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Women Travelers in O’Brian’s Navy

Si de riches archives existent sur la vie des marins à bord de la Royal Navy britannique durant les guerres napoléoniennes, bien peu de sources documentent celle des femmes qui voyageaient sur ces vaisseaux, en marge de la vie des hommes. Pour cette raison, l’oeuvre maîtresse de l’écrivain britannique Patrick O'Brian, connue sous le nom de “ The Aubrey Maturin series ”, mérite l’attention des lecteurs du voyage au féminin. Par sa remarquable érudition historique et une rare perspicacité psychologique, ce raconteur d’un monde d’hommes se révèle un explorateur étonnamment convaincant de la vie des femmes qui croisèrent la vie et les voyages des marins de la Royal Navy au XIXe siècle.

“The best historical novels ever written”: this is how Richard Snow, reviewer for the New York Times, introduced in 1991 to a wide readership the Aubrey-Maturin sea novel series by the British author Patrick O’Brian (1914-2000)[1]. Set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars, the novels follow the lives and battles of a Navy sea captain, Jack Aubrey, and his naval surgeon friend over eighteen years and twenty books.[2] After languishing in near-obscurity for many years, O’Brian’s singular and powerful story-telling started gaining at last the passionate following and publishing success that it now enjoys.

Snow did not make his statement lightly, and numerous commentators have since observed with unanimous praise that O’Brian’s ability to make history come alive makes most other attempts at historical re-creation seem wanting. What holds their admiration is an unusual combination of talents, each carried to virtuosity: first, a taste for erudition, in the form of an historical and scientific accuracy that have won O’Brian the enthusiastic accolades of the most fastidious naval and cultural historians; also, a mastery of style that produced “an astonishing prose […] unique, possessing an 18th century sensibility of restraint, a subversive Irish magic and an elliptical austerity that is modernistic”[3]; and finally, a probing, chiseled gift for psychological character study that has elicited comparisons to Proust, Joyce and especially Jane Austen, this last association one that O’Brian enjoyed and did not disown.

It is these very gifts that make O’Brian – the raconteur of a world that was quintessentially, fundamentally a man’s world – an unexpectedly persuasive explorer of the lives of the women who also sailed along, mostly “below deck”. With standards of erudition equal to those of the most rigorous historians, he found himself similarly checked by the scarcity of sources on the subject of women and the Navy. How his literary craft set about to fill the incomplete picture merits our attention, given the recognized brilliance and accuracy of his reconstruction of 19th century naval life.

How much do historians know?

The primary sources that document explicitly the life and place of women in the working world of the British Navy and merchant ships in the age of sail are finite, and for the most part, already well known and exploited by researchers. They count some diaries and correspondences, published or unpublished; occasional direct references in official documents written, unavoidably, by men; a few period memoirs or “true” accounts, giving a free hand to creative embellishments; and a limited number of illustrations, artifacts, popular songs and the like from which derivative interpretations are possible.[4]

Portsmouth Point by Thomas Rowlandson (1811)

Will little likelihood of a major new discovery of primary sources, the few full-length historical studies currently available in English on the subject of women at sea during that period are comprehensive, well-respected and do not seem in need of major updates or challenges. The short “canon” of such full-length historical studies would have to count Joan Druell’s Hen Frigates: Passion and Peril, Nineteenth-Century Women at Sea, David Cordingly’s Women Sailors and Sailors’ Women, and Suzanne Stark’ Female Tars: Women Aboard ship in the age of Sail, as well as two well-rounded overviews of this historical question on the History website of the BBC and of the Historical Maritime Society.[5] Recent archeological findings do suggest that more officers’ wives and families accompanied their husbands than was hitherto assumed, but not to a degree that would force us to reconsider entirely our general understanding from earlier studies of the daily life on a fighting Navy ship in Captain Aubrey’s times. What is missing, of course, is a fuller social and psychological picture of these women to match the one that records give us of their male counterparts, and the first step must necessarily be the reconstruction of a broad and comprehensive context, explored to its most peripheral happenings.

Margaret Lincoln’s Representing the Royal Navy: British Sea Power 1750-1815, published in 2003, is one recent book that would seem to be a close academic counterpart to the O’Brian enterprise, with the intriguing possibility that a historical project could in some measure have been inspired by a literary one. As part of a scholarly effort to place the military history of the Royal Navy in a broader political, social and economic context, the work concerns itself particularly with issues of social representation and self-representation: how officers and common sailors viewed themselves in relation to British society, and how society viewed them and the Navy in return. This includes an analysis of the practical dealings between the Navy and various groups as much as of the attitudes that prevailed among them.

Browsing through the sections of Lincoln’s study, readers familiar with O’Brian are quickly struck by how wholly his novels reconstruct the fabric of his characters’ times. Curiously, one would almost note a reverse of the pattern by which a background of historical knowledge usually enhances the appreciation of a novel set in that period. Here, it is the readers of the academic study who find themselves, if they have previously read the Aubrey-Maturin series, effortlessly fleshing out from the scholarly pages living human beings and a palpably real social universe.

Lincoln’s chapter “The Navy and Politics”, for instance, meshes at once into the fully formed personalities of the political envoys, members of parliament, Lords and assorted attachés who take part in or dictate the fortunes of Jack Aubrey’s sea voyages and affairs on land. The “Navy and Trade” or “the Navy and Religious Opinion” sections need hardly be browsed before an excellent and self-satisfying feeling of expertise arises in the reader who has already escorted a slow convoy of East Indiamen or rigged church at sea while turning O’Brian’s pages. When Lincoln turns her attention to naval wives in the section “Waiting on Shore”, one needs to remind oneself that it is O’Brian’s character of Sophie Aubrey whose authenticity must be assessed against Lincoln’s historical analysis, rather than the other way around. As has been widely noted, “O’Brian summons up with casual omniscience the workaday magic of a vanished time […] everything whose inconsequence insures its almost immediate oblivion, and which is so hard to retrieve without an ostentatious showing of “research”.[6]

The Sovereign of the Sea
Commissioned by Charles the 1st

What do we learn from these scholarly studies, then? We learn that women were indeed present in fairly large numbers on ships, even though official musters did not list them. That they can be grouped under three principal categories: the wives of warrant officers and, more rarely, of commissioned officers; the prostitutes who came to stay on board when the ship was in port and who sometimes were kept unofficially below deck during short voyages; and the women who for various reasons smuggled themselves on ship disguised as men. We learn that while official rules against the presence of women on board were widely honored in the breach, the price that sailing women had to pay for this state of affairs was an existence of near invisibility and great discomfort in the semi-darkness of the lower decks.

We learn that women worked, gave birth, and occasionally died at sea. We find out that more often than not, it was bleak economic considerations that prompted women to enlist under male disguise for a life of great physical hardship and danger, or to service the seamen’s sexual needs in extraordinarily coarse and necessarily public circumstances. We read that warrant officers’ wives could spend years at sea, performing marginal domestic functions and sometimes carrying out menial chores on deck during battle. Infrequently, women working in the medical line would gain a legitimate presence on ship without the need of a sailing husband, a practice that increased as reforms in the Navy created special hospital ships with large nursing staffs.

We read that while the wives of sea officers were carried as passengers on more official and honored terms, the extreme constraints of space aboard ship forced them to endure largely the same appalling discomfort that was the lot of their lesser sisters and of the seamen, from the rationing of freshwater to sea-sickness, heat, stench, weevils and rats, and a life of tedious monotony interrupted by episodes of dry-mouthed terror in battle or in rough seas. We find that confronted with such violence or fright, some but not all women were paragons of courage and dignity, and a few records tell of uncontrolled wailing, of dissolute ways, or of callously indifferent nursing practices.

We learn, finally, that while some women did manage to get and stay on board in male disguise, whether as stowaways or as enlisted seamen, their number remains quite limited in proportion to the spurious public attention they naturally received when exposed. This is also the case for the fabled women pirates whose legends fascinated as much in their time for their breach of the social order as they do in ours from a broader feminist perspective. Rare exceptions in the community of sailing women, they first elicit intense curiosity for a primary reason: how is it possible to conceal the female anatomy and bodily functions for months, and even years on end in an environment so physical and close-quartered? For that matter, the material aspects of the life of all women at sea are often the first to generate immediate and deep interest, shocked as we already are by the extreme overcrowding of working seamen’s quarters. It is from this primary physical curiosity that questions arise about the mental landscape of these sailing women, their thoughts, their motives for travel – if the choice was theirs – , the place and treatment they received on board, and the manner in which individual personalities might suffer or thrive in the traveling society of a Navy ship at sea. How did women respond to circumstances we know to be harsh and confining and yet that permitted an exposure to experiences entirely unavailable to women on land?


