Patrick O'Brian Society of Bath


The Patrick O’Brian Society of Bath


Founded by Ruth Mannion-Daniels in 2010, the Patrick O’Brian Society of Bath is a reading group for devotees of the novels of Patrick O’Brian, who is counted in many literary circles as the outstanding historical novelist of the Twentieth century.

The twenty novels in the Aubrey/Maturin series, plus one unfinished, chronicle the friendship of Captain Jack Aubrey and Doctor Steven Maturin in their lives and exploits in the British navy during the Napoleonic wars.


Each novel is complete in itself, but the series together amount to a wonderfully powerful evocation of life both at sea and on land, combining humour and human nature with high adventure and contemporary history, recounted with a formidable culture and erudition, which for descriptive power can match anything in fiction of sea-life in Nelson’s time.


As the Programme will show, while the Patrick O’ Brian novels form the mainstay of the Society’s interests, they also include other important facets of cultural, commercial and humanitarian developments surrounding British naval endeavours in what has become known as the Age of Enlightenment.


Forthcoming Programme 2019


Monday 25th February 7.30pm


Robert Louis Stephenson

One of the best-loved adventure stories ever written, Treasure Island's timeless tale of pirates, lost treasure maps, mutiny and derring-do has appealed to generations of readers ever since Robert Louis Stevenson penned it in 1881 with the claim: "If this don't fetch the kids, why, they have gone rotten since my day.”


Monday 5th March 7.30pm


Patrick O'Brian

The Letter of Marque opens with Jack Aubrey having been struck off the Navy List for a crime he did not commit. His friend, the surgeon Stephne Maturin, however, has purchased Jack's old and favourite ship 'Surprise' sailing as a privateer under a letter of marque, and together they set off on a voyage which, if successful, might restore Jack to his rank and the raison d'etre that he so much regrets.


Monday 28th April 2019


Donald Thomas 

The adventures of the daring Thomas Cochrane, called 'the sea wolf' by Napoleon, are so extraordinary that his life reads like a page-turning work of fiction.

In one sense it became so, for the novelist Patrick O'Brian by his own admission used Cochrane as the basis for Jack Aubrey, hero of his much-loved series of naval novels.

Cochrane became a household name when in 1800 he took command of the tiny brig, the Speedy, and created mayhem in the Mediterranean earning himself and his crew a fortune in prize money.

A wildly contradictory character, he was never less than heroic.