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H.M.S. Surprise

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Perfect Duet Advent Calendar 2016 [15 Nov 2016|08:25pm]

Perfect Duet, the comm for all things Master and Commander: Books and Movie, will be celebrating the Advent and Christmas season with a new version of the Advent Calendar 2016.

We cannot do it alone, so we invite you to join in the fun.

How it works:
1) For Livejournal, please comment at Perfect Duet here or at Perfect Duet’s sister comm on Dreamwidth to pick a date.
2) We'll add your name to the list. If someone's already claimed that date, we'll ask you to pick another.
3) If there are still dates left in a few days, you can sign up for additional dates.
4) Spread the word! Let people on tumblr and elsewhere know about the sign-up post!
5) On your assigned day, post something here (and/or at the dreamwidth comm) that's related to Master and Commander. It could be fic, podfic, art, vids, craftwork, meta, recs, anything that will brighten your fellow Aubreyad fans' day. (If you want to post elsewhere you can - just let us know so we can post a link to it here. We'll crosspost links from LJ to DW and vice versa.)

Pray sign up.

We are all looking forward to hearing from you.
look, an albatross!

Join a Voyage as Epic as the Odyssey and the Illiad Rolled into One [29 Jun 2012|11:09pm]

We first sailed with Surprise and other ships of the Aubreyad from December 12, 2007 to June 24th, 2012.

We will soon be leaving Port Mahón for Battles! Spies! Hot Chicks! Uniforms! Aardvarks! Shipwrecks! Traumatic Historical Medicine! Cannon! Sea Monsters! Prisons! Ships, Sloops, Frigates, Really Big Boats! Storms! Fighting Naturalists! Wombats! Duels! Puns! A lot of English Countryside! Even more Exotic Locations! Immense Amounts of Water!in O’Brian’s books, which all want to be re-discovered.


We will read and discuss one chapter per weekend, starting with Master and Commander, Chapter One on July 13th, 2012 on Dreamwidth, the home of the Second Read. LJ’s MandC_Read is an emergency comm only.

Please note that discussion is likely to involve "adult" themes, including (but not limited to) sex, violence and trigonometry. In addition, while this is not a slash comm, it is slash-friendly. If you are not old enough or do not wish to deal with these themes, please be responsible and don't participate.

X-posted to Anything_AOS, Perfect_Duet, HMS_Surprise and to Dreamwidth
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Reviving Surprise [15 Apr 2012|08:33pm]

As there never can be enough of the dear frigate who will never be old, I looked up the wiki entry for Surprise (replica ship) and was delighted to find a link there to
Reviving Surprise about the Reconfiguration of 'HMS' Rose into 'HMS' Surprise for Her Role in 'Master and Commander', and Restoring her Certification as presented to the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, San Diego Section on October 16, 2007
4 surprises| look, an albatross!

Patrick O'Brian on BBC Radio 4ex [05 Jan 2012|12:18pm]

HMS Surprise, episode 1
"Sea battles, political intrigue and romantic rivalry set in 1804, as Captain Aubrey tackles a secret mission. Stars David Robb."

It's a three-part dramatization, and all three parts are currently available. I haven't listened to them yet, but who'd pass up POB on the BBC? Enjoy!
3 surprises| look, an albatross!

On quails [05 Jan 2012|10:01am]

[ mood | amused ]

'Sure a quail is a very acceptable dish,' said Stephen to his first assistant, 'but, Mr Lewis, I cannot recommend the eating of her in her northward migration. Apart from the moral issue at this particular juncture, apart from the impiety that Mr Martin so rightly abhors, you are to observe that the quail, eating noxious seeds on the African main, may well be noxious herself. Remember Dioscorides' words; remember the miserable fate of the Hebrews...'

I've had the link to this article kicking about for ages, without ever remembering to post it - I think! If I posted it years ago, apologies.

Anyway, I was interested to find that although Stephen is perfectly capable of making up a story to protect the poor quails, in this case he appears to be telling the exact truth - at least from his western Mediterranean experience.

Quail using the eastern migratory flyway are toxic only during the southern, fall migration, while quail using the western flyway are toxic only during the northern, spring migration.

1 surprise| look, an albatross!

I am still very much alive and kicking [04 Jan 2012|01:20am]

Having been advised that my LJ has been purged, taking with it all comments made (as far as latin_cat could tell at the time), I feel that I need to inform those of you who remember me that I have not died or dropped off the face of the Internet.

I moved over to Dreamwidth in October 2010 over the Facebook/comments crossposting thing.

For those of you who would like to read my fics, they are located on Dreamwidth here at my fic journal [community profile] sharpiepen. If you want to comment to any of my fics, anonymous commenting is on, or you can set up an LJ-derived Open ID (click here to set this up).

I hope you are all well, and I have missed you - please come and drop me a line on Dreamwidth. It would be good to see you over there.
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Peter Calamy [11 Dec 2011|09:03pm]

Many of us still remember Max Benitz well as midshipman and acting lieutenant Peter Calamy.

How interesting that he should have shunned the movie world and rather went on to study soldiers' lives in Afghanistan plus write a book about his experience.
6 surprises| look, an albatross!

Edinburgh, anyone? [01 Dec 2011|06:42am]

As part of the events during the Cochrane Exhibition in Edinburgh, there will be the opportunity to watch Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World on the big screen on December 18th

Anybody in the vicinity grab that chance! (The exhibition is also a must for any AoS fan)
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E-Books [22 Nov 2011|07:05am]

The Patrick O’Brian books will be released in e-book format from December 5th, 2011 on.

