Patrick O'Brian: The Making of the Novelist, 1914-1949 is a response by O'Brian's own stepson, Nikolai Tolstoy, to an earlier biography by Dean King which depicted the master of seafaring fiction as a contemptible person and a cruel parent who had abandoned his first family and invented a new persona. Not surprisingly, Tolstoy takes a different view, using O'Brian's personal papers to bolster his arguments.

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