Cochrane: The Real Master and Commander

Cochrane: The Real Master and Commander

by David Cordingly

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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 Drawing on previously unpublished papers, his own travels, wide reading, and original research, Cordingly tells the rip-roaring story of the archetypal Romantic hero who conquered the seas and,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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596917514
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 08/10/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 70,821
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

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.
David Cordingly was Keeper of Pictures and Head of Exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum for twelve years, where he organised 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, Heroines and Harlots and the highly praised Billy Ruffian.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements     xi
List of Illustrations     xiii
Maps     xvii
Prologue     1
A Scottish Upbringing: 1775-1793     8
From Midshipman to Lieutenant: 1793-1800     22
Commander of the Speedy: 1800-1801     44
A Dark Interlude: 1801-1804     66
The Flying Pallas: 1804-1806     83
Member of Parliament for Honiton: 1806-1807     105
The Westminster Election: 1807     120
Return to the Mediterranean: 1807-1808     135
The Coastal Raids of the Imperieuse: 1808     149
The Defence of Fort Trinidad: 1808     164
Entering the Gates of Hell: 1809     175
The French Fleet Aground: 1809     192
The Court Martial of Lord Gambier: 1809     206
Riots and Romance: 1809-1814     221
The Stock Exchange Scandal: 1814     235
The Wilderness Years: 1814-1818     255
The Liberation of Chile and Peru: 1818-1822     269
Brazil and Beyond: 1822-1825     296
A Greek Fiasco: 1825-1828     315
The Fightback: 1828-1851     332
The Last Years: 1851-1860     346
Epilogue     357
Appendix     363
Glossary     367
Bibliography     373
Notes     377
Index     407

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Cochrane: The Real Master and Commander 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
MuseofIre on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very interesting biography of Lord Cochrane, on whom Patrick O'Brian based some of the career and personality of Jack Aubrey, even if sometimes overly detailed (hour-by-hour reconstructions of perfectly uneventful convoy voyages). The most exciting part was a battle I never heard of called Basque Roads, where Cochrane entered a French harbor and almost destroyed their entire fleet. I'm very surprised O'Brian never worked it into one of the books, because it was such a perfectly Jack-like episode: a daring plan, valiant acts of seamanship, success limited by a conventional commander who wouldn't back him up, followed by a court martial where he managed to alienate almost everyone in power.As a side note: good God, are there no copy editors anymore who understand the use of commas? This is a major book from a major publisher, and I wanted to go through the whole thing with my red pen.
dougwood57 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Many readers will come to David Cordingly's The Real Master and Commander from a desire as fans of Patrick O'Brian and C.S. Forester to learn more about the remarkable man whose life provided the raw material for the tales of Jack Aubrey and Horatio Hornblower. Make no mistake, however, Cordingly's excellent historical biography deserves to be read on its own merits. Lord Thomas Cochrane executed such stunningly audacious feats - successfully attacking much larger ships with his small sloop Speedy, leading an attack of fireships on the French fleet at Basque Roads, and helping Chile and Brazil establish their independence - that one might cry `what pitiful stuff' if one read it in a work of historical fiction. But it really happened. Cochrane was a flawed man who could not restrain himself from reckless attacks on powerful forces in the navy and the government generally. When he found himself entangled in an infamous stock exchange fraud (the leaders spread false rumors that Napoleon had died and then sold their shares when the market predictably spiked), he discovered that powerful men were only too happy to see him convicted and drummed out of the navy. Cordingly judiciously sifts the evidence of Cochrane's guilt or innocence from our vantage point nearly 200 years later. In addition to his naval feats Cochrane also fought for reform causes as a member of parliament. His intemperate tactics and language did him little good. Of course, he was quite right in insisting that either the electoral system would be reformed from within or reformed from without with a vengeance from without. After several years in the `wilderness', Cochrane sailed to South America and successfully aided the rebellion against Spain and Portugal. He eventually wore out his welcome there as well, in part due to fights over prize money. From there he went to the Greek Fiasco, as Cordingly aptly names it. He spent his remaining years fighting with some success to restore honor to his name. A sad dwindling away for this remarkable man. A must read for fans of Age of Sail historical fiction and an excellent histroical biography.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cannot speak to the NOOK edition, as I read the hardcover, but I would highly recommend this book. It is well written, engaging, and opens up European and South American history, as well as the sailing and naval life of the early 1800s.