Cochrane: The Real Master and Commander

Cochrane The Real Master and Commander From the bestselling author of Under the Black Flag comes the definitive biography of Thomas Cochrane the swashbuckling nineteenth century maritime hero who packed in enough drama and history to sham

  • Title: Cochrane: The Real Master and Commander
  • Author: David Cordingly
  • ISBN: 9781596915879
  • Page: 364
  • Format: Paperback
  • From the bestselling author of Under the Black Flag comes the definitive biography of Thomas Cochrane, the swashbuckling nineteenth century maritime hero who packed in enough drama and history to shame both Horatio Nelson and Sir Francis Drake Ken Rignle, Washington Post In this fascinating account of Thomas Cochrane s extraordinary life, David Cordingly Under the BlFrom the bestselling author of Under the Black Flag comes the definitive biography of Thomas Cochrane, the swashbuckling nineteenth century maritime hero who packed in enough drama and history to shame both Horatio Nelson and Sir Francis Drake Ken Rignle, Washington Post 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and the stock exchange scandal that forced him out of England and almost ended his naval career Drawing on previously unpublished papers, his own travels, wide reading, and original research, Cordingly tells the rip roaring story of the archetypal Romantic hero who conquered the seas and,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.

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      Published :2019-04-11T07:28:41+00:00

    About "David Cordingly"

    1. David Cordingly

      David Cordingly is an English naval historian who is considered one of the leading authorities on pirates He held the position of Keeper of Pictures and Head of Exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England for twelve years.David Cordingly organised several exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum, including Captain James Cook, Navigator and The Mutiny on the Bounty Perhaps the most notable of these exhibitions was Pirates Fact and Fiction 1 , which became a critical and popular success, followed by a book of the same title, authored by Cordingly and John Falconer The popularity of the exhibition lead Cordingly to explore the subject further in his book Under the Black Flag The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates This was followed by Heroines and Harlots Women at Sea in the Great Age of Sail published in the U S under the title Women Sailors and Sailors Women An Untold Maritime History , expanding on a subject Cordingly had touched upon in Under the Black Flag in a chapter entitled Women Pirates and Pirates Women.The Billy Ruffian His Majesty s Ship Bellerophon and the Downfall of Napoleon, published in 2003, was longlisted for the 2003 Wolfson History Prize It tells the story of an English warship, HMS Bellerophon, which played an important part in many battles and held captive the defeated Napoleon following the Battle of Waterloo.Cordingly appears on the Pirates of the Caribbean The Curse of the Black Pearl DVD bonus features in a section called Below Deck , a virtual tour of a pirate ship 2 This consists of several documentary shorts, hosted by Cordingly, comparing piracy fact and fiction along the same lines as Under the Black Flag.


    1. Chances are you've already heard of Horatio Hornblower, Jack Aubrey, even Frank Mildmay. But how about Thomas Cochrane, the real life British naval officer upon whose life and career all of these fictional characters are at least in part based?That's what I thought. Don't worry, David Cordingly's Cochrane: The Real Master and Commander has got you covered.The best biographies illuminate not only their title character but the time and place in which that character lives, and this book does that i [...]

    2. Le Loup des Mers deserves a better bioI picked this book up on a whim, having recently become interested in the Napoleonic Wars but finding little else on the subject that I could check out from my county’s e-library. Furthermore, I have the first of Patrick O’Brian Aubrey–Maturin books on hold, so it seemed the perfect time to read about the man whom O’Brian’s stalwart fictional hero is modelled on, or as the subtitle tantalizes, “The Real Master and Commander.” Alas, Cordingly is [...]

    3. A biography of a naval figure overshadowed by better known contemporaries such as Nelson and Collingwood, at least here in the UK, but who was reputedly one of the inspirations for Hornblower and Aubrey. It reads as well as a Hornblower story and reveals a complex character who was both bold in battle and unusually careful for the lives of those under his command, despite a seemingly haughty demeanour. He was also somewhat paranoid (though perhaps with some cause) and had an obsession with money [...]

    4. As per usual, just copypasta from what I wrote in my LJ when I was reading it. Why yes, I am a Patrick O'Brian fan, why do you ask?____I'm trying to figure out just how much Jack and Cochrane's pre-commander careers overlapped. Both were lieutenants on the Resolution! The Reso, the good old Reso. Only for Jack it was at least his second time aboard her. And I love the little anecdote about the first lieutenant sawing his sea chest in half because it was too big to fit. AHAHA. Pwned. _____Cochran [...]