As we ask ourselves these questions, so did of course O’Brian who, having chosen the challenge of answering them even more thoroughly than the historians, exposes his work willingly to the most exacting scrutiny. One such line of scholarly questioning is naturally that of postcolonial analysis, whose concern with the institutional invisibility of broad swaths of humanity along the lines of race, class and gender in colonial times gives little reason to view the British Royal Navy and its ways as anything more than the fundamental instrument of Empire. So when an author devotes twenty novels to a loving recreation of the “wooden world”, with an unapologetic acknowledgment that it is a male universe with self-evident notions about power and the natural order of things, some doubt can conceivably be raised about his ability to insert women characters into it with credibility and nuance. Class, race and colonial dynamics demand similarly to be given their exact weight: the common seaman, illiterate and expendable in a rigid class system and nearly voiceless in historical records, will also have to be persuasively depicted, as will a complex range of individuals and social groups encountered around the world through the particular circumstances of sea travel and assigned missions in colonial times.

By his own admission, O’Brian was unfamiliar with and uninterested in contemporary theoretical readings of history, but he shares with the postcolonial effort an obsessive interest in restoring accurately the invisible and erased parts of his chosen time period. To accomplish this, he puts his trust in his perfectionism and formidable thinking powers: if he thinks long enough and carefully enough about the evidence he does have, he will succeed in deciphering the mindset of groups that social indifference and historical neglect have made unreadable. The central character of O’Brian’ novels, the naval surgeon and intelligence agent Stephen Maturin, also broadly recognized as the author’s alter ego, is an experienced and meticulous encoder and decoder of cipher in his written, verbal and non-verbal exchanges, a practice on which his and others’ lives depend and that suffers no approximation: unless he knows the correct key, the message will not make full sense and therefore cannot be trusted. O’Brian and Maturin would probably not reject a comparison of their quest and methods with those of Champollion, the brilliant French linguist who, in the wake of the very same Napoleonic wars that Captain Aubrey is fighting, found the key to the Egyptian hieroglyphs as he determined that they were a multi-dimensional, hybrid representation of sounds and concepts. A polyglot of stupefying erudition and working powers, Champollion did need the background of his knowledge to accomplish his breakthrough, but the light came in one blinding moment that left him emotionally shattered. Stephen Maturin experiences similar moments of shock or profound satisfaction as a message's meaning becomes clear, and O’Brian may perhaps have too when a sudden luminous coherence told him that his fictional female travelers now made sense, unassailable sense aboard a ship whose masculine culture he knew inside out.

O’Brian’s Women at Sea


"His novels embrace with loving clarity the full richness of the 18th-century world. They embody the cruelty of battle, the comedy of men's lives, the uncertain fears that plague their hearts; and yet, not far away, is the vision of an ideal existence." Amanda Foreman, New York Times Book Review, on Blue at the Mizzen

By making Jack Aubrey one of those Navy captains, and there were many, who disliked and discouraged the presence of women on board their ships, O’Brian cleverly sets up the narrative environment in which he can explore with his trademark commitment to authenticity the few female characters who happen, through carefully chosen turns of plot, to sail on Aubrey’s voyages. Always attentive to historical accuracy, he makes sure to speak throughout his novels of other ships where, from the skipper’s mistress to the pitiful whores of the lower deck, women are broadly tolerated. However, this is Aubrey’s ship and O’Brian’s novel, and the “vision, not far away, of an ideal existence” noted by Amanda Foreman above is present in the form of a lucid, honest and wholly convincing moral universe that shapes all happenings and beings.

The moral dimension is largely set by the two main characters, Captain Jack Aubrey and his surgeon friend, who in turn shape the morals of the men and the sense of order and justice on the ship. This is important for our present purpose: by making his two main observers interested at heart in their fellow humans beings, women included, O’Brian gives us and himself a freedom to notice details and to give an individuality to characters – women, but also common sailors – that he makes sure at the same time to leave in their exact historical place of relative marginality. Thus women will be observed mostly through men’s musings about them or behaviour towards them, from the central protagonists Aubrey and Maturin to the officers and common sailors. When the author intervenes as the omniscient observer to reveal his female characters beyond what the main actors can plausibly tell us, he does so with a light, impressionistic touch, preferring a few piercingly evocative glimpses to a full portrait, however masterfully executed.

