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21

O'Brian, Patrick
The last book of Patrick O'Brian. Only a few pages were written. I wish the publisher had typescript the last few hand-written pages, I was unable to read them!

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8/2012

Blue At The Mizzen

O'Brian, Patrick
Well, here we are at the last book published during the author's lifetime. Things are looking up!

Words I Had To Look Up:

fritillaries (pg. 52) -- Well, it's a kind of plant. That's what I get from wikipedia.
Lammas (pg. 52) -- August 1st is Lammas Day, a festival of the wheat harvest.
distraints (pg. 53) -- The legal right of a landlord to obtain a court order and seize tenants'possessions to pay for back rent.
euphroes (pg. 234) -- A suspended batten or plate of wood or brass pierced with holes through which the cords of a crowfoot are rove to suspend an awning.

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8/2012

Desolation Island

O'Brian, Patrick
Jack and Stephen get ponged by an Antarctic iceberg.

Words I Had To Look Up:

Clarissa Harlowe (pg. 164) -- The heroine of one of Richardson's novels, exhibiting a female character which, as described by him, is pronounced to be "one of the brightest triumphs in the whole range of imaginative literature," is described by Stopford Brooke "as the pure and ideal star of womanhood." Interesttingly, the famous nurse Clara Barton's real name is Clarissa Harlowe Barton.
vitiated air (pg. 267) -- To reduce the value or impair the quality of.

Quote:

"What's the buzz, Bob?" -- (pg. 157)

Quote:

...and she had read right through Clarissa Harlowe without hanging herself (although that was sometimes only for want of a convenient hook)... -- (pg. 164)

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8/2012

H.M.S. Surprise

O'Brian, Patrick
Aubrey heads off to India.

Words I Had To Look Up:::

the ladies of the town had sequi me (pg. 107) -- "Follow me"

madder (pg. 149) -- A red dye made from Rubia tinctorum.

spirketing (pg. 204) -- The planking from the waterways up to the port sills.

ultima Thule (pg. 269) -- A distant unknown region; the extreme limit of travel and discovery.

Heautontimoroumenos (pg. 283) -- The title of a Latin play by Terence, an adaptation of an earlier Greek work.

Batavia (pg. 327) -- The name of Jakarta, Indonesia (formerly Dutch East Indies) during the colonial period.

...ast illi solvuntur frigore membra... (pg. 384) -- But the other's limbs are benumbed by cold, and injured life with a groan flees beneath the shadows.

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6/2012

Master And Commander

O'Brian, Patrick
Jack Aubrey receives his first command, the sloop/brig Sophie, and sails around the Med during the 1800s. Reading the paperback edition with tiny little letters was a chore!

Words I Had To Look Up:

creta alba (pg. 229) -- Chalk or calcium carbonate. There's a web site for this stuff at Master and Commander medical terms

barca-Longa (pg. 253) -- A two or three-masted lugger found on the coasts of Spain and Portugal as well as more widely in the Mediterranean Sea. And here I thought it was some kind of reclining chair!

membrum virile (pg. 345) -- Uh, penis.

squills (pg. 348) -- Sea squill is a bulb which sends up a tall stalk topped by an inflorescence of small white flowers, followed by a rosette of large dull green leaves, that last until the following summer. The bulb can get quite large, reaching over five pounds in weight.

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1/2012

Post Captain

O'Brian, Patrick
Jack gets promoted.

Words I Had To Look Up:

to lie in such a dismal plash (pg. 176) -- A heavy rain.
No Gretna Green (pg. 199) -- A village in Scottland where many eloping couples are married.
coxcombery (pg. 300) -- Behavior that is characteristic of a coxcomb : foppery.
fanfaronade (pg. 300) -- Empty boasting.
sharks are mostly gammon (pg. 300) -- Misleading or nonsensical talk; humbug.
an unrivalled cholagogue (pg. 332) -- A cholagogue is a medicinal agent which promotes the discharge of bile from the system, purging it downward..

Quote:

...a thunderous, long, long fart.
"I beg your pardon," said the midshipman in the silence.
"Oh, that's all right," said Diana coldly. "I thought it was the horse." -- pg. 46

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1/2012

The Commodore

O'Brian, Patrick
Jack and Stephen head off to Africa to harry some slavers, then up to Ireland to thwart the French. Tears of joy at the end.

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8/2012

The Far Side Of The World

O'Brian, Patrick
Jack and Steven go off to the Pacific chasing an American warship.

Words I Had To Look Up:

Quo me rapis (pg. 52) -- Interpetations abound. From Horace, "where are you carrying me off to?"

deodands (pg. 52) -- An object or instrument which becomes forfeit because it has caused a person's death.

empiric (pg. 54) -- One who is guided by practical experience rather than precepts or theory, or, an unqualified or dishonest practitioner; a charlatan. Well, that clears it up!

