Out of print for many years, this is a brand new edition of the definitive companion to the acclaimed Aubrey-Maturin series of novels, written by the author himself. What was daily life in Nelson's navy really like, for everyone from the captain down to the rawest recruit? What did they eat? What songs did they sing? What was the schedule of watches? How were the officers and crew paid, and what was the division of prize-money? These questions and many more are answered in Patrick O'Brian's elegant narrative, which includes wonderful anecdotal material on the battles and commanders that established Britain's naval supremacy. Line drawings and charts help us to understand the construction and rigging of the great ships, the types and disposition of the guns, and how they were operated in battle. The meticulously researched text and imagery together provide an unparalleled insight into life during wartime in the Napoleonic era, and offer a wonderfully evocative companion to the world of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin.