theengineer

The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons


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theengineer

Patrick O'Brian speaks true

Current rereading The Fortune of War, the sixth of Patrick O'Brian Jack Aubrey / Stephen Maturin books. The War of 1812 has just broken out, and through no fault of their own, Jack and Stephen are captured by the Americans. Encountering an American official on the ship taking them to be locked up in Boston, Stephen describes him as "a tiny politician for whom the world might fall apart as long as the Republicans remained in power".

The more things change...

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"a tiny politician for whom the world might fall apart as long as the Republicans remained in power".

History question: the Republican Party hadn't been founded yet. To what Republicans does O'Brian refer?

Ah, I see that members of "the party of Jefferson," ancestor of today's Democratic Party, called themselves both "Republicans" and "Democrats."

*Sigh*. A perfectly good piece of snark derailed by the facts.

Oh, I know better than to go up against O'Brian on historical matters. If he says there are Republicans, you can bet there are Republicans.

I'm sure he's winking at the contemporary reader, though.

For an interesting example of another wink, see here.

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