Blue at the Mizzen

Patrick O’Brian

This is the twentieth book in Patrick O’Brian’s highly acclaimed, bestselling series chronicling the adventures of lucky Jack Aubrey and his best friend Stephen Maturin, part ship’s doctor, part secret agent. The novel’s stirring action follows on from that of ‘The Hundred Days’. Napoleon’s hundred days of freedom and his renewed threat to Europe have ended at Waterloo and Aubrey has finally, as the title suggests, become a blue level admiral. He and Maturin have – at last – set sail on their much postponed mission to Chile. Vivid with the salty tang of life at sea, O’Brian’s writing is as powerful as ever whether he writes of naval hierarchies, night-actions or the most celebrated fictional friendship since that of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. ‘Blue at the Mizzen’ also brings alive the sights and sounds of revolutionary South America in a story as exciting as any O’Brian has written.

Reviews of Blue at the Mizzen

  • ‘If we had only two or three of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series, we would count ourselves lucky; with six or seven the author would be safely among the greats of historical fiction… This is great writing by an undiminished talent. Now on to Volume Twenty, and the liberation of Chile.’ William Waldegrave, Literary Review

    ‘Full of the energy that comes from a writer having struck a vein… Patrick O’Brian is unquestionably the Homer of the Napoleonic wars.’ James Hamilton-Paterson

    ‘You are in for the treat of your lives. Thank God for Patrick O’Brian: his genius illuminates the literature of the English language, and lightens the lives of those who read him.’ Kevin Meyers, Irish Times

    ‘In a highly competitive field it goes straight to the top. A real first-rater.’ Mary Renault

    ‘I never enjoyed a novel about the sea more. It is not only that the author describes the handling of a ship of 1800 with an accuracy that is as comprehensible as it is detailed, a remarkable feat in itself. Mr O’Brian’s three chief characters are drawn with no less sympathy that the vessels he describes, a rare achievement save in the greatest of writers of this genre. It deserves the widest readership.’ Irish Times