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Cochrane
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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, 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.

Reviews

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. (Sept.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Thomas Cochrane (1775-1860) was a British naval hero said to have inspired the creation of C.S. Forester's fictional Horatio Hornblower. But Cochrane was also very human, as he fought against a financial scandal and lost glory and honor. Drawing on previously unpublished papers, Cordingly (former head of exhibitions, National Maritime Museum, UK; Under the Black Flag) presents a balanced and readable history of Lord Cochrane that covers Cochrane's maneuvers against the French navy as well as his part in the liberation of Chile, Peru, and Brazil. Whereas another recent biography, Brian Vale's Cochrane: The Unhappy Hero, assessed Cochrane as guilty in an 1814 stock market fraud, Cordingly believes his subject was innocent. He may bring overdue recognition to Cochrane, his naval skills, and his role as inspiration for popular naval fiction. Recommended for public libraries, especially those with strong circulation of Patrick O'Brian's and Forester's books. Academic libraries with significant naval or British history collections should purchase both Vale and Cordingly.-Bryan Craig, Nellysford, VA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Praise for "The Billy Ruffian":
" A thrilling narrative...so alive that you smell the cordite or the guns and hear the splintering of the mighty masts and spars." -- "Independent"
" A masterly account and, like all good biographies, says as much, if not more, about the historical context as about the subject itself." -- "Sunday Times"
Praise for "Under the Black Flag":
" Even if you don't know a corsair from a buccaneer, this book will delight and inform." -- "Publishers Weekly"
" [Cordingly] teases out fact from fiction even as he acknowledges the power of the myth." "-- New York Times"
" Avast, Horatio Hornblower! Shove off, Jack Aubrey! Give way to a real life knee-breeched naval hero. Maritime historian Cordingly...presents the life of Thomas Cochrane, tenth Earl of Dundonald (1775- 1860), a lanky Scot who was the very model, we are told, for the stalwart characters of C.S. Forster and Patrick O' Brian...Readers can practically smell the salt air as Cordingly recreates the age of sail, of press gangs, of round shot, grape, canister and loud nine pounders, of wellarmed ships of the line, jolly boats, bum boats and fire ships. To document the career of his hero, the author draws on memoirs, logbooks, archives, correspondence and ephemera. He chronicles in copious detail Cochrane' s considerable bravery on deck and personal failings ashore. Landlubbers may find this a lengthy voyage, but devotees of yarns about brave British tars will be delighted to be aboard."
"-- Kirkus Reviews" Praise for "The Billy Ruffian":
" A thrilling narrative...so alive that you smell the cordite or the guns and hear the splintering of the mighty masts and spars." -- "Independent"
" A masterly account and, like all good biographies, says as much, if not more, about the historical context as about the subject itself." -- "Sunday Times"
Praise for "Under the Black Flag":
" Even if you don't know a corsair from a buccaneer, this book will delight and inform." -- "Publishers Weekly"
" [Cordingly] teases out fact from fiction even as he acknowledges the power of the myth." "-- New York Times"
"Avast, Horatio Hornblower! Shove off, Jack Aubrey! Give way to a real life knee-breeched naval hero. Maritime historian Cordingly...presents the life of Thomas Cochrane, tenth Earl of Dundonald (1775-1860), a lanky Scot who was the very model, we are told, for the stalwart characters of C.S. Forster and Patrick O'Brian...Readers can practically smell the salt air as Cordingly recreates the age of sail, of press gangs, of round shot, grape, canister and loud nine pounders, of wellarmed ships of the line, jolly boats, bum boats and fire ships. To document the career of his hero, the author draws on memoirs, logbooks, archives, correspondence and ephemera. He chronicles in copious detail Cochrane's considerable bravery on deck and personal failings ashore. Landlubbers may find this a lengthy voyage, but devotees of yarns about brave British tars will be delighted to be aboard."
"--Kirkus Reviews" Praise for "The Billy Ruffian"
"A thrilling narrative...so alive that you smell the cordite or the guns and hear the splintering of the mighty masts and spars."--"Independent"
"A masterly account and, like all good biographies, says as much, if not more, about the historical context as about the subject itself."--"SundayTimes"
Praise for "Under the Black Flag"
"Even if you don't know a corsair from a buccaneer, this book will delight and inform."--"Publishers Weekly"
"[Cordingly] teases out fact from fiction even as he acknowledges the power of the myth.""--New York Times "
"Avast, Horatio Hornblower! Shove off, Jack Aubrey! Give way to a real life knee-breeched naval hero. Maritime historian Cordingly...presents the life of Thomas Cochrane, tenth Earl of Dundonald (1775-1860), a lanky Scot who was the very model, we are told, for the stalwart characters of C.S. Forster and Patrick O'Brian...Readers can practically smell the salt air as Cordingly recreates the age of sail, of press gangs, of round shot, grape, canister and loud nine pounders, of wellarmed ships of the line, jolly boats, bum boats and fire ships. To document the career of his hero, the author draws on memoirs, logbooks, archives, correspondence and ephemera. He chronicles in copious detail Cochrane's considerable bravery on deck and personal failings ashore. Landlubbers may find this a lengthy voyage, but devotees of yarns about brave British tars will be delighted to be aboard."
"--Kirkus Reviews" Praise for "The Billy Ruffian":
"A thrilling narrative...so alive that you smell the cordite or the guns and hear the splintering of the mighty masts and spars."--"Independent"
"A masterly account and, like all good biographies, says as much, if not more, about the historical context as about the subject itself."--"Sunday Times"
Praise for "Under the Black Flag":
"Even if you don't know a corsair from a buccaneer, this book will delight and inform."--"Publishers Weekly"
"[Cordingly] teases out fact from fiction even as he acknowledges the power of the myth.""--New York Times"
"Most intriguing and satisfying...Within his nearly 85 years, Cochrane packed enough drama and history to shame both Horatio Nelson and Sir Francis Drake...O'Brian fans will find great satisfaction in smoking out similarities and differences between Cochrane and Aubrey."-Ken Ringle, "Washington"" Post"


"[Cordingly] used previously unpublished papers, extensive original research and his own travels to tell Cochrane's story which is as good as any fiction.""-BoatU.S. Magazine"
"Cordingly, an established historian of Nelson's navy, tells Cochrane's story with flair and sympathy""-Publisher's Weekly" "Avast, Horatio Hornblower! Shove off, Jack Aubrey! Give way to a real life knee-breeched naval hero. Maritime historian Cordingly...presents the life of Thomas Cochrane, tenth Earl of Dundonald (1775-1860), a lanky Scot who was the very model, we are told, for the stalwart characters of C.S. Forster and Patrick O'Brian...Readers can practically smell the salt air as Cordingly recreates the age of sail, of press gangs, of round shot, grape, canister and loud nine pounders, of wellarmed ships of the line, jolly boats, bum boats and fire ships. To document the career of his hero, the author draws on memoirs, logbooks, archives, correspondence and ephemera. He chronicles in copious detail Cochrane's considerable bravery on deck and personal failings ashore. Landlubbers may find this a lengthy voyage, but devotees of yarns about brave British tars will be delighted to be aboard.""-Kirkus Reviews"

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