gogollescent: (get angry.)
[personal profile] gogollescent
‘There is something in the misfortunes of others that does not altogether displease us,’ said Stephen, but nobody heard him in the general cry of ‘There she goes’ as the now distant Liberty slipped beneath the grey surface of the ocean.

‘No, sir,’ said Mr Dalgleish again, ‘you can sleep easy now. And so can Mrs – so can your betrothed, your financy. I forget the lady’s name. I hope she has not been disturbed by all the banging and calling out.’

'I doubt it,’ said Stephen, ‘but I will go down and see.’

He was mistaken. Diana was very much disturbed indeed. The first discharge of artillery had wiped out her already waning seasickness; she had misinterpreted the later gunfire and the uproar on deck, and Stephen found her dressed, sitting on a locker with a cocked pistol in either hand, looking as fierce as a wild cat in a trap.

‘Put those pistols down at once,’ he said coldly. ‘Do not you know it is very rude to point a pistol at a person you do not mean to kill? For shame, Villiers. Where were you brought up?’

The story of my Aubrey-Maturin affliction goes something like this: believe I am coming for best friends and handclasping; believe I have arrived at a place of best friends and handclasping; discover that I am actually here for the soap opera romance that everyone hates. Stephen and Diana are so great, though! I mean, by the time of The Yellow Admiral they're just this generically friendly couple who actually know how orgasms work, but man, the whole arc through Fortune of War to The Ionian Mission where Stephen falls out of love and Diana almost gets him killed through grand passionate attempts to save him from really confusing French authorities--that's… my favorite part of the series… yes. I can say that now. Because I'm done, and I know where the parts are.

I'm really sad about Diana. I was spoiled for her death literally from before I started reading--thank you, Stephen Maturin's Wikipedia entry--and when it came I brushed it off because I'd been braced for it, but god, they have, what, like two years of married downtime total? No future after the books end, no room for dramatic crises of faith when they're both ninety and Diana runs off to Russia to raise an army, no asexual but intense family arrangements with Clarissa Oakes. Wow. It is like POB desired to crush all of my dreams. But at the same time, I found myself thinking a lot about the fact that Diana dying young was sort of inbuilt? I mean, there's that whole extraordinary dream sequence that Stephen has when they're reconciled in The Letter of Marque, where he perceives her as being somehow namelessly doomed and is helpless to stop it--one of the few passages in the series where someone's premonitions and forebodings feel like more than just the true-life churning of their brain; I think because the sense of Diana as caged and warped and essentially injured by her time is so consistently and clearly rendered every time she appears, in a way that always sort of catches me up.

I keep waffling on how I feel about the actual method and moment of her demise. I'm unhappy about it, but I'm not sure how fair my dissatisfaction is, character biases aside. I wish we got to see the reactions of people other than the Surprises-around-Stephen and Stephen, especially Sophie, who also loses her mother in the accident and who according to my already defunct memory doesn't get a POV section to herself at any point after. I wish Stephen thought of her more, especially given that his attraction to and courtship of Christine must bring her at least a little bit to mind, and just because it would be nice to get memories of her to cap off her involvement in the series, haha. Blurgh. The last few books did leave a sour taste in my mouth, which is a shame, because I love all these guys, in their fictional multitudes.

.../downloads Horatio Hornblower
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you know you like the mannequin dick

October 2015

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