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Old 28-01-2014, 11:57   #76
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Re: Master and Commander

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I admit I did laugh.
Don't forget he ended up with Lady Barbara, who was played by Virginia Mayo in the movie. Not bad.



She IS easy on the eyes. And so is he! Therein lies my problem with Hornblower, too goodie two shoes. He's not real. Aubrey is a fallible man. And I'll note he also missing an ear, heavily scarred facially as well as elsewhere, to the point of disfigurement, almost blind in one eye, over six and a half feet tall, weight once described by M. as "almost 24 stone" (which would be about 300 lbs!), and was easily mistaken for a bear when disguised as such! Aubrey ain't pretty, and he would eat a polite pretty boy like Hornblower for breakfast and come back for seconds in an altercation. Only "Mad" Davies is more terrifying on the enemies deck, Aubrey always leads his crew into battle from the front, and often uses weapons like a huge sweep or oar to batter multiple enemies at once due to his huge size. Hornblower could probably stick him with his wee small sword and Aubrey would laugh it off as yet another wound that would kill a lesser man, and then smash him, if he was in his battle rage. Russel Crowe- poor casting. Aubrey may have been pretty once, but he is blown up, shot, stabbed, and generally cut about countless times in the series. Later in life he is very self conscious about his disfigurement, especially after all his long hair is burnt off, but his men love him for it!


Oh, and as to casting; I just want to point out that the guy who played Barrett Bonden, boxing champion of the Meditteranean fleet and Aubrey's Cockswain, also played Peregrin Took in "The Lord of the Rings", a friggin Hobbit!
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Old 28-01-2014, 15:22   #77
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Re: Master and Commander

Yes, Hornblower is the clean cut RN officer perfect as a recruiting poster where as Aubrey is more real life for the wars against France. Nelson was a mess physically and mentally before he was killed, and Aubrey, at least shares the physical cost of a RN officer of the time.
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Old 28-01-2014, 15:50   #78
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Re: Master and Commander

I think a somewhat important difference between O'Brien's and Forester's novels is that Forester really knew a thing or two about the sea and the sailing...

Maritime novels of C.N.Parkinson are also well worth reading.

Best regards

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Old 28-01-2014, 16:29   #79
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Re: Master and Commander

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Yes, Hornblower is the clean cut RN officer perfect as a recruiting poster where as Aubrey is more real life for the wars against France. Nelson was a mess physically and mentally before he was killed, and Aubrey, at least shares the physical cost of a RN officer of the time.


Yes, Aubrey suffers 42 separate wounding incidents, many of them multiple wounds. Just read the Butcher's Bill!


Even Maturin is shocked after making a thorough accounting of his wounds later in life.


The Grapes: FAQ #4 The many wounds of Jack Aubrey
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Old 29-01-2014, 08:24   #80
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Re: Master and Commander

I wish people would at least spell the name of the author correctly. It's Patrick O'Brian with an "a".
The Youtube link to an interview earlier in this thread is not even with the author of the Aubrey & Maturin series, but with a different person ("Patrick O'Brien, Professor at the L.S.E. and sometime Director of the Institute of Historical Research in London").

That said, while Hornblower never did anything for me, I have read the entire Aubrey & Maturin series, right through to the unfinished last volume, with great delight two times and am looking forward to a third round one of these decades. And much of Patrick O'Brian's other stuff is stellar too, if one discounts the very early attempts such as Hussein. His first full-fledged (but relatively short) novel, Testimonies, is incredibly moving. Nothing to do with the sea though.

I had heard of Marryat but have never read him so far. However, this thread has inspired me to remedy that condition soon.

As for the Master and Commander film, I had fairly high hopes since I respect Peter Weir as a director (fully agree that Picnic at Hanging Rock is a masterpiece), but for me, M & C in its widescreen incarnation just never quite came together. The actors did a credible job, the degree of authenticity is impressive (even the faces of the extras are great), and the people involved in making the film clearly love the books, but I guess the challenge was just too great. I saw it twice in the cinema, and even bought the Blu-ray, but I am sorry to say that the extras on the disc are more interesting than the film itself. Still, it's a sight better than a lot of the schlock that comes out of Hollywood (inluding the recent "All Is Tossed" fiasco).
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Old 29-01-2014, 13:57   #81
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Re: Master and Commander

What a fascinating discussion, I have learnt a lot about a topic I was only vaguely aware of.
More recently I have been gathering material about a similar story and theme - Melville's - Billy Budd.

