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Cochrane

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  570 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
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 ...more
ebook, 448 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published July 1st 2004)
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Dana Stabenow
Oct 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kay
Le Loup des Mers deserves a better bio

I 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 no O’Brian a
...more
David Campton
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography
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 ...more
Gilly McGillicuddy
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
...more
Monthly Book Group
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 Jack Aubr ...more
Krista
Feb 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 -
...more
John
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Caleb
Feb 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Meg
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Bookboy
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 ...more
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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. Perhap
...more
More about David Cordingly...