Reviewing The Aubrey–Maturin Series

Patrick O’Brian (1914-2000) is something of a mysterious figure. He was a British World War II veteran, some say he was an ambulance driver, others suggest he was involved in British intelligence. Apparently he changed his name around this time after divorcing his first spouse, and much speculation has been made about his claims to have been a sailor. At any rate, Mr. O’Brian retired to a quiet life in the Welsh countryside with his wife, content to preserve his public image as an austere, albeit mysterious, country gentleman. His popular series of meticulously researched 18th century historical-fiction series about the British Royal Navy at the height of the Napoleonic Wars. In the novels, we sail the high seas with Captain Jack Aubrey and his friend Dr. Stephen Maturin. As a lover of swashbuckling fiction, I look forward to reading this 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. Clarissa Oakes (1992) – (The Truelove in the US)
  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. The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey (2004) – (21 in the US)

Click here for my review of the 2003 film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

The Horatio Hornblower Series by C.S. Forester

British writer Cecil Louis Troughton Smith (1899-1966) went by the pen name “C. S. Forester.” Born in Cairo he was educated in London before eventually settling in California where he penned his remarkable series about Horatio Hornblower, a Midshipman in the British Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars.

The list below is organized by narrative order rather than publication date.

  • Mr. Midshipman Hornblower (1950)
  • “Hornblower and the Hand of Destiny” (1941, short story)
  • “Hornblower and the Big Decision” (1951, short story)
  • Lieutenant Hornblower (1952)
  • Hornblower and the Hotspur (1962)
  • Hornblower and the Crisis (1967)
  • Hornblower and the Atropos (1953)
  • The Happy Return (1937)
  • A Ship of the Line (1938)
  • “Hornblower’s Charitable Offering” (1941, short story)
  • Flying Colours (1938)
  • The Commodore (1945)
  • “Hornblower and His Majesty” (1941, short story)
  • Lord Hornblower (1946)
  • Hornblower in the West Indies (1958)
  • “The Last Encounter” (1967, short story)