Patrick O'Brian

The Wine Dark Sea

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 1993 by Collins
purple cloth, gilt titles
Dust jacket priced at 14.99
Printers key 987654321
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Patrick O'Brian

Patrick O'Brian - The Wine Dark Sea

 

SYNOPSIS

A reluctant dawn, a dim blood-red sun; and although the sea was diminishing fast it was still wilder than most sailors had ever seen, with bursting waves and a still-prodigious swell. A desolate ocean, grey now under a deathly white, rolling with enormous force, but still with no life upon it apart from these two ships, now dismasted and tossing like paper boats on a millstream. They were at some distance from one another, both apparently wrecks, floating but out of control: beyond them, to windward, a newly-arisen island of black rock and cinders. It no longer shot out fire, but every now and then, with an enormous shriek, a vast jet of steam leapt from the crater, mingled with ash and volcanic gases. When Jack first saw the island it was a hundred and eighty feet high, but the rollers had already swept away great quantities of the clinker and by the time the sun was clear of the murk not fifty feet remained. The more northern of the ships, the Surprise, was in fact quite well in hand, lying to under a storm trysail on her only undamaged lower mast, while her people did all that very weary men could do - it had been all hands all night to repair her damaged maintop and to cross at least the lower yard. They had the strongest motives for doing so, since their quarry, totally dismasted and wallowing gunwales under on the swell, lay directly under their lee; but there was no certainty that helpless though she seemed she might not send up some kind of a jury-rig and slip away into the thick weather with its promise of blinding squalls. 'Larbohnes bowse,' cried Captain Aubrey, watching the spare topmast with anxious care. 'Bowse away. Belay!' And to his first lieutenant, 'Oh Tom, how I hope the Doctor comes on deck before the land vanishes.'

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