Patrick O'Brian

HMS Surprise

UK First Edition Book & Synopsis

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The information below provides all you need to identify a first edition or first printing.
Published 1973 by Collins
Brown cloth, gilt titles
Dust jacket priced at 2.50
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Patrick O'Brian

Patrick O'Brian - HMS Surprise

 

SYNOPSIS

To and fro, to and fro, from Cape Sicie to the Giens peninsula, wear ship and back again, all day long, week after week, month after month, whatever the weather; after the evening gun they stood out into the offing and at dawn they were back again, the inshore squadron of frigates watching Toulon, the eyes of the Mediterranean fleet, those line-of-battle ships whose topsails flecked the southern horizon, Nelson waiting for the French admiral to come out. The mistral had been blowing for three days now and the sea showed more white than blue, with the off-shore wind cutting up little short waves that sent spray flying over the waist of the ship: the three frigates had reduced sail at noon, but even so they were making seven knots and heeling until their larboard chains were smothered in the foam. The tediously familiar headland of Cape Side" came closer and closer; in this sparkling clean air under the pure sky they could see the little white houses, carts creeping on the road up to the semaphore station and the batteries. Closer, almost within range of the high-perched forty-two pounders; and now the wind was coming in gusts off the high ground. 'On deck, there/ hailed the lookout at the mast-head. 'Naiad's showing a waft, sir.'

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