My interest began when I came across the old 1962 B&W movie with a young bleach blonde and very good looking Terence Stamp in the lead role and supported by Peter Ustinov.

Melvilles book was apparently published after his death from an incomplete manuscript which was initially badly edited. The final version has been praised by many literary figures as one of his best works.

Set aboard HMS Bellipotent in the year 1797 it is the story of ‘the handsome sailor’ Billy who, though a decent man and popular with his shipmates is treated badly by his master-at-arms called Claggart. Claggart falsely accuses him of fomenting mutiny and during an investigation Billy is provocated by him and strikes this unpleasant character down, killing him outright but unintentionally. This is because Billy has a stammer that prevents him from defending himself in words. The tale follows his trial under Captain Vere and his subsequent hanging. Vere is portrayed as a sympathetic man who recognises the unfairness of his decision but is forced by his understanding of the law and the culture on board the warship.

There are several interpretations of the novella. One is Melville was exploring and condemning the conflict between a good man and a bad law.

Others have noted Melvilles regular reference to Billy Budd's extraordinary good, where he is described by Captain Vere as "the young fellow who seems so popular with the men—Billy, the Handsome Sailor," have led to interpretations of a homoerotic sensibility in the novel.

Melville (and even the later 1962 movie) would have been unable to portray the bonding and sexual tension between men in the all male shipboard environment overtly.

The book has even been put to music and an opera by Benjamin Britten but I have been unable to track down any recording as yet.

I think Melville shows yet another side of 18th century maritime life and adventure that is important even if obscured by the social censorship of the day.

The book is out of copyright and is available for free download from multiple sources and the movie can be found as a torrent download.
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Old 29-01-2014, 21:35   #82
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Re: Master and Commander

Melville is fun! How about Henry Dana?
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:40   #83
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Re: Master and Commander

A must have book pwhen reading the OBrian series is 'Sea of Words" which defines the many old English terms OBrian used. These are not just sailing terms e. .g. Pinchfist lickpenny. Love the language.

OBrians series is by far more interesting in character developement and plot lines
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:44   #84
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Re: Master and Commander

BYW Dana was great. He too wrote "Dictionary of Sea Terms" but it focused on nautical terms. Easily found if you just google "Danaictionary of Sea Terms 1841/1851".
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:13   #85
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Re: Master and Commander

I am currently halfway through "The Wine Dark Sea" and loving every word of it. Since I have now acquired all the remaining books, I am in for an "O'Brian" month.
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:26   #86
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Re: Master and Commander

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I am currently halfway through "The Wine Dark Sea" and loving every word of it. Since I have now acquired all the remaining books, I am in for an "O'Brian" month.



I'm so jealous! It will be more of an O'Brian year though, I read pretty fast and there's no way I could read all his work in a month! A shame to start with Vol. 16 when the beginning is so good. The first two volumes are the best. Hope you enjoy!
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:36   #87
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Re: Master and Commander

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I'm so jealous! It will be more of an O'Brian year though, I read pretty fast and there's no way I could read all his work in a month! A shame to start with Vol. 16 when the beginning is so good. The first two volumes are the best. Hope you enjoy!
Oh dear - confusion reigns....



I am not starting with Vol 16. I started reading O'Brian about two or three years ago, but I used some Xmas vouchers for Amazon to complete my set. I started on Vol 1 and I needed to have two goes at it to get the 18th/19th Century language sorted out. After that it was plain sailing, by and large....

To date, my favourite book is "The Mauritius Command"
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:06   #88
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Re: Master and Commander

Both by the wind and sailing large, eh? O'Brian fan!
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:29   #89
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Re: Master and Commander

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Both by the wind and sailing large, eh? O'Brian fan!
I was wondering if you would pick that up...
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Old 03-02-2014, 12:00   #90
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Re: Master and Commander

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I was wondering if you would pick that up...


I can see why, after my previous confusion!
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