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Harbors and High Seas: An Atlas and Geographical Guide to the Complete Aubrey-Maturin Novels of Patrick O'Brian [Paperback]

Dean King , John B. Hattendorf
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: 15.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

23 Feb 2001
A new edition of the classic companion to Patrick O'Brian's seafaring novels, updated to include the final novel in the series. This indispensable guide to navigating the well-loved Aubrey-Maturin novels has been updated, with new chapters devoted to the final books in the series. HARBORS AND HIGH SEAS includes maps created exclusively for each of the novels in this world-renowned series.

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Frequently Bought Together

Harbors and High Seas: An Atlas and Geographical Guide to the Complete Aubrey-Maturin Novels of Patrick O'Brian + A Sea of Words: Lexicon and Companion for Patrick O'Brian's Seafaring Tales + Patrick O'Brian's Navy: The Illustrated Companion to Jack Aubrey's World
Price For All Three: 43.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 259 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Company; 3rd edition (23 Feb 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805066144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805066142
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 18.7 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Carefully maps and illustrates the oceans, ports, islands, and actions, book by book of the Aubrey-Maturin Series."--"Los Angeles Times""These battle and voyage maps greatly enhance the pleasure of O'Brian's salty tales O'Brian aficionados surely will make frequent use of Harbors and High Seas--a worthy, stirring guide to the world of the British Navy in the Age of Sail."--"Pequot Pilot""The assorted world travels of Aubrey and Maturin can leave you geographically adrift. With not a moment to lose, help is but a bookstore away. "Harbors and High Seas". . . comes in handy if you're reading the series over a number of years an need a quick reminder of past plots."--"Chicago Tribune""The ideal Baedeker."--"Kirkus Reviews"

About the Author

Dean King is the author of "Patrick O'Brian: A Life Revealed "(0-8050-5976-8) and "Every Man Shall Do His Duty" (0-8050-4609-7). He lives in Richmond, Virginia.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
As Patrick O'Brian readily confesses, he modeled many of the events of the novel Master and Commander on the remarkable Mediterranean cruise of Lord Cochrane (later, tenth earl of Dundonald) aboard the Speedy, a dwarfish brig that Cochrane once called "little more than a burlesque on a vessel of war." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Save you money for an atlas 29 Mar 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book has had such good reviews that I thought it would improve my appreciation of the the Aubrey-Maturin books. To say that I was deeply disappointed would be to value this book too highly.
As background, let me explain that I'm not new to Patrick O'Brien's work, having read all of the books several times. I've also read some literature from the period and a lot of history, and I'm a recreational sailor with a deep interest in the ships and methods of our sea-going forebears. I also assume that I have a lot to learn about most things, but not from this book!
Harbors and High Seas has a chapter dedicated to each book in the canon, consisting of a short spoiler of the plot and a couple of basic paragraphs on locations Aubrey and Maturin visit. Each contains a few maps: you'll find better ones in any atlas. There are also a few pictures, typically line drawings from historical sources. It fails because it's all so inadequate and inconsistent, and it feels as if the information was assembled over a weekend.
A few examples would help to explain this. The chapter on 'Fortune of War' contains a map of the action in which Jack Aubrey is captured by the Americans, and the track of the ships engaged. Why are there no others like this? As an example, diagrams of Aubrey's defence of the China fleet would be useful: O'Brien describes the action in detail but it is hard to follow. Similarly, how about a chart of Aubrey's last action in the Phalarope? It's not beyond my ken to construct a diagram of the fictional location from O'Brien's text, but it would be nice if this book saved me the trouble.
It's not just the maps that are inadequate, it's the text as well. There's simply too little 'meat' in it.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
By Andrew Hume VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
"Harbors and High Seas" is a glossy and well-written publication that is invaluable in guiding the amateur O'Brian reader through the various adventures of "Lucky" Jack Aubrey and his ever-faithful companion Stephen Maturin.
Its author, Dean King, covers all twenty of the Aubrey-Maturin novels, one by one and in order, providing historical background which helps explain the backdrop against which the stories take place, as well as maps and contemporary illustrations detailing the voyages, actions and places described in them.
The plot of each book is also summarised (without giving away too much of the endings), which makes this a handy way of catching up if you've not read previous novels in the series (or if, like me, you just have a sieve for a brain).
It's an enjoyable and informative way of placing the Aubrey-Maturin series in its historical and geographical context, and also serves to show just how credible and true-to-life the world of Patrick O'Brian really is. If there's one criticism, it's that there isn't enough detail - but readers hungry for a more technical look at O'Brian's naval world can address that need with "A Sea of Words", by the same author.
Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There have been many attempts by fans of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series to map the places their heroes found adventure, most of them online, however. For those who enjoy having another book open whilst reading, something to hold and pore over, or reliving Jack's and Stephen's journeys, this large-sized paperback is the thing.

