In this Month

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Bruce Trinque has compiled a day by day listing of events that can be dated in the Aubrey-Maturin series. With some additional comment from the other Gunroom members, the list is presented below.

Notes on the methodology

The dates shown below relating to Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin novels are derived, when possible, directly from the books themselves. However, O'Brian was often extremely vague about the specific timing of events, and so in many cases I have resorted to the dates of the actual historical occurrences used as source material for O'Brian's fiction (usually designated by an AHE after the entry). I have tried to stick with either those specific bits of time data supplied by O'Brian in the novels or with the actual historical record, rather than resort to simple speculation or educated guesses.

Of course, O'Brian sometimes thoroughly divorced his fictional events from the timing of their historical antecedents, and in those cases I generally have chosen not to report those dates. For at least one sequence of events, O'Brian presented more than one time (e.g difficulties arriving from an encounter with an iceberg following the encounter with the Waakzaamheid are assigned to December, 1811, in Desolation Island but the flight from the Dutch ship is altered to March, 1812, in The Fortune of War.

Perhaps the greatest challenge to establishing dates for Canonical events is presented by the sequence of ten novels beginning with The Ionian Mission and continuing through The Commodore. In The Surgeon's Mate, events can be directly related to the historical record (they quite clearly belong to the summer and autumn of 1813, as proven by HMS Shannon's capture of USS Chesapeake at the conclusion of The Fortune of War). Events towards the end of The Yellow Admiral can be confidently dated to late 1813, as shown by the subsequent abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1814.

The lengthy plots of The Ionian Mission, Treason's Harbour, The Far Side of the World, The Reverse of the Medal, The Letter of Marque, The Thirteen-Gun Salute, The Nutmeg of Consolation (novel), The Truelove/Clarissa Oakes, The Wine-Dark Sea, and The Commodore have to be assigned to an extraordinarily long hypothetical Year of 1813 (designated hereafter as **1813**). Page references are given relative to the standard WW Norton hardcover editions.

Each month linked below has a day by day listing of the events that can be known or believed to have occurred in that month.


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