Patrick O’Brian is a master of naval jargon, and such mastery can at times be overwhelming. This glossary is by no means exhaustive (hence “introduction”) but should help you gain your sea-legs for your voyage!
The signal issued by Lord Nelson from the HMS Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar is famous for its patriotism and poignancy. It was communicated via flags hoisted in a specific order.
Compiled and introduced by Gibbons Burke. The Articles of War on board a Royal Navy ship assumed the proportions and gravity of holy writ. It served as the law and axis mundi of the secular religion practiced upon […]
Ratings When signed on to a ship’s books, a man was given a rating according to his experience. Freshmen to the sea were known as landsmen, those with limited experience were ordinary seamen, while knowledgeable […]
These definitions are taken from the amazing site Maturin’s Medicine and were compiled by Kerry Webb and many others (see the end of this post for full credits).