The Real Master and Commander

Book - 2007
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From the bestselling author of Under the Black Flag, comes the definitive biography of the swashbuckling 19th 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, David Cordingly, author of the bestselling Under the Black Flag and The Billy Ruffian , 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 Drawing on previously unpublished papers, his own travels, wide reading, and the kind of original research that distinguished The Billy Ruffian , Cordingly tells the rip-roaring story of the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.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury USA ; [S.l.] : distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck Publishers, 2007.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9781582345345
Branch Call Number: DA88.1.D9 C67 2007
Characteristics: xvi, 420 p., [24] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), maps ; 25 cm.


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Jan 14, 2017

Cochrane was the real-life basis for the fictional characters of Forester, O’Brien, Marryat, and Hent. Adacious to the extreme, Cochrane successfully captured many prizes (boats and ships) through daring raids and ship-to-ship battles during the Napoleonic wars. Caught up in a stock swindle, he would spend a great deal of his time over the course of many years insisting and proving (more or less) his innocence. After the stock market disgrace, he became the chief admiral in Chile and helped lead it and Peru to independence from Spain. For an encore, he became the chief admiral of Brazil and helped lead it to independence from Portugal. An amazing man, though he was far from perfect.


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