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Post Captain (Book 2 of the Aubrey series)

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Post Captain (Book 2 of the Aubrey series)

Post by TRDG on Tue 10 Jul 2012, 11:11

Just started another reread and this is another interesting book. Here we get a much better look at both Aubrey and Maturin when they are on shore and in peace time between the wars in part of the book.

Also introduced are the main females of the series, Sophia and Diana, simple and complex woman of that age.

Not going to really spoil anything, but...

What is your take on the women of Aubrey and Maturin? I'm a bit confused as to some of this even after all this time.

After they first meet it seems Jack is most attracted to Sophia, but for more than a few reasons there is nothing settled as serious, at this time.

Diana is there as well but not much is written about Jacks feelings for her, until it seems Sophea is out of reach, put there by her mother.

Then Jack has a semi secret affair with Diana, who.......

Actually Maturin falls in love with before Jack does this affair, I can't quite get IF Martin actually had an affair with her before, during or after Dianna and Jack get together, post Sophia.

Diana seems a bit jaded and a very strong woman for her time, likes Maturin and is just OK with Jack, but seeks more....

Jacks problems don't go away as he gets indebted once his prize money is stolen and some prizes also given back, and he has to leave England.......

Cheers, More as I get further into the book.

Tom

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Re: Post Captain (Book 2 of the Aubrey series)

Post by Patrick O'Mullins on Mon 16 Jul 2012, 11:56

You said this was a re-read, so I presume you've read the whole series before.
Jack and Stephen's relationships with Sohie and Diana ( and theirs with each other - remember, they were cousins) are a major theme throughout the series and a part of the character's growth and maturity. This is something that tends to set O'Brian apart from other authors and makes his books such fascinating reading.
BTW, in my experience, it wasn't until the second reading that I truly understood and enjoyed O'Brian's books. Contrast this with some other HNF writers who may be worth a first reading , but definitely not a second Alexander Kent comes to mind.

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Re: Post Captain (Book 2 of the Aubrey series)

Post by Joolz on Mon 16 Jul 2012, 13:37

I think the pairings of Jack/Sophie and Stephen/Diana are established quite well early on. Jack only falls into bed with Diana out of frustration, being a full-blooded person. He doesn't really want her, but she is there, available, ready, willing and very able. As far as I'm aware Stephen doesn't have a carnal relationship with Diana until their marriage years later which is part of his inner dilemma.
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Re: Post Captain (Book 2 of the Aubrey series)

Post by TRDG on Tue 17 Jul 2012, 08:08

Thanks guys, indeed I have read this many times and I assumed Maturin and Diana never really "did anything" about it. But it struck me with some of the writing here in the second book that O'Brian is also hinting at it.

On book 3 now and Maturin ponders in the beginnings of HMS Surprise.

"Stephen had spared no expense in making himself more unhappy, his own position as a rejected lover even clearer."

This was when he was thinking about all the intel he has collected on Diana and Canning when they got together.

So I think they did in fact hit the sheets at least one time if not more during their interesting relationship before Jack became first involved with Diana in the literal sense.

For me that makes the dynamics of these 4 people that much more interesting and telling. I can now see even more the passion, efforts and why he is so blown out about Diana and Jack, then Diana and Canning.

Just the forlorn love lost with no consumation had me always wondering why Maturin was so forlorn over Diana with the conversation and no (physical) lost love after Diana took up with his best friend Jack.

But now as a former lover that would sting even more and I see now how we can get to an almost actual duel between Maturin and Jack the second book harped on for a while.

Now I really get it with this piece of info that has always been there, IF I am reading this right.

Sophia and Diana make Jack and Martin so much more "alive" in the books, not like some of the love interests in other book series.

I also supect that Jack took up with Diana because in some strange way he may have felt this was as close as he could get to Sophia, at least for the moment, as well as Diana was there and she was willing. And I'm sure Diana did it with more than a little spite, towards Sophia I bet!!

Any thoughts on that last battle/cutting out that the cruel admiral sent the strange Polychrest? Wonder if the admiralty did those kinds of things for disliked or bear a grudge to captains?

Cheers

Tom
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Re: Post Captain (Book 2 of the Aubrey series)

Post by Joolz on Tue 17 Jul 2012, 10:00

@TRDG wrote:"Stephen had spared no expense in making himself more unhappy, his own position as a rejected lover even clearer."