    5. Cochrane was a Scot who had led a quite remarkable life. He had fought highly dramatic battles in Napoleonic times, becoming much celebrated, but had also been accused of conspiracy and fraud. He had recovered to have a whole new and highly celebrated naval career in South America. His life was so exciting that he was the inspiration for much naval fiction, including the work of Captain Marryat who served under him, C.S.Forester’s Horatio Hornblower, and more recently Patrick O’Brian’s Jac [...]

    6. I wanted to read this book to learn more about the remarkable man whose life provided the raw material for the tales of Jack Aubrey and Horatio Hornblower. 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 - [...]

    7. An interesting biography of a British Sea Captain during the Napoleonic era. Cochrane was the eldest son of a Scottish Earl who engaged in many dramatic single ship actions and raids and was much admired. However, he appeared to have a persecution complex and always blamed impediments to his career on plotting by others. He was not helped by his Radical views during a repressive time in the UK due to the threat from Napoleon. He was ultimately imprisoned for stock fraud, and after release depart [...]

    8. A solid, overall enjoyable biography of an astounding man.Having read Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series, it's strange to see that all the things and events that made 'Lucky' Jack Aubrey a great fictional character, are simply biographical for Thomas Cochrane.I give it 4/5 stars because I think the author spoils (as much as a historical record can be) the naturally building drama of many of the events by telling you how it turns out before describing the action. I also felt his retelling of [...]

    9. If you enjoyed Master and Commander, or even just enjoy the stories of the British at sea during the peak of their empire, this is a great book for you. Few people know about Thomas Cochrane, whose life was the basis for the movie Master and Commander. Instead of being Crowe-esque, however, Cochrane was a giant ginger who worked his way as a midshipman - all while learning to scrub decks unlike most officers - to becoming one of the most revered captains of his day and to the downfall that follo [...]

    10. An interesting and well-written exploration of a relatively unknown figure, who nevertheless took part in or witnessed some major events of the 19th century. Cordingly, well-known for writing about pirates, reveals a polarising naval officer whose pride and unpopular political beliefs led him from command of his own ship and a position in Westminster to financial ruin and self-imposed exile in South America. The author carefully avoids taking sides in some of the more controversial elements of C [...]

    11. Certainly little doubt can remain that O'Brien drank from Cochrane's biography in deep quaffs to weave his tales of Aubrey and Maturin. Unfortunately, Cordingly's premise is established by dragging the reader through a narrative so academic, so lacking in romance, so devoid of ambiance, one is reminded why so many of us were ruined on the subject of history from the time of grade school.

    12. Terrific biography of the little known navel hero who was the model for Patrick O'Brian to base Captain Jack Aubrey upon. Cracking.

    13. While Cordingly does take pains not to take Cochrane's autobiography at face value and does include the darker aspects of Cochrane's character, his clear bias in favour of Cochrane diminishes the informativeness of the book. While Cordingly subtly approves of Cochrane fighting for the common sailor and arguing against the huge sums of money some members of the Admiralty made, he glosses over the hypocrisy of Cochrane's own zeal for financial gain (especially in South America). He also glosses ov [...]

    14. A very educational and entertaining biography, in a field that is often very dull and dry. It takes some love of and understanding of Napoleonic sea combat to understand but who else would read such a book?Cochrane was a very amazing individual of incredible intelligence and courage who was deeply flawed by his crazed ability to turn friends into enemies and take the worst offense when none was intended. His politics were pretty extreme for his day, and he was too stubborn for his own good which [...]

    15. This was a terrific biography: honest and balanced, neither worshipping the protagonist or vilifying him, but treating him as a flawed human being. He seems to have been a jerk, but legitimately brilliant and ahead of his time. Fun to read about the real-life brilliance of his fascinating naval actions, even if off of a ship he was not as inspiring of a character (though definitely honorable and honest in his own way). Not a well-known character, but a very fascinating life.

    16. Good, but overlong biography of a British naval warfare genius in the Napoleonic era. I did finish it, but with some skimming. Cochrane was his own worst enemy, paranoid, devoid of political smarts. But his heart was (mostly) in the right place.The review that led me to read it was Dana Stabenow's, which is the one to read first:/review/showShe liked it a lot more than I did, and maybe you will too.

