The first novel Patrick O'Brian ever wrote about the sea -- and the precursor to the famous Aubrey/Maturin series -- is now available in paperback for the first time in forty years. The Golden Ocean is the first novel Patrick O'Brian ever wrote about the sea. The novel shares the same sense of excitement and the rich humour of the Aubrey/Maturin novels, invoking the eloquent style and attention to historical detail that O'Brian readers admire so much. The protagonist of this story is Peter Palafox, son of a poor Irish parson, who signs on as a midshipman, never before having seen a ship. He is a fellow who would have delighted the young Stephen Maturin or Jack Aubrey! and quarrelled with them as well. Together with his life-long friend Sean, Peter sets out to seek his fortune, embarking on a journey of danger, disappointment, foreign lands and excitement. Written in 1956, this is a tale certain to please not only the many admirers of O'Brian, but any reader with an adventurous soul.