Patrick O'Brian, was until his death in 2000, one of our greatest contemporary novelists and widely regarded as one of the greatest storytellers of the English language. He is the author of the acclaimed Aubrey-Maturin novels and the biographer of Joseph Banks and Picasso. He has also written other novels including Testimonies, and many short stories. In 1995 he was the first recipient of the Heywood Hill Prize for a lifetime's contribution to literature. In the same year he was awarded the CBE. In 1997 he received an honorary doctorate of letters from Trinity College, Dublin. In 2003, his Aubrey novels were taken to the big screen by the film director Peter Weir with the blockbuster and critically acclaimed Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. He died in Dublin in January 2000.
'Patrick O'Brian has given a farewell to his followers that is as gracious as it is gallant. And we, in turn, may find some solace in the thought that of all people, this man would not have hated to be taken out of action much as Nelson was: deep in triumph, shedding glory on the service he loved, and still at the peak of his powers.' Richard Snow
'One of the most compelling and brilliant novelists of his time...Beyond his superbly elegant writing, wit and originality, Patrick O'Brian showed an understanding of the nature of a floating world at the mercy of the wind and the sea which has never been surpassed.' MAX HASTINGS, Evening Standard