The moral dimension is also established by the condition of travel itself and by its particulars on a Royal Navy ship, where the rigid routine of work is compounded by the strict discipline of naval hierarchy. What Jack Aubrey invokes lovingly as “the immemorial custom of the Navy” is often harsh and unforgiving, as is the sea, but it gives in compensation a simplicity of choices that makes the complex life on land seem overwhelming. Very early in the Aubrey-Maturin series, O’Brian relinquishes to women in toto superior living skills on land, most memorably in the person of Sophie Aubrey, the model of the captain’s wife who manages with grace and good sense all the family affairs, not the least a few disastrous economic enterprises incurred by her husband during his rare stops at home every few years. Having acknowledged the sailors’ common inadequacies on land, however, O’Brian then makes no apologies for defining the worth of his sailing women by how well they share the trials and epiphanies encountered by the men at sea.


Over the course of twenty novels he introduces us to the entire spectrum of sea-going women that historical documents make known to us, taking the time to explore various shades of wives, prostitutes or impersonators as well as dangerously powerful women sailors in distant waters and even girl children at sea. While they do not usually take center stage, they are all memorable. Having read and likely re-read with pleasure the entire series, we do not forget the likes of Sophie Aubrey and Diana Maturin, wives of the main characters, nor Lady “Queenie” Keith, the Admiral’s wife who watched over Jack Aubrey’s motherless childhood, or Christine Wood, the beautiful neglected wife of the Sierra Leone governor who fills her lonely life with a passion for botany and biology. We meet warrant officers wives such as the tragic Mrs. Horner who must live the misery of a failed marriage to a Master gunner in public view and with terrible consequences, or others whose presence on ship we only know through the occasional call on them to attend to the needs of the littlest ship boys or orphaned children picked up on a voyage. They are known to us as the bosun’s wife or the gunner’ wife and live a discrete life in the dank darkness of the lower deck. We attend helplessly with the anxious sailors to the difficult delivery of a young French officer’s wife or to the crisis of two little girls clinging to a masthead. Two female stowaways succeed in sailing on one of Aubrey’s ships, the first by his own doing when, as a young midshipman, he brings on board for a few days a young dark-skinned beauty who will re-enter his life twenty years later unexpectedly as Jack comes face to face with his handsome black son Sam he never knew he had. The other, Clarissa Oakes, is a convict escaped from the dreadful penal colony of New South Wales and O’Brian uses her uncommon destiny to explore at some length the consequences of child abuse in different times.

As an American, the young traveller and spy Louisa Wogan permits further feminine character study outside of the social constraints of British ways, as do two little orphan girls, rescued from an Indian Ocean island devastated by the smallpox brought by a Western ship, and who come to live on board as Sarah and Emily. Only once, and very late in their years of travels, do Aubrey and Maturin accept a woman as a medical attendant to work on board, but she then quickly proves herself superior in skills and humanity to any male attendant the ship has ever had, and is known to all simply as Poll. While prostitutes are not allowed on Aubrey’s ships in port, a few devastating, deeply sympathetic strokes of O’Brian’s pen suggest the Hobbesian misery and brutality of their lives as they appear fleetingly at a distance or in the belated remorse of sailors returning with empty pockets and private symptoms in need of the attention of the ship’s surgeon. Prostitution is also recognized for what it is in the more elegant classes of society ashore, and one such character, the entertaining Ms. Amanda Smith, qualifies as a sailor for the way she uses ships in her desperate pursuit of any husband with money before it is too late. Finally, we remember with the same sense of wonder as befell Aubrey and Maturin some of the fierce and deeply foreign women sailing their predatory proas in the Southern seas, the mermaids so vividly alive in the seamen’s fears, and some choice female passengers on other ships, encountered just long enough to remind Aubrey and Maturin why women do not belong on board.

A Lurch at Sea

Overall, a sympathetic, proto-feminist sentiment pervades O’Brian’s depiction of all of his travelling women. The author having made the case early on that life at sea is simpler, cleaner, more moral than the complicated land world, his women aboard prove themselves thoughtful and at times admirable characters, as if life at sea gave them their first chance to be appreciated as full human beings. They are, for that matter, portrayed collectively as superior to the society of women ashore, and there is a particular venom in O’Brian’s depiction of a certain breed of middle class British women that cannot but remind us of the author’s biographical circumstances and the seal he kept on the first British life he left behind. The contempt that he heaps upon the character of Mrs. Williams, mother of Captain Aubrey’s wife Sophie, is vitriolic and is matched only by his searing dismissal of the society of British colonial wives in India, “that liverish, overfed, parboiled community”. While he grants the latter the sort of odious cunning needed to navigate the treacherous recesses of society on shore, they lack conspicuously any moral fiber or any of the kindness that can be found only among the modest company of lower class women such as the good-hearted Mrs. Broad, innkeeper at the Grapes where Stephen Maturin takes refuge when on land.

