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Patrick O'Brian

Patrick O'Brian's acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series of historical novels has been described as "a masterpiece" (David Mamet, New York Times), "addictively readable" (Patrick T. Reardon, Chicago Tribune), and "the best historical novels ever written" (Richard Snow, New York Times Book Review), which "should have been on those lists of the greatest novels of the 20th century" (George Will).

Set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, O'Brian's twenty-volume series centers on the enduring friendship between naval officer Jack Aubrey and physician (and spy) Stephen Maturin. The Far Side of the World, the tenth book in the series, was adapted into a 2003 film directed by Peter Weir and starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany. The film was nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture. The books are now available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book format.

In addition to the Aubrey/Maturin novels, Patrick O'Brian wrote several books including the novels Testimonies, The Golden Ocean, and The Unknown Shore, as well as biographies of Joseph Banks and Picasso. He translated many works from French into English, among them the novels and memoirs of Simone de Beauvoir, the first volume of Jean Lacouture's biography of Charles de Gaulle, and famed fugitive Henri Cherriere's memoir Papillon. O'Brian died in January 2000.

Books by Patrick O'Brian

  1. Book Cover21: The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey

    To the delight of millions of Patrick O'Brian fans, here is the final, partial installment of the Aubrey/Maturin series, for the first time in paperback.More

  2. Book CoverBlue at the Mizzen

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

  3. Book CoverA Book of Voyages

    Honoring Patrick O’Brian’s centenary, a collection of his favorite travel pieces, replete with perils, discomforts, and exotic pleasures.More

  4. Book CoverCaesar: The Life Story of a Panda-Leopard

    "O'Brian was only 15 when [Caesar] was published, but he already possessed an instinct for deft plotting and uncomplicated narrative."—The New York TimesMore

  5. Book CoverThe Catalans: A Novel

    "One of the best novelists since Jane Austen."—Philadelphia InquirerMore

  6. Book CoverThe Coming of Age

    As the definitive study of the universal problem of growing old, The Coming of Age is "a brilliant achievement" (Marc Slonin, New York Times).More

  7. Book CoverThe Commodore

    The seventeenth novel in the best-selling Aubrey/Maturin series of naval tales, which the New York Times Book Review has described as "the best historical novels ever written."More

  8. Book CoverThe Complete Aubrey/Maturin Novels

    “The best historical novels ever written.”—Richard Snow, New York Times Book ReviewMore

  9. Book CoverDesolation Island

    "The relationship [between Aubrey and Maturin] about the best thing afloat....For Conradian power of description and sheer excitement there is nothing in naval fiction to beat the stern chase as the outgunned Leopard staggers through mountain waves in icy latitudes to escape the Dutch seventy-four."—Stephen Vaughan, ObserverMore

  10. Book CoverThe Far Side of the World

    The inspiration for the major new motion picture starring Russell Crowe.

  11. Book CoverThe Fortune of War

    "A marvellously full-flavoured, engrossing book, which towers over its current rivals in the genre like a three-decker over a ship's longboat."—Times Literary SupplementMore

  12. Book CoverThe Golden Ocean

    The first novel Patrick O'Brian ever wrote about the sea, a precursor to the acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series.More

  13. Book CoverH. M. S. Surprise

    "The best historical novels ever written."—Richard Snow, New York Times Book ReviewMore

  14. Book CoverHussein: An Entertainment

    A glittering adventure set in India at the height of the British Raj. The New York Times compared this book to Kipling's Kim and called it "a gorgeous entertainment."More

  15. Book CoverThe Ionian Mission

    "O'Brian is one author who can put a spark of character into the sawdust of time, and The Ionian Mission is another rattling good yarn." —Stephen Vaughan, The ObserverMore

  16. Book CoverThe Letter of Marque

    "Fine stuff...[The Letter of Marque] leaves the devotee of naval fiction eager for sequels."—Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book WorldMore

  17. Book CoverMaster and Commander

    The beginning of the sweeping Aubrey-Maturin series. "The best sea story I have ever read."—Sir Francis ChichesterMore

  18. Book CoverThe Mauritius Command

    "Jack's assignment: to capture the Indian Ocean islands of Réunion and Mauritius from the French. That campaign forms the narrative thread of this rollicking sea saga. But its substance is more beguiling still..."—Elizabeth Peer, NewsweekMore

  19. Book CoverThe Nutmeg of Consolation

    "[The series shows] a joy in language that jumps from every page....You're in for a wonderful voyage."—Cutler Durkee, PeopleMore

  20. Book CoverPicasso: A Biography

    "The best biography of Picasso."—Kenneth ClarkMore

  21. Book CoverPost Captain

    "Master and Commander raised almost dangerously high expectations, Post Captain triumphantly surpasses them...a brilliant book." —Mary RenaultMore

  22. Book CoverThe Rendezvous and Other Stories

    A collection of startlingly vivid short stories from Patrick O'Brian, author of the highly acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series.More

  23. Book CoverThe Reverse of the Medal

    "An overwhelming, outstanding novel...!"—Irish TimesMore

  24. Book CoverRichard Temple: A Novel

    "One of the best novelists since Jane Austen."—Philadelphia InquirerMore

  25. Book CoverThe Road to Samarcand: An Adventure

    O'Brian's richly told adventure saga, with its muscular prose, supple dialogue and engaging characters, packs a nice old-school punch." --Publishers WeeklyMore

  26. Book CoverThe Surgeon's Mate

    "Vividly detailed 19th-century settings and dramatic tension punctuated with flashes of wry humor make O'Brian's nautical adventure a splendid treat."—Publishers WeeklyMore

  27. Book CoverTestimonies: A Novel

    "A welcome reissue of O'Brian's moving and very fine first novel."—Kirkus ReviewsMore

  28. Book CoverThe Thirteen Gun Salute

    "In length the series is unique; in quality—and there is not a weak link in the chain—it cannot but be ranked with the best of twentieth century historical novels."—T. J. Binyon, IndependentMore

  29. Book CoverTreason's Harbour

    "The finest writer of sea-stories in the English language."—J. de Courcy IrelandMore

  30. Book CoverThe Truelove

    The fifteenth installment in Patrick O'Brian's widely claimed series of Aubrey/Maturin novels is in equal parts mystery, adventure, and psychological drama.More

  31. Book CoverThe Unknown Shore

    An immediate precursor to Patrick O'Brian's acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series, displaying all the splendid prose and attention to detail that O'Brian's readers expect.More

  32. Book CoverThe Wine-Dark Sea

    The sixteenth volume in the Aubrey/Maturin series, and Patrick O'Brian's first bestseller in the United States.More

  33. Book CoverThe Yellow Admiral

    "There are those already planning this afternoon's trip to the bookstore. Their only reaction is: Thank god, Patrick O'Brian is still writing. To you, I say, not a moment to lose."—John Balzar, Los Angeles TimesMore