Thought you’d like to know.


Also, Tor.com re-reads the Aubreyad

X-posted to
I had wanted to crosspost to obriansnavy too, to spread the word, but received this message instead:
Error updating journal: Client error: Maximum queued posts for this community+poster combination reached. Oh well, I simply did not want to see it going completely to sleep.
8 surprises| look, an albatross!

Cochrane Exhibition in Edinburgh [05 Oct 2011|10:31pm]

Since Patrick O’Brian’s Captain Jno Aubrey, RN is based on this gentleman, this exhibition may be interesting to AoS fans living in and around Edinburgh or planning to go there. Tthe National Museum of Scotland will be housing an exhibition on Thomas Lord Cochrane from October 7th on.

There will be many interesting events like a lecture by Dr David Cordingly who wrote the most recent and very well researched biography on Cochrane. It also looks as if there will be a showing of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World a.k.a. The Naval Romance.

x-posted to
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Was anyone recently on the I.O.W? [16 Aug 2011|07:52pm]

Hundreds of boats dropped anchor to watch a film on a huge screen at the world's first sail-in movie.

Luxury yachts, cruisers and small inflatables lined up off the coast of Cowes, Isle of Wight, to watch 'Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World'.

The film, which stars Russell Crowe, was shown on a 41ft x 21ft screen at the end of Cowes Week - the world's biggest sailing regatta.

What a splendid event it must have been. :D
4 surprises| look, an albatross!

The Mauritius Command - part 3 [17 Apr 2011|09:16pm]

This Sunday BBC radio 4 broadcast part 3 of The Mauritius Command and you will have a number of times to listen to it. :D

I blush to admit that though the music used in part 3 is ever so familiar to me, I cannot for the life of me think of the titles. Please help?

Thank you.

X-posted to anything_aos
X-posted to obriansnavy
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The Mauritius Command, part 2 [10 Apr 2011|06:10pm]

The Mauritius Command on BBC radio 4 extra:

Listen to part 2, where (as the Beeb describes it) Jack needs subtlety and subterfuge to win over his fleet’s crews and subordinate captains.

Jack? Subtlety?
*shakes head*

This part 2 is as charming as part 1, to which you can also still listen on the same page.


X-posted to anything_aos

X-posted to obriansnavy
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Donna Leon and Patrick O'Brian [11 Feb 2011|04:01pm]

Why not read Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti series in between the Aubreyad? Apart from describing murder, mayhem and corruption in Venice, Ms Leon writes about the everyday life of the Commissario and his family: wife Paola, son Raffi and 15-year-old daughter Chiara.

What, I hear you ask, is the point of this post?

A friend recently lent me Friends in High Places, saying that I would enjoy it. When I came to chapter 14, I knew why, and recognized myself in a teenage girl and a woman, both of them fictional.

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My thanks to Ms Leon.

X-posted with abandon to obriansnavy and mandc_read
2 surprises| look, an albatross!

Celebrity Mastermind [05 Jan 2011|05:44pm]

[ mood | pleased ]

Last night's Celebrity Mastermind had Michael Buerk answering questions on 'the Aubrey-Maturin novels of Patrick O'Brian' - it's on iPlayer (starting from about 07:00), but if you can't see that, the questions and possibly-invisible answers are below.

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20 surprises| look, an albatross!

Charles Darwin's ecological experiment on Ascension isle [02 Sep 2010|07:18pm]

Interesting article from the BBC here. It describes how Ascension Island was terraformed by Charles Darwin and the Royal Navy, resulting in a unique ecosystem of plants normally not found together. This seems like just the sort of project dear Stephen might have started, had he thought of it.
2 surprises| look, an albatross!

When was Dundas made Lieutenant? [31 Aug 2010|02:12pm]

I was skimming my nice new copy of the Muster Book when I noticed that it said that Jack was 5 years senior to Hen as lieutenant (in comparison, Hen was made Post earlier - though I can't remember if he was a Commander or Post in M&C). This was pretty curious to me since, after all, Hen has more influence than Jack, and one of the chief ways this helps is in taking the examination early. There are two things I can think of (or maybe both of them together):

1) Jack is a couple years older than Hen, and took his examination early himself. This is a bit tricky, since they're supposed to be very close in age and served together very early on.
2) Hen was posted to another station (West Indies? North America?) at the time he would have otherwise taken his examination and had to wait until he returned to Europe. If I remember correctly, at the point that Jack and Hen were taking the examination, you needed to go to the Admiralty itself, though this changed.

Any other ideas? I'm really in the middle of packing my house for moving (and may be delayed in responding) so I haven't the leisure to look other things up in my Muster Book (though for anyone else who has it, there is an entry on Jack's service prior to April 1800).

(the fact I can actually spell Lieutenant right without looking it up amuses me. I can't spell at all.)
8 surprises| look, an albatross!

Chatham Historic Dockyard: Bid for World Heritage Site status [23 Aug 2010|10:28pm]

Calling AoS fans!

Chatham Historic Dockyard is the most complete Georgian/Victorian dockyard in the world, and is therefore of major interest to AoS fans the world over. It is in the running for World Heritage Site status.

For more information, and to support their bid, check this link
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HMS Surprise on BBC Radio 4 [19 Aug 2010|04:40pm]

You can catch it here if you missed it the first time around.
1 surprise| look, an albatross!

19th-century ship found: the Investigator (and a song) [10 Aug 2010|03:18pm]

A generation or two after our beloved Aubrey and Maturin, but (I hope) still of interest!

Click for a link to the news story AND a song to download.
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