    17. Well researched and enjoyable biography. Provides historical background for several of the naval actions in Patrick O'Brian's Jack Aubrey/Stephen Maturin series. Well worth a read for fans of O'Brians fiction.

    18. I think it was a good book because it was interesting to find out more about the topic of the book and I highly suggest anyone interested in pirates or anything about old ships on the sea.

    19. I so like the movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World that I wanted to read this book for historical background. Indeed, some of my favorite scenes such as locking with the a larger vessel in a do-or-die maneuver, a sudden timber-snapping turn to face a larger vessel, and setting adrift a phantom lure are all from Cochrane's own life, if at time from his imagined life. Hearing of this Scottish captain's adventures in this Scottish accent of narrator John Lee makes it more the real [...]

    20. It's always fascinating to read biographies of individuals whose real-life exploits are so clearly the inspiration for fictional masterpieces. Lord Cochrane's life in both the British navy and his 'freelance' efforts in South America make for great reading (or listening in this case). What gives the book additional depth is the time spent detailing Cochrane's battle with personal and professional demons. It's a compelling story largely due to how, having fallen from grace through (debatably) no [...]

    21. Just finished listening to the audiobook Cochrane by David Cordingly, read by John Lee. Good book, it was more like a nautical adventure novel than a biography; helped by Admiral Cochrane's adventurous life and the narrator's use of accents to highlight the personal quotations. There are many life lessons to be learned from Cochrane's story, some good, others not so much. The biggest is the importance of perseverance. Whether it was a short sea battle or a decades long legal fight, he never gave [...]

    22. Nice book on the life of Lord Cochrane, a naval hero in the wars against Napoleon and the South-American wars of liberation in the 1820's.Well researched and written, it is a bit dry here and there, the extraordinary exploits of Cochrane not withstanding.Not only gives it an very good example of a most humane commander, it also paints a picture of the social, economic and political life of the nobility in the late 18th and early 19th century. Cochrane is an example how the mighty can fall (and r [...]

    23. This is the second David Cordingly book I have read after his book about the Bellerophon and he clearly has a talent for writing about naval history. The book is well researched and concise and succeeds in painting a portrait of someone who was a very complicated personality. Cochrane, despite his many character flaws, deserves far more recognition as a naval commander than he gets. His successes were largely achieved against massive odds and included risks few other naval commanders would have [...]

    24. This is a good book. It takes one back to the final days of the glorious age of sail. It tells the story of a man who accomplished much in his life. A man that while often larger than life, had an all to recognizable human side. It conveyed to me what can be achieved by taking a few risks in life. While often times these proved to be Cochrane's downfall, they no doubt convey the nature of why he is remembered so many years later. I recommend this book.

    25. If you are a fanatic for biographies based on in-depth and comprehensive research, this book will fulfill your greatest expectations. If you are strictly a fiction-lover, this book might be too dry and boring for you.I was entertained as much by the extensive notes which just precede the index of this history as I was by the narrative created by the author, David Cordingly. In addition, I found that the plates added a visual touch that was instructive.

    26. I read this after finishing all of the, "Master & Commander" series. Who knew the main character in the fictional series did as much crazy stuff in a real-life person? He led one very interesting life. Cochrane was one very ballsy/lucky S.O.B. when it came to military matters and a naive babe in the woods when it came to money. The man also had an appetite for beautiful women, no matter how powerful their husbands were. You gotta love this guy.

    27. Awesome book by a great author. This is the story of Lord Thomas Cochrane, later the 10th Earl of Dundonald, whose daring exploits as a naval captain during the Napoleonic Wars were the inspiration for much of the naval fiction of nineteenth and twentieth-century novelists, particularly C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower and Patrick O'Brian's Jack Aubrey. Particularly well researched and written, this was a 'can't put down' book for me. Highly recommended

    28. O'Brian fans will feel the same thrills and sorrows reading this detailed biography as they do following the adventures of Aubrey and Maturin. The understanding of the real-life inspiration for Jack Aubrey deepens the love for the fictional characters and inspired this fan to go back and start with the volume one.

    29. A well written and researched biography of a little known British captain and admiral, who was also something of an inventor and political figure. Some of his seagoing exploits are quite breathtaking, and justify the subtitle to an extent. The real person, however, is a much more complex individual with some serious character flaws that adversely affected his career.

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