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Home » Books » Biography » Historical

A Pirate Of Exquisite Mind

The Life Of William Dampier

By Diana Preston, Michael Preston

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Format: Paperback, 512 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 01 April 2005
William Dampier, (1651 -1715), was an English adventurer and pirate who preyed on ships on the Spanish Main. Poor and ill-educated and determined to make his fortune, he nonetheless had a passion for exploration and scientific research. mong many extraordinary achievements Dampier mapped the winds and the currents of the world's oceans for the first time; he led the first recorded party of Englishmen to set foot on Australia - 80 years before Cook; he was an enthusiastic naturalist and following his visit to the Galapagos islands he wrote about their wildlife 150 years before Darwin, who drew on Dampier's notes in his own work; he was the first travel writer- A NEW VOYAGE AROUND THE WORLD was embraced by the literary world and became an instant bestseller when it was published in 1697 - it was said to have influenced the novels of Swift and Defoe. TIDES OF FORTUNE looks at Dampier the man full of contradictions, and analyses why he who achieved so much 'blew it' later in life, declining into scandal, controversy, failure and ven farce. A unique man ahead of his time, he lived a large part of life among pirates yet managed to preserve what Coleridge called his 'exquisite refinem

Promotional Information

A rip-roaring swashbuckler about a forgotten 17th century English hero who, starting as a poor, piratical buccaneer, became a famed round-the-world explorer.

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About the Author

Diana Preston is an Oxford-trained historian, writer, and broadcaster who lives in London. She is the author of The Road to Culloden Moor; A First Rate Tragedy- Robert Falcon Scott and the Race to the South Pole; The Boxer Rebellion and Wilful Murder- The Sinking of the Lusitania. Michael Preston, Diana Preston's husband, read English at Oxford University and is now an historian and traveller.

Reviews

"Lively... extraordinary life - an unlikely combination of plundering and pioneering achievements in natural history and exploration" * The Sunday Times * "Gripping and well-researched... An impressive achievement" * Guardian * "This long overdue biography wonderfully brings to life one of the most important explorers of the seventeenth century" -- Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea "This eloquently enthusiastic biography, besides charting Dampier's astonishing achievements, offers fascinating information about his times" * The Age, Melbourne *

EAN: 9780552772105
ISBN: 0552772100
Publisher: Corgi Books
Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.7 x 3.2 centimetres (0.32 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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