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19 Reviews
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable reference
Dean King has done all lovers of naval history novels a great service with this book. Aimed specifically at the Aubrey/Maturin series, it nevertheless provides an invaluable wealth of detailed information about the whole of the period around the turn of the 19th Century.
Not only does it translate obscure Naval terms, it also explains obsolete Georgian phraseology;...
Published on 18 April 2002 by Amazon Customer

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good despite the gaps
Several reviewers have already provided praise about this book which largely I share. Overall I am well pleased to have this book beside me while reading the Aubrey/Maturin series and I frequently refer to it - money well spent - as it provides additional depth to the experience of reading O'Brian's books.
However, it is far from being an exhaustive nautical...
Published on 8 May 2005 by Paul


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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable reference, 18 April 2002
By 
Amazon Customer "Bones" (Newcastle-on-Tyne, UK) - See all my reviews
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Dean King has done all lovers of naval history novels a great service with this book. Aimed specifically at the Aubrey/Maturin series, it nevertheless provides an invaluable wealth of detailed information about the whole of the period around the turn of the 19th Century.
Not only does it translate obscure Naval terms, it also explains obsolete Georgian phraseology; describes major naval battles; eminent naval personalities & statesmen; Latin & French phrases common during the period; explanations of classical references; medical & natural history terminology - in short, all that you need as a companion to naval literature.
I got this book after reading all the Aubrey/Maturin series - if only I'd had this at the time, I could have saved myself hours of searching through multiple reference books.
A MUST for all naval history buffs.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential companion to the Aubrey/Maturin adventures., 28 July 2000
By 
M. Chambers "privateersman" (Ashford UK) - See all my reviews
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I Have been completely hooked by the Aubrey/Maturin adventures and often baffled (but not baulked) by the sailing terminology used. I was desparate to find a reference work that would fill these gaps and help me to visualise the action. This book does this and more! It is a lexicon of the sailing terms used aboard a English man-o-war, plus a general lexicon of the everyday words used at the time, as well as the medical and natural history vocabulary used by Dr Maturin. It also includes line drawings of tall ships and other sailing ships, maps and essays. It not only is an invaulable reference work, it is tremendously enjoyable to flick through the pages browsing the lexicon in a "I always wondered what that meant" way. Stephen would have loved it!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lobscouse and Spotted Dog, 11 Jan 2004
I have only read one of the Patrick O'Brian novels but am surrounded by obsessive fans of his. I really enjoyed the book I read and found that the words I didn't know in his book were explained to the full here. BUT it doesn't stop there. This is actually a great coffee table book as its easy to pick up, dive in, read a couple of pages and find some fascinating word and meaning you just have to share with those around you. You should also look at the other accompanying Patrick O'Brian book which is a cookbook and is entitled Lobscouse and Spotted Dog.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable for Age of Sail lovers!, 7 Mar 2006
By 
Dr J (United States) - See all my reviews
Anyone interested in the any aspect of the Royal Navy in the Napoleonic period needs this book. Although it was written as a companion for the Patrick O'Brian's novels (Master and Commander was the recent movie based on the novels), it can be used for better understanding of any of the Royal Navy series (Hornblower, Drinkwater, Kydd, etc.), by anyone who watches the Hornblower movies, or anyone who simply has an interest in maritime studies in the age of sail. The book starts out with sections on the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, naval medicine, maps, and ship diagrams. You'll learn the names of all the sails and decks on a ship. Then there is a large section, about 350 pages of definitions in dictionary form. It's all here-ship ratings, maps, compass points, parts of ships and cannons, biographies, battles, ranks, and everything else you might encounter as you read the novels or watch the Hornblower movies. If you don't know what a cox'n is, you'll find it here. This book is great not only as a reference, but has given me hours of browsing pleasure. It really opens up a whole new world that this landlubber doesn't understand from first-hand experience. It's a great book--I can't say enough about it. It can be picked up in paperback for pocket change and it's worth its weight in gold. You will be pleased with this book!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Invaluable Companion, 16 Sep 2004
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There are two kinds of O'Brien readers in the world: Those who skip the nautical terms they don't understand and those who look them up.
If you are of the latter, then put yourself out of your misery and buy this book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wordy, but not Seas, 8 May 2005
By 
Bm Levitan "brucelevitan" (Glossop, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is more than a mere dictionary of words used in Patrick O'Brian's books. It has short essays on some of the important historical characters and naval battles (including one about HMS Surprise), and opening essays about the historical context and Maturin's medicine. I haven't given it 5 stars because it is not totally comprehensive, and quite often I find that it doesn't contain a word or term I'm looking up from one of O'Brian's novels. Also I'd have liked a few more illustrations - this has just enough to whet the appetite, but not enough to really please.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good despite the gaps, 8 May 2005
Several reviewers have already provided praise about this book which largely I share. Overall I am well pleased to have this book beside me while reading the Aubrey/Maturin series and I frequently refer to it - money well spent - as it provides additional depth to the experience of reading O'Brian's books.
However, it is far from being an exhaustive nautical lexicon. I have found numerous nautical words and terms that are not included. Some of these omissions pertain to basic terms that a total "lubber" would be stumped by, and there are many that a nautical buff would also be challenged by. Perhaps a future edition would benefit from a more thorough inexing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Which it is essential reading, 11 May 2013
By 
Chris Howden (Glasgow Scotland) - See all my reviews
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If you have a case of the strong fives, this will set you to rights, any grass combing bugger or left handed hedge-creeper could use this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointing, 22 Jan 2012
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C. D. Armstrong (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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An enjoyable feature of the books is the use of words authentic to the age and subjects involved but in many cases strange to us today. I bought the book hoping to find a handy source of definitions but discovered that far too many of the strange words are not dealt with.
I would not recommend this to another O'Brian fan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars partial success, 12 Nov 2010
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The dictionary does a good job with the technical terms I think, though as another reviewer noted, a new edition could offer more unfamiliar words and perhaps pictures alongside each entry, where appropriate. There is a useful timeline of the Napoleonic era at the end, and the pictures are attractive.
However, I expected but did not find detailed historical and geographical background to each story in the Aubrey/Maturin series. There is almost no such content at all. In fact, there are surprisingly few references to the books themselves and the plots.
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