So I think they did in fact hit the sheets at least one time if not more during their interesting relationship before Jack became first involved with Diana in the literal sense.
Sorry, but I don't read it that way at all, at all. To me, the phrase "rejected lover" in no way implies "ex-lover". Maturin put his case but was rejected. Simples. Remember, unrequited love can be a powerful force.
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Re: Post Captain (Book 2 of the Aubrey series)

Post by TRDG on Tue 17 Jul 2012, 17:34

That could well be as well, I'll have to see if I can find more "hints" in the third book. I'd say it is still 50/50, at the moment at least for me. confused

This huge story arc is one of the reasons the "times" these people live in just come alive for me when I read this series.

I know people Bitch sometimes about to much "shore action" from certain series, but to me that is a big part of a great read, if it is done to a T, so to speak.

Instead of just sea action after sea action, and/or just general life on board a King's ship. Its a fine balancing act that few writers ever seem to nail down so well, and O'Brian nailed this down perfectly.

I'd be curious to know if any of this (specific story arc) was taken from his personal life or stories from back then about certain "relationships" that just happened? I know O'Brian was using a key British figure for his naval side of it, as in the battles and circumstances, but what about this side of things with Diana and Sophia?

Cheers, thanks for the post sir!!

Tom

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Re: Post Captain (Book 2 of the Aubrey series)

Post by Patrick O'Mullins on Tue 17 Jul 2012, 18:34

I think you should be careful super-imposing a 21st cenyury midset on our early 19th century characters - particularly those of Patrick O'Brian.

You can't assume Diana and Stephen had slept together. I watched the A&E Young Hornblower episode the Dutchess and the Devil recently and I noticed how the other men thought the 18-year old Horbblower was sleeping with the actress in her early 40s. This would not be that unusual today, but I seriously doubt a period 18-year old man would sleep with a woman his mother's age.

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Re: Post Captain (Book 2 of the Aubrey series)

Post by Joolz on Tue 17 Jul 2012, 20:33

@TRDG wrote:This huge story arc is one of the reasons the "times" these people live in just come alive for me when I read this series.

I know people Bitch sometimes about to much "shore action" from certain series, but to me that is a big part of a great read, if it is done to a T, so to speak.

Instead of just sea action after sea action, and/or just general life on board a King's ship. Its a fine balancing act that few writers ever seem to nail down so well, and O'Brian nailed this down perfectly.
Absolutely agree. O'Brian's shore action makes the whole experience much more rounded and complete. He integrates it so well with naval activities. Together with his wonderful prose and sense of humour, it is why he is my favourite author.
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Re: Post Captain (Book 2 of the Aubrey series)

Post by SimSportPlyr on Thu 27 Sep 2012, 06:15

I have a question about Post Captain, but my question and the answers to it would constitute a spoiler.

Are spoilers allowed or discouraged in this discussion string?

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Re: Post Captain (Book 2 of the Aubrey series)

Post by Astrodene on Thu 27 Sep 2012, 09:38

@SimSportPlyr wrote:I have a question about Post Captain, but my question and the answers to it would constitute a spoiler.

Are spoilers allowed or discouraged in this discussion string?
As long as you use the
Code:
[spoiler][/spoiler]
tags it's OK

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Re: Post Captain (Book 2 of the Aubrey series)

Post by SimSportPlyr on Thu 27 Sep 2012, 14:34

Thanks for the tip, Astrodene.

Here's my question:
Spoiler:
In Post Captain, Stephen and Jack were to duel, but I must have fallen asleep through the section where that was resolved. Could some kind soul pls fill me in on what happened with their duel?
.

Thanks.

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Re: Post Captain (Book 2 of the Aubrey series)

Post by reb01501 on Thu 27 Sep 2012, 15:31

@SimSportPlyr wrote:Thanks for the tip, Astrodene.

Here's my question:
Spoiler:
In Post Captain, Stephen and Jack were to duel, but I must have fallen asleep through the section where that was resolved. Could some kind soul pls fill me in on what happened with their duel?
.

Thanks.
Spoiler:
The duel never happened. They never discussed it, at least in hearing of the narrator of the book, that is. I think
1. they were both too embarrassed by their own actions to want to bring it up
2. each understood that the other no longer required an apology, since events had pushed their relationship to being beyond that requirement.
That's just my theory, and it is typical of POB's penchant for leaving loose ends to be figured out by the reader.

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Re: Post Captain (Book 2 of the Aubrey series)

Post by SimSportPlyr on Thu 27 Sep 2012, 15:49

reb01501, thanks for the explanation! Your answer makes perfect sense.

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Re: Post Captain (Book 2 of the Aubrey series)

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