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The Daily Aubrey-Maturin: The Reverse of the Medal (Book 11), Chapters 8-10 (pg. 3787-3844)

Your daily dose of off-topic shenanigans.

The Pillory. Four men being punished in the pillory jeered at by a crowd. By this date among crimes punishable by pillory were embezzlement of state property, perjury and swindling. Aquatint from WH Pyne Costume of England London 1805.
The Pillory, circa 1754
Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images


Maturin’s successful in acquiring the Surprise in the government auction, giving temporary command of it to Pullings. Meanwhile, Sir Joseph tells Maturin that there’s still a massive leak in intelligence service.

Elsewhere, Aubrey’s trial is as much of a shitshow as feared, politically charged (trying to hurt his father, General Aubrey, first and foremost), but also with multiple character assassinations of Aubrey on the stand. Even Lt. Grant gets dredged up from the depths of Book 5 (Desolation Island). Aubrey’s found guilty on all counts.


Maturin works his connections to get “letters of marque” for the Surprise so they don’t have to live the pirate life. Aubrey’s given command, which spares him a prison sentence, but still gets pilloried and fined, and, most devastatingly to him, disrated from the Royal Navy. Sir Joseph promises official mission to South America, wherein Maturin would also sow the seeds of revolution in Peru and Chile (against Spain).


Aubrey’s busy with sea-trials for the Surprise. Maturin finally learns that Wray’s not only a traitor, but that it goes one above him as well. Not sure yet who. Maturin also learns that it was Wray who orchestrated the entire stock exchange scam. (Which was an actual historical event from 1814, involving Lord Cochrane, one of the real-life inspirations for Jack Aubrey.)

Thus ends Book 11, “The Reverse of the Medal”. Next up, Book 12, “The Letter of Marque”.





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