The Patrick O'Brian Compendium

Butcher's Bill

Michael Schuyler has written a marvelous reference / companion / illumination of the Aubrey/Maturin series; a 286-page volume titled Butcher's Bill. Although he says he started to list and index just the actual Butcher's Bill (i.e. injuries and deaths), what it evolved into was a far more comprehensive gazette of:

Injuries Births Deaths
Actions Deceptions Officer's commissions
Complete crew index Marriages Medals and awards
Duels Prizes Legal actions
Complete listing of how many times "There's not a moment to be lost" is used

Inveterate PO'B-philes will note a superficial resemblance to Anthony Gary Brown's Persons, Ships, Animals and Cannon...(PASC for short) but Butcher's Bill gives you a different overview of the series. In his own words, Michael Schuyler says:

I was frustrated that I couldn't get the sense of a timeline for the saga as a whole.  Of course, you can't do that with an alphabetical dictionary. So I came up with the idea of commissions to try to trace a given character through all the books.  Though in some sense I was duplicating PASC information. The idea was to bring about another way of viewing the canon, kind of through a different lens like two pictures by two different photographers of the same mountain.

Also, as the revised edition of PASC, which will cover all 21 books, has not yet been published, Butcher's Bill is as complete a reference to the series as it is possible to read today.

Best of all, through the generosity of the author, Butcher's Bill is free of charge. To download it from the Patrick O'Brian Compendium, click on the link below.

Butcher's Bill - PDF version - 1.2 MB

The Patrick O'Brian Compendium would like to thank Mr. Schuyler for his amazing efforts, and his willingness to share with the rest of us. He can be contacted at

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