The Life and Exploits of A Fighting Captain

Book - 2000
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Baker & Taylor
A colorful account of the adventures of an English naval captain recreates the life and times of Thomas Cochrane, the man who served as the inspiration for novelist Patrick O'Brian's fiction.

& Taylor

An account of the adventures of a British naval officer recreates the life and times of Admiral Lord Thomas Cockrane, later the Earl of Dundonald, whose exploits inspired novelist Patrick O'Brian's fiction.

Publisher: New York : Carroll & Graf, 2000
Edition: First Carroll & Graf edition
ISBN: 9780786707690
Branch Call Number: 359.0092 DUNDO HARVE
Characteristics: xix, 332 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps, portraits ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: O'Brian, Patrick 1914-2000
Notes: Includes index
First published: London : Constable, 2000


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Jun 12, 2011

Why don't more people alive today know who Thomas Cochrane was or what he achieved? This volume goes to great lengths to answer the preceding, and provides excellent research and insight into an officer who sailed the same seas as Nelson but clearly had a vision of a world far, far different. Top notch.

Dec 07, 2010

As an inveterate reader and fan of Bernard Cornwell, an accomplished author of historical fiction, I follow with considerable delight the adventures of Richard Sharpe, sharpshooter in his English military's Rangers.
In his novel "Sharpe's Revenge", our hero finds himself in South America, doing battle on behalf of the Chilean insurgents against the crumbling Spanish Empire.
In "Revenge" there is a brief passage dealing with one heroic seaman whom the Spanish call diablo, the devil. His real name is Cochrane --- an Englishman in the employ of Chile. Cochrane is much feared by his enemies because of his seeming invincibility and his ability to grasp victory after victory against impossible odds.
Cochrane's naval exploits were outstanding. He was one who outwitted his enemy repeatedly --- capturing enemy vessels by stealth, cunning and sometimes subtrefuge. He took risks where his contempoaries asought the safe haven. He espoused new technolgy such the steam-powered vessel while his peers dismissed the concept as foolish. He was respected and admired by his crews and sailors during a period when men became captains and admirals simply be buying their commissions, Cochrane actually learned and earned his commissions.
He was involved in major confrontations with the French and Spanish in the Mediterranean; with the French at Aix roads in western France; he amost single handedly freed Chile and Peru from Spain; he drove the Portugues from Brazil and then finally fought for Greedk independence from Turkey. Those are a lot of accomplishments to fit into a single lifetime.
Cochrane came to posess such a reputation for victory and triumph among his adversaries that they very often fled at his approach. And all of this with minimal loss of life to his own men.
His biography reads like a script for Mission Impossible.
Harvey's book is history --- not fiction. The book is generally not difficult to read. Quotes from other sources are artfully entertwined in Harvey's narrative.
This book is to be recommended especially those interested in the Naval History of Great Britain at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
This book is recommended reading to those with an interest in heroism and naval warfare at the end of the age of sail.
This book is recommended reading to those who like their heroes much larger than life --- with audacity and dash.
This book is recommended reading.


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