Cadmus (pg. 66) -- When he sowed the dragon's teeth armed men sprang up.

portable soup (pg. 66) -- A precursor to boullion.

she was in kindle (pg. 222) -- To give birth to young.

Marquesas (pg. 235) -- Islands in French Polynesia.

volto sciolto pensieri stretti (pg. 249) -- Open face, concealed thoughts.

il faut souffrir pour Ítre beau (pg. 298) -- One must suffer in order to be beautiful.

Old Sodbury's Island (pg. 330) -- Fictional island.

Juan FernŠndez (pg. 351) -- Island chain off the coast of Chile.

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7/2012

The Fortune Of War

O'Brian, Patrick
Jack and Stephen are captured by the Americans and held in Boston.

Words I Had To Look Up:

titivated (pg. 42) -- To make decorative additions to; spruce up.
drabogues (pg.224) -- Slut, whores, trollops.
hussif (pg. 234) -- Case for needles, thread etc.
vinolent (pg. 252) -- Given to wine; drunken; intemperate.
kevel (pg. 272) -- A strong bitt, cleat, or bollard for securing heavy hawsers.

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8/2012

The Hundred Days

O'Brian, Patrick
Jack and Stephen thwart the Frenchie's plans in the Med. Why oh why did the author feel it necessary to kill off my favorite character, even though my least-favorite character died too?

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8/2012

The Ionian Mission

O'Brian, Patrick
Jack and Stephen end up back on the Surprise in Greece.

Words I Had To Look Up:

barge-pole (pg. 18) -- A long pole used to propel or guide a barge. Also called a quant pole.

Jew-man from Mogador (pg. 85) -- Portuguese name for city of Essaouira in Morroco. What's this got to do with birds? I don't know.

puddings (pg. 76) -- Puddening: A quantity of rope-yarn, or the like, placed, as a fender, on the bow of a boat, or, a bunch of soft material to prevent chafing between spars, or the like. Also called pudding.

pinnace (pg. 87) -- Small boat, could be rowed or sailed.

Bonhomme Richard (pg. 280) -- Can't be John Paul Jones' ship, that was sunk in 1779. Maybe a fictional "what if it wasn't sunk" scenario.

struck down by a levinflash (pg. 302) -- Lightning flash. "Levin" is an archaic term for lightning, from Middle English.

weather-helm (pg. 306) -- The tendency of a sailing vessel to turn up into the wind. In general having a slight weather helm is considered a good characteristic since it gives the boat tight steering and stops the vessel when the helm is left untended.

hartshorn (pg. 329) -- An aqueous ammonia solution used as smelling salts, formerly prepared from the horns of deer.

fearnought screens (pg. 355) -- A covering for the hatches of thick felt. moistened with water.

Shiver the foretopsail (pg. 357) -- To cause (a sail) to flutter by sailing too close to the wind.

Quote:

For me tobacco is the crown of the meal, the best opening to a day, a great enhancer of the quality of life. (pg. 212)

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7/2012

The Letter Of Marque

O'Brian, Patrick
Aubrey goes off a'privateering in the Surprise.

Words I Had To Look Up:

Papin's digester (pg. 610) -- A high-pressure cooker, precursor to the domestic pressure cooker.

beck (pg. 109) -- A gesture requesting attention, such as a nod or wave.

Quote:

"...otherwise it [laudanum] is no more injurious than smoking tobacco." (pg. 56)

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7/2012

The Mauritius Command

O'Brian, Patrick
Aubrey heads off to Reunion to do battle with the French. Hey, don't I have a postcard from there?

Words I Had To Look Up::

plum-duff (pg. 193) -- A stiff flour pudding steamed or boiled usually and containing e.g. currants and raisins and citron.

red Constantia and a drowned baby (pg. 327) -- A type of suet pudding, if you can imagine!

young Stupor Mundi (pg. 334) -- The wonder of the world, referring to Jack's new son.

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7/2012

The Nutmeg Of Consolation

O'Brian, Patrick
Jack and Stephen sail off to Australia in the Nutmeg. I really enjoyed this one. The polar bear story nearly made me weep. And doesn't EVERYONE know about the platypus poisonous spike? Well, I guess not, back then.

Words I Had To Look Up:

widow's cruse (pg. 46) -- An endless or unfailing source of supply. [allusion to I Kings 17:16].

‚ge ingrat (pg. 93) -- Adolenscence.

nacreous flesh (pg. 06) -- Resembling nacre; lustrous; pearly.

marthambles (pg. 132) -- Research seems to say that O'Brian got the word from an old pamphlet or poster, but the disease is not real.

galley-ranger (pg. 132) -- An unpopular man who is forced to mess by himself having been turned away from all of the messes in a ship.

vails (pg. 263) -- Take off one's hat or otherwise show respect or submission to someone.

