Patrick O’Brian was born 12 December 1914, and died 2 January 2000
- I have never written for an audience. On the other hand I do not write merely to please myself.
- I am in favour of leaving people alone, however imperfect their polity may seem. It appears to me that you must not tell other nations how to set their house in order; nor must you compel them to be happy.
- But you know as well as I, patriotism is a word; and one that generally comes to mean either my country, right or wrong, which is infamous, or my country is always right, which is imbecile.
- The function of the novel is the exploration of the human condition. Really, that’s what it’s all about.
- Wit is the unexpected copulation of ideas.
- I look upon good novels - as a very valuable part of literature, conveying more exact and finely-distinguished knowledge of the human heart and mind than almost any other, with greater breadth and depth and fewer constraints.
- Although wealth may not bring happiness, the immediate prospect of it provides a wonderfully close imitation.
- I am opposed to authority, that egg of misery and oppression; I am opposed to it largely for what it does to those who exercise it.
- Other people’s marriages are a perpetual source of amazement.
- The sensation of falling into the past is not unlike that of coming home for the holidays.
O’Brian was an English novelist, best known for his 20 Aubrey–Maturin series of novels, including Master and Commander, set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. The series is loved for its well-researched and highly detailed portrayal of early 19th-century life, as well as its authentic and evocative language.
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