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The Daily Aubrey-Maturin: The Yellow Admiral (Book 18), Chapters 5-7 (pg. 5757-5829)

Your daily dose of off-topic shenanigans

The Mars and LHercule
Capture of the French ship L’Hercule by the British ship HMS Mars off Brest in April 1798
Photo by Print Collector/Getty Images

NB: We had a software glitch that apparently prevented this post from publishing at its regular time.


Blockade duty as boring as ever, back and forth, back and forth. The days are spent eating, talking, playing music, getting up to silly shenanigans, one of which results in the death of a young midshipman, who falls off the masts during a game (race) of skylarking.

We do get a bit of action as Maturin hooks up with a Catalan spy/merchant, and they go ashore in France to see what they can learn.


Mail from home, and it’s rather disastrous news for Jack, as Sophia discovers some old letters from Amanda Smith, whom we might remember back all the way from Book 7 (seven!) as the lady in Halifax with whom Jack had spent a rather ill-advised night. This secret remained a secret despite Amanda’s threats back then, but for whatever reason, Jack thought it wise to save those letters. Oopsies.

Meanwhile, things at sea aren’t going terribly well either, with two French ships apparently slipping past the blockade where Aubrey’s Bellona was supposed to be keeping watch. Aubrey blames the weather, which helps him avoid a court martial, but he’s pulled off inshore duty and denied leave.

And then, he decides to ignore a fleet exercise to go chasing after a French privateer, capturing it as a prize but also damaging the Bellona in the process. At least this way he can get ashore to try to get his domestic life in order, but the Admiral, who already didn’t like him, is far from pleased, to say the least.

And Sophia’s not in a forgiving mood either.


In better news, Maturin’s mission was a rousing success, with news of England (and allies) coming ever closer to finally winning the war against Napoleon (almost strictly fought on land now), news of Chilean independence movement gaining steam, and also news of a double agent, Diego Diaz, whom they (Stephen and Sir Joseph) later catch in the act of stealing state secrets in London.





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