…a grand work of literary companionship, a savvy guide that nudged me to look in all sorts of unlikely directions. Over and over, the novels seemed to chide me gently for my timidity, my lack of civility and my inability to sometimes look more closely at the meaning of things….

A nice essay on the Aubrey/ Maturin novels in Sunday’s WaPo. I am about a third of the way through the series myself (most recently: The Ionian Mission; favorite: The Mauritius Command.) There’s something very consoling about these books. Perhaps it’s being in the company of characters who are so human: who love, who hate, who have interests and skills and little fads, virtues and vices; whose intellect, strength, and courage were daily put to the test.
Sometimes I think Patrick O’Brian would have made a great deathbed convert. Perhaps someday we’ll be pleasantly surprised.