Eulogies: Eulogies: Patrick O'Brian

Twice PATRICK O'BRIAN consented to come to the U.S. to promote his books, queasy engagements because he was shy and reclusive and edgy about any attempt at curiosity about him and his life and his (obfuscated) personal history. A BBC reporter once asked when the grapes ripened in the region of France where he lived. Reply: "That is a rather personal question." I was asked to introduce him at one of his New York City appearances, which amounted to readings (he would not consent to give a speech). He was courtly and dutiful, but his mind was beating loudly elsewhere. It...

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