Master and Commander, the first book of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey and Maturin series, follows the adventures of Captain Jack Aubrey and his best friend, surgeon and spy Stephen Maturin, during the days of full sails, rolling seas, and naval warfare between Britain and her rivals, France and Spain. As with any roaring historical adventure, there are rogues to best, beauties to pursue, and strange lands to discover.
But Captain Aubrey isn't the only master and commander on the high seas of fiction. These books, many part of a series, feature unforgettable captains facing the rigors and horrors of the boundless deep. Some lead brilliantly while others shatter under the strain of command. Yet each gives an unforgettable performance in the continuing saga of man against the sea.
"As the pride of Achilles drove the course of the Trojan War, so Alcibiades' will and ambition set their stamp upon the Peloponnesian War--the twenty-seven-year civil conflagration between the Athenian empires, Sparta, and the Peloponnesian league. As a commander on land and sea, Alcibiades was never defeated. The destinies of Athens and her favored son were inextricably intertwined. Man and city mirrored each other in boldness, ambition, and vulnerability. Allied, they swept from victory to victory. Apart, he guided her foes to glory."
Pressed into service aboard the Ghost, Humphrey Van Weyden becomes an unwilling participant in a tense shipboard drama. The vessel's deranged and abusive captain, Wolf Larsen, perpetrates an atmosphere of increasing violence that ultimately boils into mutiny, shipwrick, and a desperate confrontation.
Captain Nathaniel Drinkwater is caught up in the complex bloody Battle of Copenhagen, and must save his ship and help his brother escape the gallows.
In 1685, Irish physician Peter Blood is happily settled in a small English town when the rebellion of the Duke of Monmouth interrupts. After saving the life of a wounded nobleman who turns out to be a rebel, Blood is charged with treason and sentenced to ten years as an indentured slave in the Caribbean colonies. On the islands, Blood is recognized for his knowledge as a physician, and thus he develops a romance with a young lady. But their attachment is ill-fated, as her father is the owner of Blood's servitude. When Spaniards attack the colony, Blood and his fellow convicts take advantage of their victory celebration to steal their ship, sailing off to become the boldest and most fearless pirates on the Spanish Main.
"On May 25, 1841, the whaleship Sharon of Fairhaven, Massachusetts, set out for the whaling grounds of the northwestern Pacific under the command of Captain Howes Norris. A year later, while most of the crew was out on the hunt, Norris remained at the helm with four crew members-three of them natives from the Pacific Islands. When the men in the whaleboats spied the Sharon's flag flying at half-mast-a signal of distress-they rowed toward the ship to discover their Captain had been hacked to pieces. His murderers, the Pacific Islanders, were covered in blood and brandishing weapons. Unless the crew could retake the Sharon, their prospects of survival were slim. The nearest land was seven hundred miles away.
"Through recently discovered journals of the ship's cooper and the third officer, award-winning maritime historian Joan Druett unearths the mystery of the ill-fated whaleship.... Dramatically and meticulously recreating the events of the Sharon, Druett pieces together a voyage filled with savagery and madness under the command of one of the most ruthless captains to sail the high seas. In the Wake of Madness brings to life a riveting story and exposes the secrets that followed the men of the Sharon to their graves."
In 1793, privateer Harry Ludlow finds himself aboard the navy's 74-gun Magnanime, with his younger brother James. In command is Oliver Carter, a captain with whom Harry has an unfortunate history. When James is found standing over the body of a dead officer, Harry's feud shifts into the background. But dark secrets start to surface on all sides. First of the Privateersman series.
This fictionalized story is based on the life of Mary Ann Patten, who went from sea captain's wife to skipper of her husband's ship when he fell ill. He recovered enough to make her life even more difficult. Entertaining and fascinating.
The young lieutenant takes up special orders direct from Nelson himself which bring news of a mission close to his own heart. In a daring foray, under the very nose of the French Mediterranean fleet, Ramage is to sail his tiny cutter close in to the Italian shore and rescue a party of stranded aristocrats from Napoleon's fast-advancing army. First of a series.
This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against a thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.
Ordered to Naples after the battle of Trafalgar, Ramage and the Calypso are given fresh orders. The Barbary Coast pirates--the Saracens--are active in Sicily again, and terrorizing fishing ports. Ramage and his crew are sent to Sicily to track down the Saracens before they can attack another town. Part of a series.