Patrick O'Brian (December 12, 1914 - January 2, 2000) was the pen name of the novelist Richard Patrick Russ. O'Brian is best known for his Aubrey–Maturin series of novels set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars and centering around the friendship of Captain Jack Aubrey and Irish–Catalan physician, naturalist and spy Stephen Maturin. The 20 novels in the series are notable for their detailed portrayals of life in the early 19th century.
As well as his historical novels, O'Brian wrote several mainstream novels and a body of short stories, and was a respected translator, responsible for the translation of Henri Charriere's Papillon into English, as well as many of Simone de Beauvoir's later works.
O'Brian also wrote a detailed biography of Sir Joseph Banks, one of the leading scientific figures of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and the man largely responsible for the colonization of Australia.
O'Brian's biography of Pablo Picasso, Pablo Ruiz Picasso: A Biography, is a massive and comprehensive study of the artist who for a time lived in the same French Catalan village as O'Brian and with whom he was acquainted.
Despite a widely held belief to the contrary and which he himself fostered, O'Brian was not born in Ireland, but in London. A biography, Patrick O'Brian: A Life Revealed, by Dean King, documents his complex personality and life.
Peter Weir's 2003 film, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is based on the Aubrey–Maturin series, and draws its material from several of the novels' plots.
See the Aubrey–Maturin series article.
Caesar (1930, his first book, which led him to be often labelled by critics as the 'boy-Thoreau')
The Golden Ocean (1956)
The Unknown Shore (1959)
The Rendezvous and other stories
Men-of-War: Life in Nelson's Navy (1974)
Picasso (1976; originally titled Pablo Ruiz Picasso)
Joseph Banks: A Life