|Cochrane – The Life & Exploits of a Fighting Captain – Robert Harvey — Both a complementary addition to the Patrick O’Brian naval series, it stands on its own as the biography of an almost unbelievable naval hero. From single ship actions (in one action, Cochrane fought and defeated a ship more than twice his own ship’s size and firepower); to political missions (Cochrane became the admiral of the emergent navy of the west coast of South America, using his tiny fleet to stop Spain from reinforcing its failing colonies), Harvey writes a compelling story. But the stories take on even more interest when you match them with the adventures of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin. Over and over, bits of action or plotting from Cochrane’s life show up in the Aubrey novels (O’Brian openly admitted that he borrowed from Cochrane’s career to build Aubrey’s), and as interesting are where the parallels fail. The descriptions of the stock market swindles and trial are particularly interesting and vivid.
Patrick O’Brian naval series
These novels are filled with carefully written dialog, often humorous, but ever in the style of the time. The relationships are perfect and filled with tiny details. [e.g., the employment of injured sailors as Jack’s estate workmen, where they keep the home as spit polished and shipshape as any of Jack’s oceangoing homes. ] Stephen & Jack’s musical diversions are sui generi- a clever yet telling development of friendship under wartime conditions. The sailing and action sequences remain the core of this genre and O’Brian never fails – the storms and other trials of Aubrey’s seafaring abilities are ever
Lobscouse & Spotted Dog : Which It’s a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels
Harbors and High Seas: An Atlas and Geographical Guide to the Aubrey-Maturin Novels of Patrick O’Brian
Other Nautical fiction