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Books

How troll stories blighted the life of Patrick O’Brian

21 December 2019

9:00 AM

21 December 2019

9:00 AM

Patrick O’Brian, born Richard Patrick Russ, never wanted his life written, and this passionate wish presents the first hurdle to someone as fond of him as was Nikolai Tolstoy, the son of O’Brian’s second wife, Mary, by her first husband. Why pry further? Why deploy papers and diaries which O’Brian expressly instructed should be destroyed?

To this objection, Tolstoy can offer two replies, and both are powerful.

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