Movies: At the Heart Of the Ocean

Fame and wealth came late for Patrick O'Brian. He was already 55 in 1970 when he published Master and Commander, the first of what would be 20 volumes in his irresistible naval saga set in the time of the Napoleonic wars. But by the time the last volume appeared in 1999, O'Brian's tales of Captain Jack Aubrey and his shipmate Dr. Stephen Maturin had become Harry Potter for grownups. Each new book was a heavily anticipated publishing event among not only weekend sailors but also people whose only prior encounter with seafaring had been Sloop John B. By now 8 million...

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