Patrick O'Brian

Patrick O'Brian

Known to the world at Patrick O'Brian, born in Ireland, in 1914 and educated by a governess before attending Trinity College in Dublin, this author lived out his fictional biography all his life. O'Brian was, in fact, born as Richard Patrick Russ in Buckinghamshire, England. His mother died of tuberculosis when he was four years old, and though his father was wealthy, he squandered much of his money. This left O'Brian attending a lesser boarding school in Devon. During his free time he enjoyed reading with adventure stories being his favorite. O'Brian started writing himself, penning his first novel at age 12. This book found a publisher three years later, and a second book was published in 1938. Marrying at an early age, O'Brian and his wife then had a son who survived and a daughter who later succumbed to spina bifida. He was working on life as a writer before World War II started.

Joining the war effort, O'Brian's job was in the Political Intelligence Division of the Foreign Office. While the war raged, O'Brian fell in love with Mary Wicksteed Tolstoy, a Russian countess originally born in England. Both saw the war end, and then divorced their spouses to marry each other. This began O'Brian's new life. He changed his last name from Russ to O'Brian, left England, and made a home with Mary out of a very small cottage in Southern France. The couple prevailed through various difficulties as the cottage didn't have any electricity or running water. It did, though, have a vineyard in the back.

In order to make money, O'Brian began translating people's works, such as Simone de Beauvoir, who wasn't known much beyond the French-speaking world. Another translation of O'Brians' was Papillon written by the Frenchman Henri Charriere and later made into a movie. Including a translation of Jean Lacouture's biography of Charles de Gaulle, O'Brian translated over 30 works from French to English, earning himself much respect. He also wrote historical novels and was a biographer himself. O'Brian painted a written picture of Pablo Picasso whom he got to know as the two men lived in the same town, Collioure. The famous painter later moved elsewhere, but not before O'Brian had gleaned enough information to chronicle his life.

Much of O'Brian's fame came from his series that he started in 1969. Master and Commander introduced readers to Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin. This historical adventure series totals twenty books and takes place primarily during the Napoleonic Wars. For almost two decades, O'Brian's books gained favor with the English, but most Americans had never heard of him. Then the publishing house W.W. Norton came across one of his novels and determined that they'd find a receptive American audience. Such was the case, and O'Brian's popularity grew, with his novels finding a place on the bestsellers list.

O'Brian wrote until the end of his life, finishing the final "Aubrey-Maturin" book shortly before his death. Always a recluse and staunchly protective of his privacy, O'Brian granted time to his publishers for publicity purposes and traveled when necessary. But, he rarely ventured into the busy world. His writing time was spent in his French cottage without a type writer or a word processor. O'Brian wrote all his works by hand.

When his wife, Mary, passed away two years before his own death, O'Brian mourned deeply. She'd always read his works first and had supported his efforts. Then, when Dean King researched O'Brian's life with the intent of writing a biography, O'Brian would have none of it. He'd wanted, most likely, to live out his fictionalized beginnings. Both King, and later in 2004, Nikolai Tolstoy, O'Brian's stepson, wrote biographys of the man's life, explaining to the world details of the recluse. O'Brian finished the final installment of his adventure series and spent time in New York with his publishers. A few short months later, O'Brian passed away on January 2, 2000, ironically in Dublin, Ireland, where he'd claimed he'd been born.

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Aubrey-Maturin Series

  1. Master and Commander (1969)
  2. Post Captain (1972)
  3. HMS Surprise (1973)
  4. The Mauritius Command (1977)
  5. Desolation Island (1978)
  6. The Fortune of War (1979)
  7. The Surgeon's Mate (1980)
  8. The Ionian Mission (1981)
  9. Treason's Harbour (1983)
  10. The Far Side of the World (1984)
  11. The Reverse of the Medal (1986)
  12. The Letter of Marque (1988)
  13. The Thirteen Gun Salute (1989)
  14. The Nutmeg of Consolation (1991)
  15. The Truelove (1992) – (Clarissa Oakes in the UK)
  16. The Wine-Dark Sea (1993)
  17. The Commodore (1995)
  18. The Yellow Admiral (1996)
  19. The Hundred Days (1998)
  20. Blue at the Mizzen (1999)
  21. 21: The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey (2004)
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25 Items found
21
Aubrey/Maturin #21
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Blue at the Mizzen
Aubrey/Maturin #20
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Desolation Island
Aubrey/Maturin #5
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
Far Side of the World
Aubrey/Maturin #10
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$8.00 (2 in stock)
Fortune of War
Aubrey/Maturin #6
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$6.50 (1 in stock)
Golden Ocean
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
H. M. S. Surprise
Aubrey/Maturin #3
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$6.50 (1 in stock)
H.M.S. Surprise
Aubrey/Maturin #3
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Hundred Days
Aubrey/Maturin #19
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
Ionian Mission
Aubrey/Maturin #8
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
Letter of Marque
Aubrey/Maturin #12
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
Lobscouse and Spotted Dog
by Anne Grossman & Lisa Grossman Thomas
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Cookbook for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$16.11
Master and Commander
Aubrey/Maturin #1
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$6.50 (1 in stock)
Mauritius Command
Aubrey/Maturin #4
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Men-of-War: Life in Nelson's Navy
by Patrick O'Brian
1st Us Edition from W. W. Norton and Co.
for 5th-10th grade
in War of 1812 (Location: G3D-HIS)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Nutmeg of Consolation
Aubrey/Maturin #14
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
Post Captain
Aubrey/Maturin #2
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Reverse of the Medal
Aubrey/Maturin #11
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
Sea of Words
by Dean King, John B. Hattendorf & J. Worth Estes
3rd edition from Henry Holt and Company
Nautical Dictionary for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$14.45 $11.00 (1 in stock)
Surgeon's Mate
Aubrey/Maturin #7
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
The Truelove
Aubrey/Maturin #15
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
Thirteen Gun Salute
Aubrey/Maturin #13
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
Treason's Harbour
Aubrey/Maturin #9
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
Wine-Dark Sea
Aubrey/Maturin #16
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
Yellow Admiral
Aubrey/Maturin #18
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)