The Frigate Surprise
By Brian Lavery & Geoff Hunt
(W. W. Norton)
Anyone who’s enjoyed the late Patrick
O’Brian’s historical fiction series or just
seen the film “Master & Commander: Far
Side of the World” will enjoy feasting their
eyes upon this gorgeous large-format history of the novels’ main character: the
fearless fighting ship HMS Surprise. Hands
down, one of the best coffee-table books,
it’s a collection of some 50 line plans, 35
paintings, map and, best of all, artist Geoff
Hunt’s beautiful and haunting paintings of
Surprise, which graced the covers of nine
novels. Author Brian Lavery, curator emeritus of the National Maritime Museum in
Greenwich, England, chronicles the entire
career of the
which had a
the French (as
missioned in 1802 and placed under the
“command” of the fictional Capt. Jack
Aubrey. Actual log excerpts, crew lists, and
a detailed chronology of both her actual and
fictional life round out the armchair tour of
Surprise. You’ll want to re-read all the novels.
— Elaine Dickinson
A Passion for the Sea
By Jimmy Cornell (Noonsite)
A Passion for the Sea by Jimmy Cornell
is part memoir, part cruising narrative, and
part cruising guide, an obvious departure
for this acclaimed author of some of the
boating world’s most important technical
and cruising reference books. Just reading
about Cornell’s youth in Romania, and
family challenges, is an armchair adventure
in itself, setting the stage for us to learn how
Dragos Corneliu Cismasiu actually became
Jimmy Cornell, the blue-water adventurer
whose advice has been religiously followed
by an entire generation of boaters who’ve
set out to fulfill their dreams of voyaging to
“Everything is possible if you are
determined and try hard enough,” says
Cornell, adding that he’s learned from his
own mistakes as well as those of others.
He now shares that information in a way
that’s as highly
it is educational.
In our December issue, we featured
a very provocative feature by Lin Pardey
called “Ten Ways To Keep Your Lover” —
about how to introduce your partner to
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