An anthology of 17th and 18th century travel writing that inspired the hugely popular Aubrey/Maturin series, collected and introduced by Patrick O'Brian, beautifully repackaged to mark the centenary of his birth. Patrick O'Brian has unearthed from obscurity the most dynamic travel writing of the seventeenth and eighteenth century. With his scholarly mind, editor's eye, and traveller's heart he brings together a series of thrilling seaward tales. Expertly chosen by O'Brian and prefaced with details that bring these extracts to vivid life, A Book of Voyages is a broad yet intimate portrait of what life was like at sea during a time of discovery. This rare collection sheds a glorious light onto these accounts of seaward adventure. From why eating rats is necessary and how to powder your hair in France to how to truly face fear and distress during a terrifying sea passage, this collection is rich in travellers' experiences. A Book of Voyages is a unique opportunity to not only accompany an adored nautical author as he digs up one gripping historical treasure after another, but to understand how he was inspired to write the Aubrey Maturin series for which he is so famous.