A Sea of Words : Lexicon and Companion for Patrick O'Brian's Seafaring Tales, Paperback Book

A Sea of Words : Lexicon and Companion for Patrick O'Brian's Seafaring Tales Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (4 ratings)


A new edition of the classic companion to Patrick O'Brian's sea loving novels, updated to include the final novel in the series.

This comprehensive lexicon provides definitions of nautical terms, historical entries describing the people and political events that shaped the period, and detailed explanations of the scientific, medical, and biblical references that appear in the novels.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512 pages, 62 b&w illustrations, 3 maps
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Company Inc
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literary studies: from c 1900 -
  • ISBN: 9780805066159



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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

Dictionary-format companion to the Aubrey-Maturin novels. A great resource for everything from nautical terms to French and Latin phrases.

Review by

A treasure trove of information to explain the language of the time found in O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series.

Review by

Dean King's Sea of Words is one of the best “companion” books I have ever found. The book is aimed at readers of Patrick O'Brian, but it is an indispensable reference book for anyone reading Napoleonic Era nautical fiction and even non-fiction.The book is arranged like a dictionary, offering definitions of unfamiliar terms covering everything from sailing jargon to food and life aboard ship. Of particular note are the careful explanations of battles and battle terminology. King's descriptions will make these confusing entries in O'Brian clear to even a novice reader, and will definitely increase the over all enjoyment for anyone, even long time fans.

Review by

Definitely keep this book around whenever you haul out one of the Aubrey/Maturin adventures. The start of the book describes ship types, the structure of the Royal Navy's bureaucracy, ranks and a lengthy piece about medicine at the turn of the 19th century. These were fascinating and a good introduction to the series. The dictionary part is very comprehensive, I have yet to look up a confusing word from the book and not find it here. The dictionary has nautical, medical and scientific terms along with important people, places and ships. There are also ship rigging and sail diagrams (so useful!) and maps of important regions.

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