The Wine-dark Sea

Patrick O’Brian

At the opening of a voyage filled with disaster and delight, Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are in pursuit of a privateer sailing under American colours through the Great South Sea. Stephen’s objective is to set the revolutionary tinder of South America ablaze to relieve the pressure on the British government which has blundered into war with the young and uncomfortably vigorous United States. The shock and barbarity of hand-to-hand fighting are sharpened by O’Brian’s exact sense of period, his eye for landscape and his feel for a ship under sail.

Reviews of The Wine-dark Sea

  • ‘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 Myers, 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 depth of sympathy than the vessels he describes, a rare achievement save in the greatest writers of this genre. It deserves the widest readership.’ Irish Times