TESTIMONIES by Patrick O'Brian


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A welcome reissue of O'Brian's moving and very fine first novel--a novel of "unassuming proportion and immaculate design" (Kirkus, August 1, 1952). This precursor to the author's Captain Jack Aubrey series about the Royal Navy (begun with The Mauritius Command in 1970) concerns (to quote ourselves) the "testimonies of Joseph Aubrey Pugh, an Oxford don of middle years, and Bronwen Vaughan, the young wife of a Welsh farmer, before a divine inquisitor....For in a small village in North Wales, and in the grandeur of the lonely landscape of mountain, tarn and valley, farm and quarry, Pugh--a man of rather neutral talents and desires-- finds a refuge from established habit and discontents. And in Bronwen's serenity and beauty he finds a first romantic inspiration which lends a new impetus to his days. It is, however, the denunciation of an itinerant preacher which stirs the ugly speculation of the villagers which only has its respite with the act in which Bronwen takes her life....A chaste and disciplined prose lend purity to a quiet, tragic idyll for the discriminating reader."
Pub Date: May 24th, 1993
ISBN: 0393313166
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Norton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1993


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