It should be noted that while seldom physically present on board, women are nonetheless a permanent presence in the sailing lives of Aubrey, Maturin and their crews. In fact, the usual absence of women on board brings our attention to the manner in which sailors, deprived of natural contact with the other sex, “stow them away” in a neat and orderly way as they must learn early on to stow away their limited belongings. O’Brian understands and shows us that women travelled constantly in the longing thoughts of the men at sea, and not just in the abstract as a sexual fantasy but in personal ways through letters. He gives accordingly a crucial place to correspondence in all of his sailors’ lives, as it must have had in their times. With months elapsing before letters could be sent or received, correspondence becomes for Aubrey and Maturin the lifeline of an open conversation with the recipients, updated daily and at times the only refuge against despair. On at least one occasion, the absence of mail, as evidence of marital woes, so weighs on an officer’s soul that he loses the will to live. This letter writing is also an essential narrative device, both to justify lengthy descriptions and to remind us that the written record of times past is not always reflective of how things truly were, as when Jack Aubrey suddenly pauses his pen to revisit in his memory the cold horror of a boarding scene, and then couches it down in a softer version in his letter to his wife.


When O’Brian’s female characters are actually on ship, their bravery is often implied by default through their silence during some of the most hair-raising episodes of maritime disaster, from shipwreck to illness to water shortage to battle. Remembering from earlier pages that they must be on board still, we watch them occasionally emerge later on deck with a smile and a courteous word of thanks to the captain and his crew for seeing the ship through the trouble and for any small attention extended to them. They ask for nothing and put up soberly with rats and cramped lodgings, with a discretion that suggests not so much heroic forbearance as moral elegance and above all, intelligence. O’Brian is partial to intelligence and indulges in it as the founding principle of his craft and art. Morality as understood in O’Brian’s sailing world cannot function without self-examination, a penetrating intelligence and a heart, and both Aubrey and Maturin possess these aplenty. As their counterparts, O’Brian’s travelling women are also exceptional, and we can accept this as believable because only exceptional circumstances could have brought them on one of Aubrey’s ships: penal transportation, true love, political escape, economic necessity, original temperament, widowhood. This serves O’Brian well in his historic purpose. In his ambition to probe the unrecorded minds and thoughts of women travelling two centuries ago, he needs them to have depth and some universal dimension that will restore their full humanity to us. It serves him well in his literary inclinations as well. To a writer so keen on endowing his best characters with self-reflection and intellectual curiosity, the challenge is irresistible to help a female character spread her full sails, as it were, in a time when intelligence in women was given only limited venues in which to be exercised, noticed or valued.

To let us guess at the inner landscape of these women travellers at sea in a time gone, O’Brian chooses to give us the vantage point of the ship’s company, as manifested in the behavior of the sailors and their captain and in the extensive reflections of the doctor in his personal journal. This is surprisingly effective: there is respect in wondering, and humility in settling with the incomplete answers gathered through observation and the limited conversations that propriety allows. We imagine more and can better feel the full impact of the travelling sea life on O’Brian’s women when we see the limits of the psyche of the male world they had to contend with, especially if these men are chosen to be as open-minded as their time would permit without anachronistic hindsight.

From the common deck hands, women get a stiff respect that comes naturally with the strict decorum enforced on board, tempered at times by extreme concern for the ladies’ welfare and by an extraordinary affection for any lady related to their beloved captain or doctor. A sweet and humble suitor to women on shore, Captain Jack Aubrey is coldly formal to them on ship and refrains purposefully from giving them any distracting thought. Stephen Maturin is unquestionably the main conduit through which O’Brian constructs his women’s lives. A natural scientist tirelessly seeking the working of things, he is also a medical doctor with a privileged access to the most personal and intimate details of women’s and men’s bodies and minds. These generate deep and ongoing reflections on human nature that he consigns to his journal in an impenetrable cipher, private to all but the novels’ readers. Brilliant and often driven to depression from his excess of lucidity, he values intelligence in all its forms and is attentive to the social crushing of women’s minds and possibilities, whether it be Captain Aubrey’s twin girls doomed to portions and marriage to “some greasy fellow named Snooks”, or a street child in India whose bright, genderless vivacity he tries in vain to preserve from the fate of most destitute low-caste women.

