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Patrick O'Brian : a life revealed

Author: Dean King
Publisher: New York : H. Holt, 2000.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In 1991, when The New York Times Book Review proclaimed Patrick O'Brian the writer of "the greatest historical novels ever written," making him an overnight sensation in the United States, O'Brian was already in his mid-70s and had already had two distinct and remarkable writing careers. In less than a decade, O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series, ultimately 20 novels strong, became an unprecedented literary juggernaut,
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Details

Genre/Form: Biography
Named Person: Patrick O'Brian; Patrick O'Brian; Patrick O'Brian
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Dean King
ISBN: 0805059768 9780805059762
OCLC Number: 42437180
Description: xviii, 397 pages, [16] pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: Introduction --
Prologue : London, July 1945 --
Part one : Green. A top hat, a clean collar, and clean boots, 1850-1900 --
Walden, 1914-1922 --
The pen mightier than the pain, 1923-1930 --
Part two : Red. Beasts royal, 1930-1934 --
Darwinian pursuits, 1934-1939 --
Blood, sweat, toil, and tears, 1940-1943 --
An Irishman is born, 1943-1946 --
Part three : Slate. The last approach to the mansion of Pluto, 1946-1947 --
Moelwyn Bank, 1948-1949 --
Part four : Azure. The last stronghold of poets and painters, 1949-1953 --
The Catalans, 1953-1955 --
Voyaging with Commodore Anson, 1955-1959 --
Temple and Beauvoir, 1960-1966 --
Master and Commander, 1967-1969 --
An epic is launched, 1970-1973 --
Becoming Picasso, 1973-1976 --
Part five : Deep blue. At sea again, 1976-1978 --
Writing with stunsails aloft and alow, 1978-1984 --
Singing of Sir Joseph, 1985-1986 --
Sailing in the trade winds, 1987-1990 --
Part six : Gold. The best writer you never heard of? 1990-1992 --
The wages of fame, 1993-1994 --
The Commodore's second triumphal tour, 1995-1996 --
A night of honor, October 11, 1996 --
Epilogue.
Responsibility: Dean King.
More information:

Abstract:

In 1991, when The New York Times Book Review proclaimed Patrick O'Brian the writer of "the greatest historical novels ever written," making him an overnight sensation in the United States, O'Brian was already in his mid-70s and had already had two distinct and remarkable writing careers. In less than a decade, O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series, ultimately 20 novels strong, became an unprecedented literary juggernaut, with legions of devoted fans around America and around the world. With O'Brian's death in January 2000, curiosity about the carefully guarded secrets of his life has peaked. Here, Dean King tells the story of a man, an artist and an intellectual, born Richard Patrick Russ, who first achieves literary recognition as an adolescent, when he publishes a series of popular adventure stories. After the Second World War, he emerges as Patrick O'Brian, a writer of dark, sometimes tortured short stories and highly literary novels. He enjoys success as a translator, even as a biographer. Slowly, the O'Brian persona, forged in his own imagination and refined by years of rumor and speculation, takes form, until his ultimate triumphant arrival as a masterful historical novelist and chronicler of the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars. O'Brian's past -- both real and imagined -- is linked directly to his writing, as he drew deeply on the painful events of his early life. It has long been assumed that he himself was the model for the polymathic naval surgeon and intelligence agent Stephen Maturin, who, along with rough-and-tumble Captain Jack Aubrey, forms the heart of O'Brian's monumental roman-fleuve. The truth is more complex: each of these indelible characters is wholly original, yet in each we can hear deep echoes of O'Brian's own history. King's biography, the first ever of this famously secretive man, is an extraordinary achievement, a vivid, searing portrait of an intense and complex human being, whose grudges were as fiercely held as his loyalties; who was as famous for orneriness as he was for brilliant artistic creation; and whose encyclopedic knowledge of everything from ornithology to Catalan history delighted hundreds of thousands of readers and will surely enthrall generations to come. - Jacket flap.

"Tells the story of a man, an artist and an intellectual, born Richard Patrick Russ, who first achieves literary recognition as an adolescent, when he publishes a series of popular adventure stories. After the Second World War, he emerges as Patrick O'Brian, a writer of dark, sometimes tortured short stories and highly literary novels". -- Jacket.

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