The Frigate Surprise, Hardback book

The Frigate Surprise: The Design, Construction And Careers Of Jack Aubrey's Favourite Command[Hardback]

by Geoff Hunt and Brian Lavery

4.75 out of 5 (2 ratings)

Pavilion Books 
Publication Date:
22 September 2008 
Warfare & defence 


There is no more famous a vessel in naval fiction than HMS Surprise, the principal ship in Patrick O'Brian's much-celebrated Aubrey-Maturin series of sea stories. Yet, this 28-gun frigate also had a most eventful true historical career serving in both the French and then Royal navies and which included capture by the Inconstant in 1796 the much celebrated cutting-out action on the mutinous crew of HMS Hermione. Surprise was decomissioned in 1802 and delivered into the fictional captaincy of Jack Aubrey. This sumptuous new volume, written by acclaimed naval historian Brian Lavery, not only reveals the complete career history and commentary of HMS Surprise in both its guises, but also presents an all-embracing construction and fitting history of the Fifth Rate including some 30 line drawings as well as historical artworks and detailed photographs. The book is presented in full colour throughout and additionally includes a series of specially-commissioned sketches and some 30 paintings by co-author Geoff Hunt RSMA, the acclaimed artist of the Patrick O'Brian cover artworks and related prints. Geoff Hunt also contributes a most illuminating chapter on his experiences in, and challenges faced, when illustrating this ship. The detailed line and isometric plans are being drawn by prolific marine draughtsman Karl Heinz Marquardt.

Showing 1-2 out of 2 reviews.

  • An excellent book; Lavery's usual impeccable research, (which is as authoritative as it is readable), combined with Hunts breathtaking artwork.

    5.00 out of 5


  • This book doesn't know if it is a coffeetable book or a history book, but it is as good a combination as you can get. The information about the HMS Surprise is very interesting, and definately lead me to a better understanding of the environment that many of Patrick O'Brian's books. The pictures and drawings are beautiful. It was an inconvenent size for reading, but the format shows the art very well. I think this book would be interesting for all readers, fans of the Aubrey/Maturin series or not.

    4.50 out of 5


Reviews provided by Librarything.

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