Stock Image

Blue at the Mizzen.

Nautical Fiction] O'Brian, Patrick.

4,999 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0393048446 / ISBN 13: 9780393048445
Published by Norton, New York, 1999
From Gregor Rare Books (Langley, WA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since 26 April 1997

Seller Rating 5-star rating

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: 59.74 Convert Currency
Shipping: 0 Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

About this Item

A Fine copy in a Fine unclipped dust jacket. This volume in the Aubry/Maturin series sends the HMS Surprise to South America where she and her crew take on the Spanish fleet in a desperate sea battle to help Chile assert her independence from Spain. Catalog Wine. Bookseller Inventory # 22471

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: Blue at the Mizzen.

Publisher: Norton, New York

Publication Date: 1999

Edition: First Printing of the First US Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

"The old master has us again in the palm of his hand."?Los Angeles Times (a Best Book of 1999)

Napoleon has been defeated at Waterloo, and the ensuing peace brings with it both the desertion of nearly half of Captain Aubrey's crew and the sudden dimming of Aubrey's career prospects in a peacetime navy. When the Surprise is nearly sunk on her way to South America?where Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are to help Chile assert her independence from Spain?the delay occasioned by repairs reaps a harvest of strange consequences.

The South American expedition is a desperate affair; and in the end Jack's bold initiative to strike at the vastly superior Spanish fleet precipitates a spectacular naval action that will determine both Chile's fate and his own.

Review:

Almost three decades after commencing his maritime epic with Master and Commander, Patrick O'Brian is still at it. The 20th episode, Blue at the Mizzen, is another swashbuckling adventure on the high seas, complete with romantic escapades from smoggy London to Sierra Leone, diplomacy, espionage, the intricacies of warfare, and imperial brinksmanship. As always, these events are bound up in the ongoing friendship between two officers of the Royal Navy. Jack Aubrey is the naval captain, bold yet compassionate, innovative yet cautious, as fearless in war as he is bumbling in affairs of the heart and household. His boon companion Stephen Maturin is the ship's surgeon--and additionally a spy for the British government, a wealthy Catalonian aristocrat, a doting Irish father, and an avid naturalist.

That may sound like a lot to keep track of. However, it's not necessary to carry around a scorecard or ship's roster while reading Blue at the Mizzen. The ostensible issue is whether Jack will finally be promoted to Admiral of the Blue. But long before he hears any word from the Napoleonic era's equivalent of Personnel, he loses half his crew to desertion, his ship undergoes a disastrous collision, and the entire company comes close to perishing in the ice-choked seas off Cape Horn. Meanwhile, the widowed Maturin issues a surprising proposal of marriage to a beautiful, mud-bespattered fellow naturalist while trekking through an African mangrove swamp. (The two lovebirds happen to be searching for a rare variant of Caprimulgus longipennis, the long-tailed nightjar, which they hope to surprise in full mating plumage.)

Still, this is hardly a plot-driven novel. O'Brian takes time to get anywhere, and invariably enjoys the journey more than the arrival. So even as we get constant hints of the climax to come--Jack's spectacular naval action on behalf of the infant Republic of Chile--we don't mind hearing about the nuances of shipboard existence or the secret life of the white-faced tree duck. We're treated, for example, to this snippet about managed care, circa 1816:

Poll, Maggie and a horse-leech from the starboard watch have been administering enemas to the many, many cases of gross surfeit that have now replaced the frostbites, torsions, and debility of the recent past, the very recent past. Strong, fresh, seal-meat has not its equal for upsetting the seaman's metabolism: he is much better kept on biscuits, Essex cheese, and a very little well-seethed salt pork--kept on short commons.
And we're grateful! We can only hope that the elderly author will favor us with at least one more novel, so that his avid followers can avoid their own form of short commons. Life without Aubrey and Maturin would be a deprivation indeed. --Andrew Himes

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

We operate an open shop at 197A Second Street in the beautiful waterfront Book Town of Langley, Washington on Whidbey Island just north of Seattle. We are open daily at 10:00 am; closing times are variable. Sunday's are by chance.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

PLEASE CONFIRM AVAILABILITY DIRECTLY WITH GREGOR BOOKS PRIOR TO PLACING YOUR
ORDER.
If you don't see something in our inventory, feel free to let us know what your specific wants are. We have success in locating hard to find books.
TERMS: All items are subject to prior sale. All items are first printings
unless otherwise stated. Autographs are guaranteed to be authentic and items
are returnable for any reason within 7 days of receipt. Washington
state residence will be charged 8.7% state sales t...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Orders usually ship within 1 business day. Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

Check Money Order Bank Draft Bank/Wire Transfer