Quote:

Oh what a glorious name for a tight, sweet, newly-coppered, broad-buttocked little ship, a solace to any man's heart. (pg. 80)

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7/2012

The Reverse Of The Medal

O'Brian, Patrick
Jack get caught up in a political scheme and is possibly kicked out of the Navy. Next book!

Words I Had To Look Up:

Honi soit qui mal y pense (pg. 48) -- Shamed be he who thinks evil of it.

lucas a non lucendo (pg. 180) -- Literally, "[called] a grove for being unlit", but used as "a contradiction in terms, often with facetious intent", used here in comment on the rose garden with no roses.

quasi pannus menstruat (pg. 241) -- "Like a menstrual cloth", is probably referring to Ezekiel 36:17, likening human justice to a woman's unclean rag.

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7/2012

The Surgeon's Mate

O'Brian, Patrick
Jack and Steven sail to the Baltic to capture a fort. From Nova Scotia to England to the Baltic to Paris, they really are getting around. Oh, and S. marries D., right at the end! Finally!

Words I Had To Look Up:

Minorca (pg. 27) -- One of those islands just east of Spain that I keep forgetting about.

marelle (pg. 139) -- The game of Hopscotch, in French.

le porc inentame (pg. 153) -- Google translate says "pork unimpaired", but the POB Wiki says "the pig not yet cut up". Whatever THAT means!

Grimsholm (pg. 170) -- Fictional fortress on the south of Finland.

vixi puellis nuper idoneus (pg. 176) -- From the POB wiki - "recently I led a life congenial to girls".

Horace's lustra decem (pg. 176) -- From the POB wiki, ten five-year religious cycles. Fifty years old?

Nessus' shirt (pg. 177) -- The poisoned shirt that killed Heracles.

the Mouse (pg. 188) -- A shoal in the Thames.

a whole tun of wisdom (pg. 220) -- A large cask for liquids, especially wine.

avisoes (pg. 232) -- An aviso, a kind of dispatch boat or advice boat.

the lost small bower (pg. 244) -- The main anchor. A smaller main anchor?

Draw, incest (pg. 246) -- I have no idea what Jagiello is saying to the Dane. On later reflection...I still have NO idea!

one even observed Non olet in an undertone. (pg. 265) -- Pecunia non olet ("money does not stink")

amor vincit omnia (pg. 339) -- Love conquers all.

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7/2012

The Thirteen Gun Salute

O'Brian, Patrick
James and Steven take the Diane to Pulo Prabang.

Words I Had To Look Up:

Pulo Prabang (pg. 160) -- Not sure if fictional, but seems to be in the Lingga Islands, south of Malaysia.

Chinese clepsydra (pg. 204) -- Greek word for water clock.

the False Natunas (pg. 266) -- Seems to be a fictional place.

pugil (pg. 274) -- As much as is taken up between the thumb and two first fingers. It says this in the text, I just want to remember it.

Quote:

"I will tell you what, Maturin, if this baby of ours has anything like the discontented, bilious, liverish expression you have brought from town, it shall be changed out of hand for something more cheerful from the Foundling Hospital." (pg. 16) Oh, Diana!

The Truelove

O'Brian, Patrick
Jack find a stowaway that one of the midshipmen has smuggled aboard.

Words I Had To Look Up:

Jemmy Ducks (pg. 24) -- A nickname for the crewman assigned to care for the fowl on a ship.
monstrous pines (pg. 43) -- Norfolk Island trees, conifers, but not true pines. Captain Cook thought they would be good for masts, but they proved to not be strong enough.
Tace is the Latin for a candlestick (pg. 45) -- The correct word in Latin for a candle is candela; tace is the imperative tense of the usual verb for Ďbe silentí
clean sweep (pg. 86) -- Removing wall and furniture in order to fire all the guns on a ship.
his immense deserts (pg. 109) -- I always forget this word also means a reward or punishment.
farinaceous (pg. 133) -- Having a mealy or powdery texture.
foeda est in coitu et brevis voluptas (pg. 165) -- There is a dirtiness in copulation, and [only] a quick pleasure.
sic erimus cuncti postquam nos auferet Orcus ergo vivamus dum licet esse, bene (pg. 200) -- Thus we will all be, after Orcus [god of the underworld] bears us off. Therefore let us live well, for so long as it is allowed.
give way (pg. 228) -- 'Way' is a ship's progress through the water.

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8/2012

The Wine-Dark Sea

O'Brian, Patrick
Stephen gets to eat furry pets in Peru.

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8/2012

The Yellow Admiral

O'Brian, Patrick
Jack gets assigned to a 74 blockading the French.

Words I Had To Look Up:

melanistic (pg. 11) -- All-black fur, skin, or feathers.

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8/2012
20 books displayed
[O'Brian- O'Brian] [O'Brian- Osa] [Owens- Owens] 

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