The Letter of Marque
by Patrick O'Brian
Collins, 1988, hardcover, dustjacket, ISBN 0002231492
Good Condition, ex-library (cancelled stamp to half-title page and back flyleaf, tape and sticker residue to front and back flyleaf, tape residue to covers), slight lean, dustjacket has minor edge and shelf wear
'Jack Aubrey is a naval captain, a captain of experience and capacity. When The Letter of Marque opens he has been struck off the list of post-captains for a crime he has not committed, and because he is the man he is there is not position which could cause him greater unhappiness. With Aubrey is his half-Catalan, half-Irish friend Stephen Maturin, usually cast as a ship's surgeon to cover up his discreet activities on behalf of unofficial arms of the British government. Maturin has bought for Aubrey his old ship the Surprise so that the misery of ejection from the service can be palliated by the command of what Aubrey calls a ;private man-of-war' - a letter of marque, a privateer. Together they sail on a voyage which, if successful, might restore Aubrey to the rank ( and the raison d'etre) whose loss he so much regrets.'