I saw the movie Master and Commander with Russel Crowe. It was well actd and I enjoyed. Nevertheless, that I've had a chance to read the book, I feel somewhat gipped by the movie.
The most startling is that Catalunya plays an important role as the geographical background. Further Maurtin, the ship's surgeon is Irish-Catalan and would enlighten Aubry- the ship's capitan-on the differences between Spanish and Catalan. I'm not surprised when I read Patrick O'Brien's bio. He was Irish not English- and yeah it makes a difference sometimes- and lived in Catalunya most of his entire life. I suspect that he lived in the (Balerics) islands; in any case, it's not often that Catalans show up in contemporary a 'foreign' language novel.
The other striking aspect is the language. That it's a faithful recreation of late 18th and early 19th century English I won't quibble since it's not my mother tongue. However, as an ESL teacher, I was struck at how the characters used WAS in the second person singular and plural for the simple past and past subjunctive. In contemporary English, those gramatical persons use were and I remember reading that this word is due to rhotascism. That is when an S is placed in between 2 vowels, the S sound changes to a Z sound (linguists call this a dyssablic sound) before becoming R. I'm wondering if were then was originally
*wasa/wera? I let my linguist readers shed some light on the subject.
I look forward to reading the rest of the series. The next multivolume series I want to read, is the CAPITAN ALATRISTE adventures in the original Spanish