There is no more famous a vessel in naval fiction than HMS Surprise, the principal ship in Patrick O'Brian's much-celebrated Aubrey-Maturin series of sea stories. Yet, this 28-gun frigate also had a most eventful true historical career serving in both the French and then Royal navies and which included capture by the Inconstant in 1796 the much celebrated cutting-out action on the mutinous crew of HMS Hermione. Surprise was decomissioned in 1802 and delivered into the fictional captaincy of Jack Aubrey. This sumptuous new volume, written by acclaimed naval historian Brian Lavery, not only reveals the complete career history and commentary of HMS Surprise in both its guises, but also presents an all-embracing construction and fitting history of the Fifth Rate including some 30 line drawings as well as historical artworks and detailed photographs. The book is presented in full colour throughout and additionally includes a series of specially-commissioned sketches and some 30 paintings by co-author Geoff Hunt RSMA, the acclaimed artist of the Patrick O'Brian cover artworks and related prints. Geoff Hunt also contributes a most illuminating chapter on his experiences in, and challenges faced, when illustrating this ship. The detailed line and isometric plans are being drawn by prolific marine draughtsman Karl Heinz Marquardt.