A Book of Voyages

A Book of Voyages

by Patrick O'Brian (Editor)


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Honoring Patrick O’Brian’s centenary, a collection of his favorite travel pieces, replete with perils, discomforts, and exotic pleasures.

Never previously published in this country, A Book of Voyages presents writings by various travelers, annotated and introduced by Patrick O’Brian. Most are taken from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; O’Brian felt that, unlike Elizabethan or Victorian accounts, these writings were relatively unknown in our time.

On her journey through the Crimea, Lady Craven witnesses barbaric entertainments in the court of the Tartar Khan. John Bell tells us of his day’s hunting with the Manchu emperor in 1721 outside Peking. An English woman in Madras gives us a detailed description of the extraordinary costume and body decoration of a high-born Indian woman, wife of a nabob.

These and other selections are glimpses of a world, now gone forever, that few readers would ever see for themselves. They are also quite possibly the inspiration for the travels and adventures of O’Brian’s own fictional heroes Captain Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393089585
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 05/20/2013
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Patrick O'Brian's acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series of historical novels has been described as "a masterpiece" (David Mamet, New York Times), "addictively readable" (Patrick T. Reardon, Chicago Tribune), and "the best historical novels ever written" (Richard Snow, New York Times Book Review), which "should have been on those lists of the greatest novels of the 20th century" (George Will).Set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, O'Brian's twenty-volume series centers on the enduring friendship between naval officer Jack Aubrey and physician (and spy) Stephen Maturin. The Far Side of the World, the tenth book in the series, was adapted into a 2003 film directed by Peter Weir and starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany. The film was nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture. The books are now available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book format.In addition to the Aubrey/Maturin novels, Patrick O'Brian wrote several books including the novels Testimonies, The Golden Ocean, and The Unknown Shore, as well as biographies of Joseph Banks and Picasso. He translated many works from French into English, among them the novels and memoirs of Simone de Beauvoir, the first volume of Jean Lacouture's biography of Charles de Gaulle, and famed fugitive Henri Cherrière's memoir Papillon. O'Brian died in January 2000.

Date of Birth:

December 12, 1914

Date of Death:

January 2, 2000

Place of Birth:

Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire

Place of Death:

Dublin, Ireland


Shebbear College, Devon

Table of Contents

Foreword xv

Preface Various Travellers xix

Pleasant Travels by Land

1 A Journey Through the Crimea to Constantinople Lady Craven's 3

2 A View of Society and Manners in France, Switzerland, and Germany Dr. John Moore's 38

3 Travels Through Europe Dr. Gemelli-Careri's 44

Philip Thicknesses "General Hints to Strangers Who Travel Through France" 63

Unpleasant Voyages

1 "The Distresses of the Unfortunate Crew of the Ship Anne and Mary from Norway to Ireland in the Year 1759" 85

2 Captain Boyce's "Narrative of the Loss of the Luxborough" 87

3 "The Sufferings of Six Deserters During Their Passage in a Whale Boat from the Island of St. Helena to Brazil" 93

4 Fra Denis De Carli's "A Voyage to Congo in the Years 1666 and 1667" 99

5 "An Account of the Wonderful Preservation of the Ship Terra Nova of London" 106

Edward Pellham's Voyage to Greenland 135

Oriental Splendour

1 "The Mogul's Birthday" from The Journal of Sir Thomas Roe 175

2 "The Mogul's Peacock Throne" from Jean-Baptiste Tavernier's Travels Through Turkey and Persia to the Indies 180

3 " Hunting with the Emperor K'Ang Hsi" from John Bell's Travels from St. Petersburg in Russia to Diverse Parts of Asia 183

4 "The Nabob's Lady" from The Gentleman's Magazine for January 1745 193

"The Indefatigable Tourist" from Philip Skippon's Account of a Journey Made Thro' Part of the Low-Countries, Germany, Italy and France, 1663 199

Inefficient Pirates

1 Sir William Monson's Naval Tracts 217

2 Robert Everard's Relation of Three Years Sufferings Upon the Island of Assada Near Madagascar in a Voyage to India in the Year 1686 226

Colonel Norwood's Voyage to Virginia 229

A List of Sea-Terms 303

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