By Dean King
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Additional resources for A Sea of Words, Third Edition: A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian
If you’re anything like me—a certified lubber—you raced through the first three novels glued to the plots, inventing definitions, or what you convinced yourself were at least reasonable approximations, and reassuring yourself at each instance of Maturin’s touching lubberliness. The fact is you don’t have to know more about the historical and nautical background to enjoy these books. But there comes a time when most of us suddenly realize we want to know more. Cross-catharpings? Lord Keith? Mauritius?
Such a blockade was meant to keep an enemy fleet at anchor in port. Jack Aubrey was typical of many officers who expressed their displeasure in such work. Not only did it lack the élan of battle, but it was difficult to control a large line of battle in shallow and confined waters close to shore. Rated Ships of the Line. Broadly speaking, the ships of the line were also the rated ships, falling into five or six classes. All of them were normally commanded by a sea officer trained in navigation, seamanship, and gunnery and holding the official rank and title of Captain, that is to say, a Post-Captain.
Victory, was among the biggest ships when it was launched in 1765. In addition to being fighting ships, these large ships had additional naval roles, often carrying an Admiral and his staff either at sea or in port and serving as symbols of naval power and diplomatic prestige. The next class of ships of the line, the second rates, carried 90 to 98 guns, usually 98, with heavy guns on three decks, lighter armament on the quarterdeck, forecastle, and poop, and a total complement of about 738 naval officers and men, and about 150 Marines.
A Sea of Words, Third Edition: A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian by Dean King