Hearts Of Oak

A week of stories and extracts from novels that take the sea and the sailor's never-ending battle with the elements as their theme.


AR01The Far Side Of The World2004091320050828

By Patrick O'Brian

This extract finds Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin in the balmy South Pacific relaxing as the ship slips easily along

Read by Benedict Cumberbatch.

AR02The Voyage2004091420050904

By Washington Irving.

In the 19th century an American traveller reflects on space and time as he makes the long voyage from the New World to the Old.

Read by Julian Wadham


By Joseph Conrad

A voyage to the exotic east promises much to Joseph Conrad's young hero in this extract from one of his celebrated stories of the sea.

If the ship manages to leave harbour that is.

Read by Jonathan Firth

AR04I Have Been Drowned2004091620050918

By Tom Hopkinson

A quirky story of a sailor's attempt to cheat his fate by daring it to take him if it will.

Read by Jonathan Firth

AR05 LASTThe Cruel Sea2004091720050925

By Nicholas Monsarrat

HMS Compass Rose stops engines to make repairs and wallows undefended on an ocean alive with U-boats in this extract from the classic novel of war at sea.

Read by Julian Wadham