Age of Sail Naval Non-Fiction Section



Famous Ships

Ships & Design


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, the frigate also had a true historical career serving in both the French and British navies before being captured by Inconstant in the Mediterranean in 1796 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 history of the Fifth Rate including some 50 line drawings as well as historical artworks and detailed photographs together with stills and model shots from the ship used in the film "Master & Commander: the Far Side of the World". The book is presented in full colour throughout and additionally includes a series of specially-commissioned sketches and 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. Detailed line and isometric plans are being drawn by prolific marine draughtsman Karl Heinz Marquardt.HMS Surprise sails again and this time it's for real - a must for all Patrick O'Brian readers. It is a stunning collaboration between two of the most respected naval authorities. Much of Surprise's actual history is as exciting as her fictional career. It is a meticulously researched first-rate book for all naval devotees.

The Frigate Surprise
Reviews of this book:  by Richard Spilman
   by Alaric Bond

Author: Brian Lavery and Geoff Hunt

Title: The Frigate Surprise: The Design, Construction and Careers of Jack Aubrey's Favourite Command

Series: n/a

First Published by: Conway Maritime Press


Format: HC

Date: 22 September 2008

ISBN-10: 1-844860-74-4

ISBN-13: 978-1844860746




© 2008-2024 David Hayes (Astrodene)