Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The O'Brian mss., ca. 1969-1997, consist primarily of notes and full-text manuscripts of author Patrick O'Brian's historical sea novels. Autograph manuscripts for eighteen of the twenty published novels are present. The titles are: Master and Commander (1969); Post Captain (1972); HMS Surprise (1973) ; The Mauritius Command (1977) ; Desolation Island (1978) ; The Fortune of War (1979) ; The Surgeon's Mate (1980) ; The Ionian Mission (1981) ; Treason's Harbour (1983); The Far Side of the World (1986); The Reverse of the Medal (1986); Letter of Marque (1988); The Thirteen-Gun Salute (1989); The Nutmeg of Consolation (1991); Clarissa Oakes (1992); The Wine-Dark Sea (1993); The Commodore (1994); The Yellow Admiral (1996); and The Hundred Days (1998).

The notes relate to six volumes in the series, titled: The Letter of Marque, The Thirteen-Gun Salute, The Nutmeg of Consolation, Clarissa Oakes, and The Wine-Dark Sea. The last folder of notes is marked simply XVII, presumably referring to the volume that became The Commodore. In addition the manuscript of Mauritius Command is accompanied by about 25 pages of notes.

Manuscripts for O'Brian's biographies of naturalist Joseph Banks (published in 1987 by HarperCollins) and of artist Pablo Picasso (HarperCollins, 1976), complete the collection.

An inventory of the collection is available. A finding aid is also available.

Purchase. 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998

Collection size: 28 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.