View of the Deck of the Slave Ship Alabanoz by Lieutenant Francis Meynell, 1846

Through Maturin, O’Brian gives a voice to his own vision of a fairer lot for the female gender and vents his personal repulsion for any form of tyranny and exploitation. Maturin holds uncommon views for his time on the subject of the colonial order and especially slavery. By the last novel in the series, it is evident that the author has made a concerted effort to insert into his stories a number of moral issues on which he intends to make a statement. This is relevant and makes perfect historical sense, and the glimpse we catch of the deck of a slave ship, whose stench precedes the vessel by a mile, or of the Joseph Conrad horrors of the Australian penal colony in its idle, degenerate cruelty, or of the repellent confines of the British expatriate society in India leaves no doubt that O’Brian’s coolly restrained writing is at the service of a passionate indictment of colonial horrors.

In fact, a female character will not infrequently be the catalyst for these moral explorations: the ship’s voyage to the penal colony originates in the transport of the American spy Louisa Wogan, and Maturin’s political work against slavery with Jack Aubrey’s black son Sam is born of Jack’s first, color-blind love story. Only once does such an exploration seem to be carried out to the slight detriment of the story’s plausibility: the novel Clarissa Oakes (later re-published as The Truelove), is the only instance in which a woman’s presence on board drives the plot, wreaking havoc in the social harmony of the ship as men anxiously position themselves in jealous relation to her. An escaped convict guilty of murder, a stowaway brought in by an enamoured officer, and most seriously, a woman of reckless sexual promiscuity on ship, she could have been a case study of the sort of women that give their gender a poor name and justify Aubrey’s decision not to tolerate them at sea; yet, after grounding her behavior in a childhood damaged by sexual abuse, O’Brian quickly makes her one of his most admirable and trusted characters, wholly understood and loved by Maturin even as the damage of her presence unfolds onboard, the only time that the moral case against the sexual exploitation of women seems to take precedence over O’Brian’s customary perfect pitch for the period.


In the end, to believe in O’Brian’s travelling women we need of course Aubrey and Maturin to be plausibly of their times in their relationship to them and in their view of what constitutes proper female behavior. Maturin is conservative as befits his old Catalan, Catholic blood, and he abhors any petulance or ill manners in children and women. He values learning and restraint in all but is eagerly masculine in his sexual appreciation of the female gender. As for Aubrey, he is completely and innocently of his time in his comfortable view of the established order between the sexes. He loves a wench but is humble and respectful in his assumptions of women’s moral motives. In both men is evident a genuine, warm affection for the other sex and a great love of its company. Through their eyes, we gain a rich and humane portrait of travelling women gone, as we marvel at little Sarah’s and Emily’s linguistic abilities, salute Diana Maturin’s blazing blue dress and defiant breach of social conventions, note Lady Queenie Keith’s unused erudition in the classics, share Sophie Aubrey’s anxious overpacking for a short sea journey, flush with excitement with Christine Wood as she discovers a choice biological specimen in the jungle, or climb the ratlines with Maturin’s tiny daughter Brigid.

As O’Brian reconstructs meticulously the fullness of the masculine world that clearly holds his focus, so must his officers’ wives, his nurses, sweethearts, prostitutes, mermaids, pirates and little girls fill plausibly the interstices and the hollows of their men’s space. For this reader, at least, the social, material, psychological and moral universe in which he makes his travelling women come alive proves profoundly satisfying and wholly convincing.

Claire Keith


Notes de pied de page

  1. ^ Snow, Richard . “An Author I‘d Walk the Plank For”. New York Times January 6, 1991.
  2. ^ The Aubrey-Maturin series consist of twenty novels, written between 1970 and 1999. The complete list can be consulted on the publisher’s site:
  3. ^ As described by Katherine A. Powers in her review of The Commodore for the Boston Globe.
  4. ^ For an introductory bibliography, see the holdings of the Stephen B. Luce Library at the State University of New York Maritime College at :
  5. ^ See for the BBC, and for the Historical Maritime Society. Full works are cited in bibliography, including an additional work in French by Françoise Lapeyre on women travellers in the XIXth century.
  6. ^ Snow, Richard, op.cit.

Référence électronique

Claire KEITH, BELOW DECK, mis en ligne le 03/08/2018, URL :

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