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Cochrane
Cover of Cochrane
Cochrane
The Real Master and Commander
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From the bestselling author of Under the Black Flag comes the definitive biography of the swashbuckling nineteenth-century maritime hero upon whom Jack Aubrey and Horatio Hornblower are based.

Nicknamed le loup des mers (“the sea wolf”) by Napoleon, Thomas Cochrane was one of the most daring and successful naval heroes of all time. In this fascinating account of Cochrane’s life, historian David Cordingly unearths startling new details about the real-life “Master and Commander,” from his daring exploits against the French navy to his role in the liberation of Chile, Peru, and Brazil, and the shock exchange scandal that forced him out of England and almost ended his naval career. Drawing on previously unpublished papers, his own travels, wide reading, and the kind of original research that distinguished The Billy Ruffian, Cordingly tells the rip-roaring story of the archetypal romantic hero who conquered the seas and, in the process, defined his era.

From the bestselling author of Under the Black Flag comes the definitive biography of the swashbuckling nineteenth-century maritime hero upon whom Jack Aubrey and Horatio Hornblower are based.

Nicknamed le loup des mers (“the sea wolf”) by Napoleon, Thomas Cochrane was one of the most daring and successful naval heroes of all time. In this fascinating account of Cochrane’s life, historian David Cordingly unearths startling new details about the real-life “Master and Commander,” from his daring exploits against the French navy to his role in the liberation of Chile, Peru, and Brazil, and the shock exchange scandal that forced him out of England and almost ended his naval career. Drawing on previously unpublished papers, his own travels, wide reading, and the kind of original research that distinguished The Billy Ruffian, Cordingly tells the rip-roaring story of the archetypal romantic hero who conquered the seas and, in the process, defined his era.

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About the Author-
  • David Cordingly was Keeper of Pictures and Head of Exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum for twelve years.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Listeners familiar with the order "Clear the decks for action" will find no disappointment as Lord Cochrane does battle with enemy sailing ships during the Napoleonic Wars. Broadsides, fire ship attacks, and the lee shore in heavy winds offered doom or prize money to the British sailors who took the risks. John Lee's deep, booming voice and skill with every accent make him the ideal narrator for an audiobook swimming in a sea of nineteenth-century nautical words. His well-oiled British English segues into Scots for the captain and into French and Spanish for the ships and ports. He shouts orders involving parts of the ship and points of the compass in the practiced manner of any salty seaman of those times. J.A.H. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 4, 2007
    Thomas Cochrane was one of the Royal Navy's greatest frigate captains and most controversial figures during the Napoleonic Wars. A counterpoint to Horatio Nelson and his “band of brothers,” who were masters of fleet actions and blockade, Cochrane was a daring commerce raider whose prizes were so rich that he sailed into port with solid gold candlesticks lashed to his mastheads. He was a master as well of coastal raiding and cutting-out expeditions, culminating in the crippling of a French squadron at Basque Roads in 1809. Cordingly, an established historian of Nelson's navy, tells Cochrane's story with flair and sympathy—especially when recounting his professional destruction by a corrupt and inefficient naval establishment, which he challenged from his seat in Parliament with the same energy he turned against the French at sea. Cochrane's support of radical domestic causes further marked him, and in 1814 he was convicted in a Stock Exchange scandal whose details remain unclear. Surmounting disgrace and imprisonment, Cochrane in 1818 was offered command of revolutionary Chile's navy. He led it to victory against its Spanish enemy, then repeated the performance for another rebel state, Brazil. Less successful fighting for the Greeks against the Turks, he returned to Britain a national hero, had his case successfully reviewed and was restored to rank and honor. Small wonder that Cochrane's career was a major source of Patrick O'Brian's popular series, though Cochrane might have considered Jack Aubrey a bit of a bore.

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    Tantor Media, Inc.
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The Real Master and Commander
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