Joseph Blaine

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Sir Joseph Blaine is a senior official in the Royal Navy's intelligence service and is Stephen Maturin's prime contact with the Admiralty. He is also an enthusiastic entomologist and member of the Royal Society which provides Maturin with a good cover for their frequent meetings.

Blaine first appears in Post Captain when he arranges for Maturin to receive an honorary position as a post captain for the capture of the Spanish treasure fleet so he can share in the prize money. Subsequently he is largely responsible for arranging Maturin's various secret missions. He is portrayed as a large, pale-faced man, an expert cryptographer and a master of impassive discretion, who shows little emotion except when he is excited by a rare beetle or a spectacular intelligence coup.

SPOILER WARNING:  Plot or ending details for "Aubrey-Maturin series"  follow.

Blaine has a genuine personal regard for Maturin, whom he sometimes receives at his private house in Shepherd Market (a low market, in the West End of London, east of Hyde Park, between Curzon Street on the northern side and Piccadilly on the southern). In The Thirteen-Gun Salute and The Nutmeg of Consolation the personal friendship of Blaine and Maturin plays an important part in both creating and resolving complications in Maturin's financial affairs. In The Mauritius Command Blaine contemplates marriage and (briefly) retirement, but by the time of The Reverse of the Medal he has abandoned both ideas.

Although Blaine works at the Admiralty, he apparently bears no official title, and in fact both he and his effective position seem to be O'Brian's invention.

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