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The Daily Aubrey-Maturin: The Truelove / Clarissa Oakes (Book 15), Chapters 1-3 (pg. 4779-4868)

Your daily dose of off-topic shenanigans

Flag of the Island of Norfolk.
Norfolk Island is a territory of Australia, with their own flag
Photo by: Photo 12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

NB. For some reason, this book has different titles based on printing/edition. It’s called “The Truelove” in the US but “Clarissa Oakes” in the UK.


Australia may be in the rear view, and Maturin may have made a full recovery from the platypus encounter, but Aubrey’s still not entirely happy. Maturin puts this down to a sort of midlife crisis / malaise, and gives him some happy pills. Not exactly a psychologist, this Stephen.

Aubrey also feels that the ship’s crew is hiding a secret from him, and eventually he finds out exactly what: a stowaway! Disguised as a deckhand, she turns out to be an escaped convict whom Oakes, a young midshipman, helped hide on the ship — against all rules and regulations. Aubrey’s livid and promises to maroon both of them on the first random island he can find.


Norfolk Island proves un-landable, so Oakes and his girly friend, Clarissa get to stay onboard. Maturin points out that kicking them off would’ve also been a massive double-standard after allowing him and Padeen to stay on. Eventually, Aubrey softens his stance and agrees to marry Clarissa and Oakes (and then kick them off the ship in a nice habited South American port instead).


The Surprise’s flagged down by a friendly ship, which has personal mail and official orders for them from Sydney. The latter directs them north, towards “Moahu” (a fictional island near Hawaii) to help put down some sort of trouble (i.e. rebellion). The former brings concerning news of the two wives falling out, and Maturin’s daughter possibly having some sort of disability — or at least that’s what Jack is told by his wife, who swears him to secrecy on it.

Meanwhile, the whole ship, including all the officers, warm to Clarissa, and not just because she’s the only woman within hundreds, if not thousands of miles.



Easy pickings


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