The Real Master and Commander
By David Cordingly
(Bloomsbury USA, Paperback, 9781596915879, 448pp.)
Publication Date: September 16, 2008
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From the bestselling author of Under the Black Flag comes the definitive biography of Thomas Cochrane, the swashbuckling nineteenth-century maritime hero who “packed [in] enough drama and history to shame both Horatio Nelson and Sir Francis Drake” (Ken Rignle, Washington Post)
In this fascinating account of Thomas Cochrane’s extraordinary life, David Cordingly (Under the Black Flag and The Billy Ruffian) unearths startling new details about the real-life “Master and Commander”—from his heroic battles against the French navy to his role in the liberation of Chile, Peru, and Brazil, and the stock 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 Drawing on previously unpublished papers, his own travels, wide reading, and original research, Cordingly tells the rip-roaring story of the archetypal Romantic hero who conquered the seas and, in the process, defined his era.
David Cordingly was Keeper of Pictures and Head of Exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum for twelve years, where he organized such exhibitions as “Captain James Cook, Navigator,” “The Mutiny on the Bounty,” and “Pirates: Fact and Fiction.” His other books include Life Among the Pirates, Seafaring Women, the highly praised The Billy Ruffian, and the bestselling Under the Black Flag. He lives by the sea in Brighton, England.