• Following an all-night chase of a French frigate aboard the Charwell, early 19th Century naval servicemen Captain Jack Aubrey and Doctor Stephen Maturin settle into a gentleman's residence near Polcary Down, along the English coast.
• The War between England and France has just ended, and amidst the calm that now surrounds them, the men enjoy leisurely days of drinking, riding, fox hunting, and feasting.
• Nearby at Mapes Court, romance is beginning to stir and take form as four cousins of marrying age, Sophia, Cecilia, Frances, and Diana, hope to win the affections of the captain and the doctor.
• The courtship is set into motion with a series of informal and formal gatherings hosted by Aubrey and by Sophia's socially-conscious mother, Mrs. Williams, who is trying to position her daughter into a love match with Aubrey, while concurrently trying to abort the budding of any romance between...
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