A New York times best-seller. Life ashore may once again be the undoing of Captain Jack Aubrey of the Royal Navy. He is feuding with his neighbor and on even worse terms with his wife, whose mother has ferreted out a damaging trove of old personal letters. His erratic voting as a member of Parliament has dimmed his prospects at the Admiralty; and with the outbreak of peace in 1814, Aubrey fears being "yellowed, " that is, nominally promoted to the rank of admiral without a squadron to command. But Stephen Maturin returns from France with the news that the Chileans, to secure their independence, require an English navy. And just as Jack is dusting off his captain's hat, an urgent dispatch orders him to Gibraltar; Napoleon has escaped from Elba.