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 PO'B: The Golden Ocean 
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Post PO'B: The Golden Ocean
I've never seen the early books of POB discussed, but I finally got round to reading The Golden Ocean. What an enchanting tale of a very serious real life story.

I am such a fan of JA and SM, but I could have happily read on about Peter and Sean. Any comments about the book?

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Mon May 28, 2007 5:40 am
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THe Golden Ocean was a bit of a transition book for POB. Before the war, he had written many short adventure stories for children's magazines, often centering on two companions. With TGO, he extended this theme into a full length novel, relying upon an historical voyage with detailed personal accounts to supply the plot. The formula that he struck upon was to follow the general timeline of the voyage, adding in his own
characters to several of the 'real' historical people, such as
Commodore Anson, Lt Saumarez, Chaplain Walter, and even midshipman
Keppel. The focus of his story was not on the mission of the
squadron, but of the personal relations and adventures of his invented
characters.

The choppy chronological 'editing' of TGO is characteristic of POB's
later novels. Having adopted an historical storyline, he did not feel
compelled to follow it evenly, but rather only filled in those
portions that interested him, making big leaps in time over several
intermediate periods. Towards the end of TGO, these jumped over
intervals go from weeks to months, perhaps because he was pressed for
time. This would also be characteristic of his later Aubrey-Maturin
novels; the final chapters were often rushed, in order to meet his
publisher's deadline.

POB likely relied upon chaplain Richard Walter's account of Anson's
Voyage Around the World, published in 1748, and perhaps the journal of
Lt Philip Saumerez. More recent books, easily found through used book
dealers, include Log of the Centurion, based heavily upon Saumerez's
journal, and Prize of All the Oceans.

TGO was followed several years later by The Unknown Shore, also based upon Anson's voyage, but centered on the much darker tale of the wreck of the Wager. The two main characters, midshipman Jack Byron and surgeon's mate Tobias Barrow, are clear prototypes for the Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin of his later naval novels.

Don Seltzer


Mon May 28, 2007 2:56 pm
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Don Seltzer wrote:
The focus of his story was not on the mission of the squadron, but of the personal relations and adventures of his invented characters.


....I find that so typical of POB, and is the beauty of reading about Jack and Stephen.


Quote:
TGO was followed several years later by The Unknown Shore, also based upon Anson's voyage, but centered on the much darker tale of the wreck of the Wager. The two main characters, midshipman Jack Byron and surgeon's mate Tobias Barrow, are clear prototypes for the Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin of his later naval novels.


....I'm finding those "clear prototypes" right now as I'm currently reading that book.

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Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:39 pm
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