Desolation Island Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is Aubrey doing at the beginning of the novel?

The novel opens with English Post-Captain Jack Aubrey appointed to the Sea-Fencibles and living a life of dissipation ashore, pursuing huge losses at the gaming table, purchasing vastly expensive and under-performing racing horses, and funding expensive quack schemes to extract precious metals from ancient slag heaps.

2. What is Sophie doing about Aubrey's excesses?

Sophie, Aubrey's thrifty and wise wife, as always is concerned and does what little she can to curb Aubrey's enthusiasm for wasting money.

3. Who visits Aubrey often and what does he find Aubrey involved in with his initial visit in this book?

Stephen Maturin, is a renowned surgeon and natural scientist and makes occasional calls, both for pleasure and of a professional nature, on the Aubrey household. Upon the initial call presented in the novel, Maturin finds Aubrey busy with get-rich-quick schemes that are patently doomed to expensive failure.

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