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Master and commander

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Master and Commander: Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe)

Over at The Dear Surprise, Monday saw The Dear Knows posting a thesis on leadership theory entitled “Mastering Leadership Reflexes: A Case Study of Captain Aubrey”. Of course, all it takes is the last two words of that title to get any O’Brian fan going. Needless to say I read the whole thing. Twice. The paper is fascinating as a stand-alone evaluation of Russell West’s 2004 piece “A Reflex Model of Leadership Development” published in the Journal of Religious Leadership. It layers the…

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a 2003 movie based on several books of the Aubrey-Maturin series. It stars Russell Crowe as Jack Aubrey and Paul Bettany as Stephen Maturin. In 1805, in the midst of the Napoleonic Wars, Captain John "Lucky Jack" Aubrey of the Royal Navy frigate HMS Surprise is ordered to pursue and destroy the French privateer Acheron, bound for the Pacific. In the opening scene, midshipman Hollom briefly sees a dark shape in a fog bank and, after a…

James D'Arcy in Master and Commander as 1st Lt. Tom Pullings. William Huff makeup and costume design by Wendy Stites. (2003)

James D'Arcy in Master and Commander as 1st Lt. Tom Pullings. William Huff makeup and costume design by Wendy Stites. (2003)

Watching Joe Nagle dance (L to R, Captain Aubrey, Dr. Maturin, Mr. Mowett, Mr. Pullings, Mr. Allen)

Watching Joe Nagle dance (L to R, Captain Aubrey, Dr. Maturin, Mr. Mowett, Mr. Pullings, Mr. Allen)

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World - Allan opened his eyes to find a group of strange faces staring down at him, and a horrible pain in his head. Where in the world was he? (Time travel? Press ganged? Survivor of pirate attack? Rich young dandy whose father payed a captain to kidnap his son to teach him a lesson? Or young heir to a fortune whose twin brother had him kidnapped; and since they are nearly impossible to tell apart...)

Previously: Master & Commander, Part 1. The characters in Master & Commander have a lot to say about the division between Navy and non-Navy sailors, whether it's out loud in dialogue or implicitly through their costuming. The final battle of the movie hinges upon the HMS Surprise being mistaken for a whaling ship, a ruse which is helped along by the recent addition of some former whalers to the crew. The idea of a Navy ship being neat and organised is so ingrained that their "disguise" is…