To History Be True… If It Makes For A Cracking Yarn!

was bit of a slog, but I finally managed to finish ‘Towers of Midnight’ today.  941 pages read in 14 days… a reasonable effort, largely helped by a lazy weekend =)

The next novel is one I have been waiting to get to.  The newest series in my historical fiction reading is ‘Master and Commander’, the first book in the Aubrey-Maturin series.  You may recognise the title, as Russell Crowe was in the big-screen adaptation of the series.

Reading the author’s note at the beginning, Patrick O’Brian noted that the events and people he researched to help inspire the character of Captain Jack Aubrey did such incredible things in their time that one could not possibly improve on it through fiction.  Truth is more interesting than fiction indeed =)

The lead character was strongly inspired by Admiral Thomas Cochrane, the Tenth Earl of Dundonald.  Be sure to look him up on Wikipedia, as his life was an intriguing one.

From the outset, O’Brian notes that he would sometimes take liberties in order to improve the story.  In a series that is set within the Napoleonic Wars, to make such a claim would imply the author has extreme confidence in their ability to make the reader overlook the inconsistency.  Needless to say, little of my history research has been in the 1800’s.  Actually, most of it came from ‘Back To The Future’ and ‘Deadwood’…

O’Brian’s series is revered, some comparing it to the greatest authors of English literature, and most noting the fantastic characterisation.  How could one not be excited to get started, both as a reader and fledgling author?


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