John Bayley (essay date 7 November 1991)
SOURCE: “In Which We Serve,” in New York Review of Books, Vol. 38, No. 18, November 7, 1991, pp. 7–8.
[In the following essay, Bayley discusses O'Brian's series of novels about Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin and praises the author's gifts as a novelist.]
In Aldous Huxley's first novel, Crome Yellow, a man of action recounts an escapade of his youth, and comments that such things are only really agreeable to look back on after the event. Nothing is exciting as it happens. Warriors in heroic times only knew what they had been through when they heard about it from the bard in the mead-hall. Armchair warriors who have never performed such feats can...
(The entire section is 3154 words.)