O’Brian, Patrick: (08) The Ionian Mission (spoilers)

SPOILERS for The Ionian Mission; here’s the non-spoiler post if you got here by mistake.

The marital discord I foretold for Stephen and Diana has yet to appear. I hope I was wrong; their arrangements in the first part of the book seem quite sensible and indicative of a real understanding.

Other relationship news: William Babbington and Harte’s daughter? Who is to marry Andrew Wray? Oh dearie me. (I think I forgot to say, last time, that I did very much enjoy Jack and Sophie’s reunion.)

Mr Martin, the parson and bird lover, giving us a newbie’s eye on the Fleet, in case we needed the reminder. I looked up the Biblical passage about the quails; it really does exist, he wasn’t making it up for the purpose.

Harte is not very intelligent or cunning. As he had to give Jack written orders, which did not mention the plan behind sending Dryad in alone, he must’ve known that things would fall out as they had. Once Jack insisted on written orders, he should have made the plan explicit: Jack would certainly have refused, and then Harte would’ve been in the right.

Poetry; works from this era tend to sound sing-songy and uninteresting to me regardless, but all the same—I regretted listening rather than reading, and not being able to skim past.

Aww, back in the Surprise, that sentimental favorite. Until we met the last of Turkish claimants, I thought Jack would choose Mustapha—all bluff fighting men together. Handy that Jack’s prejudices about what a Turk should be matched the worth of the various claimants, that.

It seems, from the description, that the conquest of Marga must be a foregone conclusion once Kutali is assured; doubtless it would have been an anti-climax to go on to it.

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  1. I hope you won’t flay me for spoilage if I mention that your prediction of marital discord was not, in fact, wrong. Its genesis, although not its actual appearance, comes in the next volume.

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