We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
 >   > 
The Letter of the Marque: Aubrey-Maturin Series, Book 12 | [Patrick O'Brian]

The Letter of the Marque: Aubrey-Maturin Series, Book 12

In the early 1800s, the British Navy stands as the only bulwark against the militant fanaticism of Napoleonic France. Jack Aubrey, a brilliant and experienced officer, has been struck off the list of post-captains for a crime he has not committed. His old friend, Stephen Maturin, usually acting as the ship's surgeon to cover his activities on behalf of British intelligence, has bought for Aubrey his old ship, the Surprise, to command as a privateer.
Regular Price:$19.57
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

In the early 1800s, the British Navy stands as the only bulwark against the militant fanaticism of Napoleonic France. Jack Aubrey, a brilliant and experienced officer, has been struck off the list of post-captains for a crime he has not committed. His old friend, Stephen Maturin, usually acting as the ship's surgeon to cover his activities on behalf of British intelligence, has bought for Aubrey his old ship, the Surprise, to command as a privateer. Together they sail on a desperate mission against the French, which, if successful, may redeem Aubrey from the private hell of his disgrace.

In this 12th installment of the beloved Aubrey-Maturin series, Patrick O'Brian has created another tale of great narrative power.

©1988 Patrick O'Brian; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A splendid saga." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)
"If Jane Austen wrote Royal Navy yarns, they might read like this....The early-19th-century locations are fascinating, as are the evocation of period shipboard life....Seafarers and landlubbers alike will enjoy this swift, witty tale of money and love." (Publishers Weekly)
"The author has created two wonderfully contrasting characters in bluff, hearty Aubrey and reedy, intellectual Maturin. Readers will be glad to see these unlikely friends in action again. An exciting sea story with good character development." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (187 )
5 star
 (144)
4 star
 (36)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.8 (91 )
5 star
 (72)
4 star
 (17)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.8 (92 )
5 star
 (77)
4 star
 (14)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    HomeFixers 04-12-12
    HomeFixers 04-12-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Letter of the Marque read by Simon Vance"

    Due to the couple of poor reviews of the Simon Vance version I thought this might be a good opportunity to check out the Patrick Tull narration of this book which received some good reviews.

    Frankly I’m shocked by the couple of bad reviews of the Simon Vance version. Letter of the Marque (Simon Vance version) is one of the most rewarding books I have listened to so far in the Aubrey-Maturin Series (perhaps THE most rewarding book I have listened to).

    However this book does not stand on its own. I could understand someone perhaps picking this up a few months or more after reading or listening to the previous book (book 11: The Reverse of the Medal) and being slightly less enthusiastic. Letter of the Marque (book 12) is the excellent conclusion to the saga of Jack Aubrey and his troubles with the Navy. What’s more, Letter of the Marque is the exciting (climatic) wrap-up of the troubles between Stephen Maturin and Diana Villiers. PATRICK O’BRIAN DOES NOT DISAPPOINT.

    A note on Patrick Tull vs Simon Vance. Due to the couple of poor reviews of the Simon Vance version I did decide to switch to Patrick Tull and purchased his narration. But after three chapters I stopped listening to the Patrick Tull and purchased the Simon Vance version. Simon Vance is the unequivocal master of multiple voices. Each character has a completely unique voice of his/her own as if you were listening to a movie. And each voice is read not only with complete individuality, but with a distinct depth of emotion (you really feel that you’re getting to know each individual). I found Patrick Tull to be more two-dimensional and wooden in his performance as compared to Simon Vance. In all fairness I think it probably comes down to who you are used to (I’ve had about 10 books under my belt with Simon Vance prior to that).

    Bottom line advice: If you are starting the series, start with Simon Vance. If you are continuing the series stay with the narrator you know (although it’s hard not to strongly recommend the Vance versions because they are so good). With regard to the book itself, if it’s been awhile since you’ve read the series, I might recommend re-reading book 11 (The Reverse of the Medal) just before starting Letter of the Marque since Marque is written as a grand conclusion to it and prior books. You will not be disappointed with this book. Audible is a wonderful company for making these great works possible in such an accessible format for today’s technology (I listen on my iPhone everyday on the treadmill at the gym).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Waynesboro, TN, United States 09-30-07
    Amanda Waynesboro, TN, United States 09-30-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    167
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Jack isn't a snob!"

    In general I do like Simon Vance. But since I've heard--more than once--all the Aubrey-Maturin novels with the, ahem, other reader, I expect I'm really quite prejudiced.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Michigan 01-12-13
    Kelly Michigan 01-12-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    82
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    514
    80
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    21
    21
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "In Fine Form"

    This book was a wonderful continuation of this series. It resoved some of the pieces left from the previous books quite handily and sets up the next book quite well. There were interesting battles and wonderful moments with the hands, new and old. Other figures from past books made cameo appearances and the story moved along at a fast pace. I've quite enjoyed all of these books but I thought this one was a bit better than the previous book. The narrator was wonderful as well, with consistency between voices for every character from book to book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Starbucksguy Washington, DC United States 04-22-12
    Starbucksguy Washington, DC United States 04-22-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another hit for the O'Brian/Vance team"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Very reliable continuation of the series. I love the language and evocation of this period.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Vance is always outstanding, one of the two or three best readers.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Los Angeles, CA, United States 10-25-09
    Craig Los Angeles, CA, United States 10-25-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    81
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    "An Anomaly"

    It's pretty amazing, when you think of it, that O'Brian can make the Napoleonic war at sea so dull. Not so in his other books. I'm a fan of Patrick O'Brian, and his other books are wonderful. In Letter of Marque, though, nothing happens for the first quarter of the book. Then you get to the second quarter, where nothing happens also. In the third quarter, Jack Aubrey sets sail for a distant location where he hopes to find an enemy ship. Sail, sail, sail. Aubrey and Maturin talk a lot. The crew eat a lot of flying fish. The ship gets painted. There's high drama when one of the crew comes down with an impacted wisdom tooth. Then more sailing, sailing, sailing. No engagements. No battles. Finally in the last quarter of the book, they meet the ship they were sailing to meet. And take her. You were expecting a rousing sea battle? So was I . But no. They take her by surprise. There is a boarding party skirmish, but this is dispensed with in less than two minutes of narration. Really. That's it for the action. Back to the impacted wisdom tooth and more boredom. It's hard to believe this is the same Patrick O'Brian who wrote the stirring, emotionally involving other books in this series. I'd regret giving away the punchline in this review, except that there is no punchline. Nothing happens. The book is a great soporific though.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.