In which we’re back to Patrick again.
So, since Christmas, what have I been reading? Well, I’m afraid I started Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin novels again. It is unfortunate, in a way, because there are 20 of them, and it is quite impossible to stop once one has started. I say 20, I may have to make do with 19 as I seem to have mislaid HMS Surprise (mislaying a Frigate is quite impressive, really). I cannot imagine where it has gone to. It is highly annoying and I am quite put out about it.
Well, so far, then, I have read Master & Commander which is where Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin meet for the first time. It is the year 1800, Jack is in Mahon pining for a ship and Stephen has been left in rather difficult circumstances because the patient he was to accompany to the Mediterranean died mid-voyage and Stephen does not have any money to pay for a passage back home. After a first unfortunate meeting which nearly ends in a duel, Jack, in his joy over having been appointed Commander of the sloop Sophia, invites Stephen to dinner, and on discovering that he is a physician, suggests that he “join the navy”, that is, become a naval surgeon. Stephen accepts, and that is the start of the delightful 20 books…
I would like to know where the dear ship has gone, though. My flat isn’t that big. How can a novel simply disappear?