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John "Jack" Aubrey
First appearance Master and Commander
Last appearance 21 or The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey
Created by Patrick O'Brian
Portrayed by Russell Crowe
Episode count 20/21
Information
Nickname(s) Lucky Jack, Goldilocks
Gender Male
Occupation Naval Officer
Title Rear-Admiral
Spouse(s) Sophie Aubrey
Children Charlotte, Fanny, George, Sam Panda
Relatives Several

John "Jack" Aubrey is a fictional character in the Aubrey–Maturin series of novels by Patrick O'Brian. The series portrays his rise from Lieutenant to Rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. The twenty (and almost twenty-one) book series encompasses Aubrey's adventures and various commands along his course to flying a rear admiral's flag. He starts as a lieutenant, depressed, poor and without a ship until he is given his first command: a fourteen-gun brig-rigged sloop, HMS Sophie.

Most of his naval battles and adventures are drawn from actual Royal Navy history.[1] Several of his exploits and reverses are directly based on the chequered career of Thomas Cochrane, most importantly the plots of Master and Commander, The Reverse of the Medal and Blue at the Mizzen.[1] O'Brian is said to have pictured his friend, actor Charlton Heston, as Aubrey.

Throughout the books, Aubrey presents himself as a great lover of music and player of the violin. He is generally accompanied by his friend and shipmate Stephen Maturin on the 'cello. Aubrey is particularly fond of Corelli.

Aubrey is played by Russell Crowe in the 2003 film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.

Contents

Education and Early life

In Master and Commander, Aubrey attributes his education to "Queeny," the wife to Lord Keith, the historical Hester Thrale.[2] Her family had occupied Damplow, a house near General Aubrey's estate and Jack learned mathematics and Latin from her.[2]

Early Career

This section covers the career of Aubrey before the Aubrey-Maturin series, for more information on that period, see the individual books.

Like many officers in the British fleet, Aubrey spent much of his life raised on the sea, joining the navy very early in his life. While a midshipman aboard the HMS Resolution commanded by a friend of General Aubrey's, Captain Douglas, Jack was turned before the mast for hiding a black girl aboard the ship.[3] He spent 6 months as a common seaman before being rerated as a midshipmen.[3] This was when Lord Keith was still Captain Elphinstone,[3] therefore pre-1797.

While second lieutenant aboard HMS Foudroyant (1798), Aubrey was the leader of the prize crew for the Généreux when she was capture by Nelson's fleet in 1800.[4]

Aubrey also spent some time as 5th Lieutenant aboard HMS Hannibal (in service 1786-1801), under Captain John Newman.[3] There, after insulting the first Lieutenant, he was put in front of a board, with Lord Keith upon it, which reprimanded him for his "petulance," which led to Aubrey spending 8 months ashore with half pay.[3]

Ships commanded by Jack Aubrey

During the series of novels, Jack Aubrey commands a large number of vessels. Most of them are ships of the Royal Navy, prefixed HMS. On one occasion he commands an Honourable East India Company Ship, and for some time Surprise is a hired vessel working for the Royal Navy (HMHV), and the "Franklin" is a privateer captured by Jack Aubrey, and used for a brief time, before he sells it. Nutmeg of Consolation's status is undefined, as she belongs to Stamford Raffles, the Governor of Batavia.

Ship Rate Guns Main armament Book Notional Year End of commission Fictional?
HMS Sophie Brig-Sloop 14 4lb Master and Commander 1800 Captured =HMS Speedy
HMS Polychrest Sloop 24 32lb carronades Post Captain 1803 Sunk (structural failure) Yes
HMS Lively 5th 38 18lb Post Captain 1804 Temporary command No
HMS Surprise 6th 28 12lb HMS Surprise 1805 Paid off No
HMS Boadicea 5th 38 18lb The Mauritius Command 1809 Transferred to Raisonnable No
HMS Raisonnable 3rd 64 24lb The Mauritius Command 1809 Monsoon season; transferred back to Boadicea No
HMS Leopard 4th 50 24lb Desolation Island 1811 Converted to transport No
HMS Ariel Sloop 16 6lb The Surgeon's Mate 1813 Sunk after striking reef No
HMS Worcester 3rd 74 32lb The Ionian Mission 1813 Converted to shear hulk following storm damage Yes
HMS Surprise 6th 28 12lb The Ionian Mission 1813 Temporary command No
HEICS Niobe 9lb Treason's Harbour 1813 Temporary command Yes
HMS Surprise 6th 28 12lb The Far Side of the World 1813 Paid off, then sold out of service No
HMS Diane 5th 32 18lb The Thirteen Gun Salute 1813 Grounded on a reef, then destroyed by storm Yes
Nutmeg of Consolation 6th 20 32lb carronades The Nutmeg of Consolation 1813 Returned to governor, transferred to Surprise Yes
HMHV Surprise 6th 28 12lb Clarissa Oakes 1813 Transferred himself to Franklin No
Privateer Franklin 22 24lb carronades The Wine Dark Sea 1813 Transferred himself back to the Surprise Yes
HMS Bellona 3rd 74 32lb The Commodore
The Yellow Admiral
1813 Paid off No
HMS Pomone 5th 38 18lb The Hundred Days 1815 Transferred to HMS Surprise No
HMS Surprise 6th 28 12lb The Hundred Days 1815 Damaged in collision, then sent in for repairs No
HMHV Surprise 6th 28 12lb Blue at the Mizzen 1815 Promoted: raised Flag on HMS Suffolk No
HMS Suffolk 3rd 74 32lb The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey 1817 No

References

  1. ^ a b David Cordingly (2007). Cochrane: The Real Master and Commander. New York: Bloomsbury. pp. 3-4. ISBN 978-1-58234-534-5.  
  2. ^ a b Master and Commander, 164-165 (Norton ed.).
  3. ^ a b c d e Master and Commander, 162-163 (Norton ed.)
  4. ^ Post Captain 250 (Norton ed.)
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Sources

  • Patrick O'Brian (2003). Master and Commander (Norton ed.). New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-32517-2.  

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