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    Re: Patrick O'Brian series
    From: Don Seltzer
    Date: 2014 Jan 14, 10:00 -0800

    Stan K wrote: I was not particularly happy with the way O'Brian killed off Diana.

    Which way would you have preferred to have her killed off? ;-)

    The following is way off topic for this forum, but for those interested,

    O'Brian's planning notes for his books, held by the Lilly Library, show that he had been considering ways to kill off Diana since Letter of Marque (she floats off in a hot air balloon, never to be seen again). He thought about it again with Nutmeg of Consolation (dies in childbirth). He got closer to chopping her in The Yellow Admiral, but ran into a publisher's deadline and postponed the inevitable for the opening of the next book.

    It must have annoyed POB to no end when after laying the groundwork for
    Diana's impending accident in TYA, the New York Times came out with this

    "If Evelyn Waugh or Anthony Powell (or Anthony Trollope, for that matter)
    had been writing these books, the curve balls would have started flying
    several volumes back; Diana, for example, might have been killed off, and
    Stephen's resulting grief used to deepen our understanding of his
    personality. But Mr. O'Brian coddles and cossets his darlings instead of
    murdering them, a sure sign of loss of nerve: there are by now at least a
    dozen untouchable continuing characters in the series, all of whom must be
    tended, watered and trotted out for their annual star turns. To be sure,
    tragedy continues to strike without warning in Mr. O'Brian's fictional
    universe -- there is a particularly jolting death in ''The Yellow Admiral''
    -- but the one thing his faithful readers can count on is that nobody they
    really like will ever vanish over the side. "
    - NYT, Nov 1996

    Don Seltzer
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