Dean King compiles geographic information with recaps of the books' plots and characters without giving away too much if you have not yet read a volume. It is organised by novel, in order, (not including the final, unfinished novel, 21), and chapter titles are cleverly done to reflect the journeys in each novel. Each chapter contains information about main routes travelled, and about locations such as London in 1812, the Port of Cadiz, the Downs, Gib, etc. Some places are well-mapped, particularly the elusive ports of call in the Baltic from "The Surgeon's Mate." The ports and their historical interests are presented, as well as illustrations of places from contemporary woodcuts and prints. The fictitious places are sensitively treated vis-à-vis the real places that surround them, or the places that inspired them, such as houses or landscape or London clubs. There is an adequate but not comprehensive index, a generous bibliography, and some extra information inserted, such as maritime measurements, a map of tradewinds, trade routes, and ocean currents, etc.

The drawback to this volume is that in its format it promises much that is does not deliver. What seems missing most are maps of actions and main events, which are, with a very few exceptions, lacking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars On balance, worth buying 19 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback
It's a nice companion in that it will quickly and simply help you to place the action in geographical context. Unlike an atlas it includes fictional places and includes a number of nice plates from the era and antique charts that includes the sort of details that add to the pleasure from the books, including sand banks, reefs, anchorages and depths.

Don't expect a definitive book though. For more detail you will need other books. The maps created for the book are rather simplistic line drawings and there's the annoying habit of having double page maps where the detail in the crease disappears!!

I would've liked more detail e.g. diagrams of engagements, co-ordinates and a good diagram of sail settings and ship types. The one in the front pages of the novels is almost completely useless. I could go on about some inconsistencies, etc., but I think you get the impression that though it is far from perfect, it is worth having this information in a single volume at this price.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
An absolute must for all Patrick O'Brian's readers and fans. And more, a lot of beautiful pictures make this book a treasure
Published 4 months ago by G. Marchetti
5.0 out of 5 stars Hearts of Oak
Well documented and essential reading for O'Brian-files like me and the missus. Amazing amount of historical data brought back in public domain
Published 6 months ago by Benny Wielandt
4.0 out of 5 stars Great companion book
Really good reference book for fans. Would have been better, and more fitting if the text had used the Queen's English
,.
Published on 27 April 2012 by I. Fraser
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting for Aubrey Fans
Some good info and maps for Aubrey fans but I would have liked more maps and historical detail.
Published on 8 April 2010 by PS
5.0 out of 5 stars Its use doubles the pleasure of the Aubrey/Maturin series.
This book enhances the pleasure of reading POB books. The charts and explanations clear up any geographic questions that invariably arise attempting to follow Capt Aubrey around... Read more
Published on 18 Sep 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a "Text Book" but very helpful.
Useing a guide/reference book while reading the great Aubrey/Maturin novels by P. O'Brian is like being back in school except this one is a lot more fun. Read more
Published on 31 May 1998
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent companion to the Aubrey-Martin books
If you enjoy the Aubrey-Maturin books as I did (and I read almost nothing else for several months), you will find this book an excellent reference aid. Read more
Published on 23 Oct 1997
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