A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion for Patrick O'Brian's Seafaring Tales (Anglais) Broché – 26 janvier 2001
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What is this bark that Stephen dispenses for certain ailments? Why, the bark of the Chinchona tree -- it contains quinine, says A Sea of Words, while also describing the many other medical terms he slings around.
Jack attempts several times to give Stephen a grasp of the weather-gage, as it relates to ships in battle, but never so clearly as Dean King's description, which includes both the advantages of the weather- and lee-gages.
It's all here, and even if one had the encyclopedias and all the other essential references needed, which I seriously doubt would be found even in a big-city library, why go shopping when one book will do?
For those sorely needed maps, get Harbors & High Seas by King and Hattendorf, and you're all set.
If you are new to nautical matters, and begin the Forester, Kent or Woodman series of novels with the start of the hero's career, I suggest you not consult this work until later so that you taste the same initial confusion as any raw young midshipman. This is a useful rite of passage for anyone falling in love with nautical fiction: if you care enough to learn the challengingly obscure terms you will be hooked. You will also learn the origins of many slang expressions, like scuttlebutt, three sheets to the wind, bye and large, bitter end, squared away, cut and run, scuttled, doldrums, son of a gun, at liberty, etc. The geographical companion book, Harbors and High Seas, could be acquired anytime, but I don't consider it as useful as this book. (Note: my review is based on a 2nd edition [green cover], which did not contain the error Desiree mentions in her review.)
Avoid the 2nd edition!
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