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“I am in favour of leaving people alone, however imperfect their polity may seem. It appears to me that you must not tell other nations how to set their house in order; nor must you compel them to be happy.”
- Patrick O'Brian, the Truelove
When originally published, O'Brian's 15th installment in his Aubrey-Maturin series was originally titled Clarissa Oakes. I'm not sure why the title was changed, but perhaps it is because the focus of this novel is less about Clarissa (Harvill) Oakes (the convict stowaway from New South Wales who marries Oakes, one of Captain Aubrey's Midshipman) than the events that surround her introduction onto the Surprise. Clarissa on the Surprise allows O'Brian to wax on a bit about sexual mores in the Navy and in England in the early 19th century. She also carries forward the series plot a bit.
It isn't the most exciting book in the series, but it is fascinating to watch the discipline aboard the Surprise deteriorate and Captain Aubrey's efforts to regain control. It is also provides O'Brian the space, with the introduction of Clarissa Oakes, to discuss sex (both gender and the act) in the early 19th century.
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If you could sum up The Truelove in three words, what would they be?
Action, Suffering, Enlightenment
What did you like best about this story?
The character of Mrs Oakes, she was a breath of fresh air to a structured world
What does Patrick Tull bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
I enjoy his charactors different emotions and he does a great job
Who was the most memorable character of The Truelove and why?
Liked Jimmy Ducks and the two little girls
Any additional comments?
Good book great story and look forward to the next one
1 of 1 people found this review helpful