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    Re: Patrick O'Brian characters disc uss time and longitude
    From: Don E. Bray
    Date: 2016 Jun 27, 20:29 +0000
    This is always a great topic, I am on my third reading of the series. The stories are fresh each time.

    I revealed on these pages a few years ago (2013) that I had made a spreadsheet analysis using Latitude and Longitude as reported in Desolation Island to recreate the voyage as reported by Patrick O'Brian. If I assumed a departure from Bay of Biscay on 26 April 1811 I could match up very well with the rest of POB's positions. This was confirmed by the voyage as reported on the Cannonade website.

    Fresh from that success, I decided to analyze the events reported in HMS Surprise. The scenario did not fit together as neatly. Part of the problem was my background as an engineer and amateur astronomer; my only sextant is a pocket sextant purchased at an antique store in Maine. But, there were several problems with fitting the HMS Surprise story together, one of which was a solar eclipse that occurred in another ocean in another year. With that, I put the analysis aside and  telling myself that it is historical fiction and POB is still to me the master story teller. I don't want to muddle his thinking with the facts. 

    Don Bray


    **************************************
    Nature is Speaking - Click one of the following videos  
    Mother Nature http://tinyurl.com/j4q9psk
    Oceans http://tinyurl.com/j6hwark
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    Faith and science http://debclltx.com/
    **************************************
    Don E. Bray
    College Station, Texas 77842-0315

    On Jun 27, 2016, at 01:34 PM, Francis Upchurch <NoReply_Upchurch@fer3.com> wrote:

    Thanks Don et al. Great discussion re a fictional character!

    I probably overstated my original praise for O'Brien and Aubrey.

    I did  not mean to suggest he was writing any textbook of navigation or evolutionary science. just that in the context of an historical novel, he combined a wonderful "Jane Austen" feel for the period with some erudite gems re the politics, philosophy and science of the times. He may have of made a few mistakes, but hell, he was at least injecting these gems into  the narative. Name me another writer( eg CS Forester, who has got anyware near this?)

    His Maturin/Darwin thing is of course naughty , since it predates the Beagle by a generation. However, Darwins's grandfather was very active at the time of Aubrey with early evolutionary theory.It just adds a wonderful extra depth to the whole story.

    I love it and forgive him his sins. Wish i could write like him.

    And Britannia did indeed rule the waves! And Grenwhich was the prime meridian. Enough said on history.God knows where we go from here following the referendum. Geoff Kolbe is happy apparently.(the Scots voted overwhemingly to remain and will now probably leave UK). Everyone I know, including lot's of young educated folk, including all my children  are dismayed and considering emigration .

    Let's see what happens. We needed this social and economic  hurricane like a hole in the head.

    Francis

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