A Pirate Of Exquisite Mind: The Life Of William Dampier

A Pirate Of Exquisite Mind: The Life Of William Dampier by Diana Preston & Michael Preston


ISBN
9780552772105
Published
Binding
Paperback
Pages
512
Dimensions
127 x 198mm

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.

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.

Dampier was the first to map the winds and currents of the world's oceans; led the first recorded party of Englishmen to set foot on Australia - 80 years before Cook; wrote about Galapagos wildlife 150 years before Darwin, who drew on Dampier's notes in his own work; was the first travel writer: 'A New Voyage Around The World' was an instant bestseller when it was published in 1697 - said to have influenced the novels of Swift and Defoe.

A man full of contradictions: he who achieved so much 'blew it' later in life, declining into scandal, failure and even farce. A unique man ahead of his time, he lived a large part of his life among pirates yet managed to preserve what Coleridge called his 'exquisite refinement of mind'. A classic example of the best narrative history.
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