until the 1940's. Be that as it may, there is spare gasoline in a can, and the party is flown away by Ross. He is completely inexperienced as a helicopter pilot; however, O'Brian has created him with qualities which stretch the improbable escape to the verge of credibility: mechanical prowess -- Ross is the only party member who succeeds in starting the engine -- bravery, and a history as the captain of a ship. Airborne and finally out of danger, the party sees below on the ground their goal, the road to Samarcand.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 322 MB
Patrick O'Brian - The Golden Ocean (read by John Franklyn-Robbins)
O'Brian's first sea-going novel, The Golden Ocean is a precurser to the acclaimed Aubrey-Maturin series in its excitement and rich humor, its eloquent style and and tapestry of historical detail. Peter Palofox, second son of a poor Irish parson, sets out on the voyage of a lifetime when he seeks his fortune as a midshipman in Commodore Anson's flotilla. With five ships under his command, Anson leaves England in 1740 to circumnavigate the globe and attack Spanish ships wherever they can be found. Peter comes of age in the complex but sharply defined community of the fleet as they engage in battle, fight disease, and face shipwreck.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 465 MB
03-27-2012, 09:56 AM
Patrick O'Brian - The Unknown Shore (read by Patrick Tull)
The Unknown Shore is a novel published in 1959 by Patrick O'Brian. It is the story of two friends, Jack Byron and Tobias Barrow who sail aboard HMS Wager as part of Anson's 1740 expedition. The midshipman Byron and somewhat unworldly surgeon's mate Barrow are prototypes for Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin who appear in many of O'Brian's later novels. The novel is a part-fictionalised version of actual events which occurred during the Wager Mutiny.
In reality, John "Jack" Byron was a historical person and the basic facts of the story are true. He went on to a distinguished naval career, rising to the rank of vice-admiral. There is an "easter egg" that O'Brian includes in the novel: his Jack Byron secretly writes poetry. He wants Tobias to refrain from mentioning it to any of his peers. Byron's grandson was the famous poet Lord Byron.
n the early part of the novel, set in London, other members of the expedition are featured. They appear in more detail in The Golden Ocean, another O'Brian novel about the Anson expedition.
The expedition is beset by storms while rounding of Cape Horn, the Wager is shipwrecked off the coast of Chile as their position could not be determined. The crew reject the authority of their officers, once the ship was wrecked and leave the captain, some officers and some other crew on the island when they sail away in a boat built from the wreck. The marooned officers make their way to a Spanish settlement with the help of the native people. The novel is based on the accounts of the survivors. Survivors from the lower deck made their way back to Britain long before the officers. The novel describes the crew members asserting that the officers had no authority over them, once their ship was wrecked.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 493 MB
Patrick O'Brian - Richard Temple (read by Graeme Malcolm)
Richard Temple is a novel by acclaimed author Patrick O'Brian describing the captivity of a British prisoner-of-war during the latter part of World War II.
This is the story of Richard Temple - prisoner of war, sometime adventurer, lover and artist - told with insight, empathy and drama by one of the world's master storytellers. Captive in a brutal German prison towards the end of World War II, Richard Temple has been stripped of everything that once defined him: pride, courage, his very identity have all been surrendered in a desperate bid to protect his secrets from the Nazis. But with the real Richard Temple suppressed to the point of near-extinction, a sudden respite in his torture allows him a moment of rare release, when he can lower his guard and remember who he is. Huddled in his cell, too badly beaten to move, the action of the novel takes place in the Richard's mind as he retraces a convoluted course from an unhappy childhood, through a vague and uncertain adolescence to a complex, compromised adulthood, shot through with artistic sensibility and the myriad impulses that make a man. Patrick O'Brian's signature combination of narrative flair, intuitive sympathy and psychological insight make this a fascinating exploration of how passive resistance can be a form of courage and what it truly means to be a hero.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 422 MB
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