The Patrick O'Brian Compendium

The Works of Dean H. King

Dean H. King has been instrumental in helping readers worldwide get a better understanding of all the concepts, geography, history and culture in Patrick O'Brian's work. He also gives those of us who have read all the Aubrey/Maturin series more books to feast on. Your webmaster still keeps a copy of Sea of Words nearby as he re-reads the A/M series. Click here to go to the official Dean King web site or go to Dean's Facebook page.

Lately, he has been writing of things far more arid - see below for details. Click on any title listed to read reviews or purchase from Amazon.


Hatfields and McCoys Dean King's latest - The Feud: The Hatfields & McCoys. It's also the subject of the History Channel's first scripted drama.
Skeletons on the

An amazing tale of shipwreck and survival in Africa in the early decades of the 19th century. 

Unbound book cover


The story of the 30 women on the Long March in China in 1934, exhaustively researched and documented and, as always, told with excitement and enthusiasm.

Patrick O'Brian: A Life Revealed

A complete and sympathetic biography, wherein we find that Jack Aubrey and Steven Maturin may not have been the only fictional characters. Kudos may be found here.

Harbors and High Seas

Now in the 3rd Edition - a synopsis of each Aubrey/Maturin book, with maps of the voyage (even to the fictional destinations) and descriptions of the most important items in each work.

Here's what others say about this work

A Sea of Words

Also in the 3rd Edition - indispensable reference to almost all the terms in the Aubrey/Maturin series, organized alphabetically, with several informative essays about the Napoleonic era at sea. Find out what a galipot really is.

The reviews are here.

Every Man Will Do His Duty

A collection of descriptions of life in the Napoleonic era, as told by real-life sailors and others. Not everyone got to sail with the likes of Jack Aubrey.

Universal acclaim located here.

The Heart of Oak Sea Classic Series is edited by Dean King. They are all very good companions to the Aubrey/Maturin series, giving different perspectives on the events of the Napoleonic era. Click on any title listed to read reviews or purchase from Amazon.
The Black Ship An account of the mutiny of the crew of the H.M.S. Hermione, in which the real-life H.M.S. Surprise played a key role
Decision at Trafalgar Contains a unique social history of the decisive battle at Trafalgar, including what it meant to the English people and the environment surrounding it. Much more than just a description of the battle, though that's in there, too
Doctor Dogbody's Leg Tongue-in-cheek tall tales from one naval surgeon's perspective
Lord Cochrane, Seaman, Radical, Liberator : A Life of Thomas, Lord Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald The real-life captain of H.M.S. Surprise, after whom Patrick O'Brian modeled several events in Jack Aubrey's career
Mr. Midshipman Easy A very readable account of Frederick Marryat's voyages with Lord Thomas Cochrane
Percival Keene Rags-to-riches at sea, in which the title character meets Napoleon
Peter Simple A good account of life aboard ship, but told from the point-of-view of the lower deck. Those tars seem to have to have an awful lot of fun at each other's expense
The Rover Vintage Joseph Conrad (his last book) lots of subtle philosophical insights into the period of the French Revolution and the age of Napoleon
The Wing-And-Wing or Le Feu-Folet : A Tale By James Fenimore Cooper, this one is a tad windy, if you get my drift (and if you have tried to read Last of the Mohicans, you will)


Dean King at 2010
                Virginia Festival of the Book


Dean King unveils his work, Unbound, at the Virginia Festival of the Book, March 19, 2010.

                King at 2004 Virginia Festival of the Book

Dean King at the 2004 Virginia Festival of the Book, leading the discussion session "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World".

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