Stephen Maturin

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One of two primary protagonists of the Aubrey-Maturin series — the other is Jack Aubrey — we meet Stephen Maturin as a impoverished physician in Port Mahon, Minorca, in Master and Commander.

Dr. Maturin first appears at a concert in the Governor's House in Port Mahon, elbowing a Royal Navy lieutenant who can't beat time correctly. He is described to the reader as a, "small, dark, white-faced creature in a rusty black coat. It was difficult to tell his age, for not only had he that kind of face that does not give anything away, but he was wearing a wig, a grizzled wig, apparently made of wire and quite devoid of powder." (Norton pg 8) Jack Aubrey thinks he is roughly the same age as himself.

The reader soon learns that the good doctor is stranded in Minorca after the death of his patient and is in need of employment.

Ancestry and birth

Stephen was born in about 1772, the natural child of an Irish officer in the service of Spain and a Catalonian heiress.

Childhood and education

Stephen spent part of his boyhood in Ireland where he learned the Irish language from his nurse. He also spent time with his relatives in Catalonia. He gained his university education at Trinity College, Dublin where he was a noted and successful duelist. He pursued his medical education in Paris where he qualified as a doctor, at about the time of the French Revolution.

Political involvement

Stephen was involved with many of the protagonists in the failed Irish revolt of 1798, but did not take part in the rising. He was a cousin of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, one of the leaders. At this time he was involved with Mona but the relationship did not continue for unknown reasons. He left Ireland after the rising as the private doctor of a gentleman. They sailed to Minorca where his patient died leaving him penniless.

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