There is no more famous a vessel in naval fiction than HMS Surprise, the principal ship in Patrick O’Brian’s much-celebrated Aubrey-Maturin series of sea stories. Yet this 28-gun frigate also had a most eventful real career serving in both the French and then the Royal Navies following her capture by HMS Inconstant in 1796. She was decommissioned in 1802 and delivered into the fictional captaincy of Jack Aubrey. This stunning collaboration written by one of the world’s leading naval historians Brian Lavery and one of the finest contemporary marine painters Geoff Hunt, not only reveals the complete career history and commentary of HMS Surprise in both her historical and fictional roles, but also presents an all-embracing construction and fitting history. The volume is superbly illustrated with over 50 historical illustrations, maps, and photographs. Moreover, 35 paintings, some specifically commissioned and preparatory sketches have been contributed by co-editor Geoff Hunt. Some 50 splendid line plans have been drawn by prolific marine draughtsman Karl Heinz Marquardt.