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Cochrane the Dauntless: The Life and Adventures of Thomas Cochrane, 1775-1860

Cochrane the Dauntless: The Life and Adventures of Thomas Cochrane, 1775-1860 [Kindle Edition]

David Cordingly
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'The real Master and Commander' Sunday Telegraph 'Cordingly is a brilliant historian' Daily Telegraph 'Intriguing and satisfying ... 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' Washington Post 'By rights, Thomas Cochrane should be as well known today as Francis Drake ... Cochrane's adventures in Chile, Peru and Brazil are among the most amazing in naval history' Sunday Times

Product Description

Patrick O'Brian, C.S. Forester and Captain Marryat all based their literary heroes on Thomas Cochrane, but Cochrane's exploits were far more daring and exciting than those of his fictional counterparts. He was a man of action, whose bold and impulsive nature meant he was often his own worst enemy. Writing with gripping narrative skill and drawing on his own travels and original research, Cordingly tells the rip-roaring story of a flawed Romantic hero who helped define his age.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3708 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (14 Aug 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #173,549 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Derring do on the high seas 28 Jun 2008
This is the third biography of Cochrane I have read and is the best of the three. It is ironic that he was probably one of the most unsung "heroes" of the Georgian age, but has now apparently come back into vogue, mainly through the Patrick O'Brien books I am sure. To be honest, when you look at Cochrane's life you couldn't really make it up and why no one has made a film based on his life goodness only knows. Suffice to say this is the fullest of the 3 books I am on about(the other two being those by Thomas and Harvey) so it goes into more detail than those losing nothing in its narrative drive in the process. There are an increasingly large number of books coming out about the 18th and 19th century navy so the bar is set pretty high as to what constitutes a succesful foray into these waters and Cordingly has now added two excellent books into this mix.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What a Guy! 25 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It took a while to get through this book. At times it felt like being at school again and being tasked to "read the next two chapters by next week".

It's a history book naturally, but written in a far more accessible style than most I can remember. The author is not blind to the possibility that our hero might not be perfect and that a cloud still hangs over the Stock Exchange Affair. I was struck, however, by Cochrane's great social conscience and that was never in doubt.

I'd like to have heard more about Cochrane's family and the Scottish connection but you can't have it all. There's plenty of maritime stuff though! What an extraordinary time it was. Ships, crews, captains, flags - all seemed interchangeable in a crazy war game at sea. You went out and grabbed what you could. Sometimes you got a pat on the head for it and sometimes you were court-marshalled.

It was a time of incredible change. Cochrane starts out boarding enemy ships like Drake and ends up going to Crystal Palace and getting involved with new steam technology and Stevenson's Rocket. Wellington shook his hand eventually and Victoria was his number one fan. It makes you realise that it's not all that long ago that it all happened.

I'll continue to enjoy the Aubrey books but now I know who the real hero was.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fair and honest, but a narrative lacking drive 10 Mar 2008
Thomas Cochrane was a swashbuckling naval hero, the inspiration for Patrick O'Brian's Jack Aubrey and C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower. This representation of Cochrane is certainly objective, which cannot be said of some earlier biographies, but the narrative lacks the drive that was one of the subject's characteristics; Cochrane's personality only really flashes from the page occasionally.

Cochrane was a mass of contradictions; he was not only a naval hero but a radical politician. Unfortunately, his most notable political characteristic was to shoot his mouth off, usually producing the opposite effect to that intended. He appears to have suffered from a persecution complex, and his intemperate performances in the House of Commons only meant that his disgrace in 1814 brought pleasure to his many detractors. Much of this animosity can be traced to his pursuit of Admiral Lord Gambier in the House following the attack on Basque Roads in 1809 which only succeeded in making more and powerful enemies, and as a result he found himself closer to a state of paranoia, one that afflicted him for the rest of his life.

The heart of Mr Cordingly's book is the action at Basque Roads and its repercussions; thereafter things quieten as the story turns to his romantic attachment and marriage, and his downfall. Despite his success as a frigate captain Cochrane would not desist from political activity. (Had he been as skillful a politician as he was a commander, it might not have mattered.) Following his disgrace he went to Chile to command the new country's navy in her struggle for independence from Spain, and also served in Peru, Brazil and Greece. But these episodes don't receive the same degree of attention as his Royal Navy exploits. This is a pity, because they hints at what might have been had Cochrane been more diligent in his naval career.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cochrane 12 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A really enjoyable read about someone I had hardly heard of. As usual Mr Cordingly writes in a manner that fairly zips along, not getting bogged down in too much detail. I loved it. Prompt delivery. Would recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational biography 26 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Cochrane was and is a legend, inspiring many literary figures (Master and Commander among others) and influencing world events in his lifetime.

Had he been around today, he would have been a liability, then probably arrested on International charges, but there is a glimmer of hope that he would have made such a formidable commander now and had such a drastic effect on society. Many people could learn from this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An excellent account of Lord Cochrane's incredible appetite for danger & adventure. Extremely well researched, but it reads like an exciting adventure novel. A flawed hero, significant inventor, squanderer of fortunes, and radical reformer, who fought establishment authority figures of the day, on behalf of his crews and the Royal Navy in general. I immediately bought two more books on Cochrane's life & times, as he is such an intriguing character.
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4.0 out of 5 stars SEcond book about Cochrane I have read. 13 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Again a book chosen for our Probus book club, This is a more balanced book about the amazing Lord Cochrane than the one written by a contemporary. It lacks a bit of detail about the technical aspects of sea warefare but goes at a cracking pace.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb.
Better than any of the fiction books written about the RN in the 18th century.
Published 2 days ago by Peter Crump
5.0 out of 5 stars This is THE book for ALL to read.
The item was delivered quickly, was well packaged and on opening was found to be in good order. This book should be a compulsory addition in our schools for the education of all... Read more
Published 6 months ago by David Farrar
3.0 out of 5 stars Cochrane of the Dauntless
I'v read better accounts of our naval heros. This book gives a good history of the man and his naval service but in my opinion, is nothing special.
Published 17 months ago by Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read
This is a thrilling tale of a man who undertook a mind boggling range of things in a passionate and absorbing life. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Dr. Christopher K A Foote
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting man, poorly written book
Not very well written, but Cochrane makes up for that with some almost unbelievable actions, including escaping from gaol while an MP. Read more
Published on 1 May 2012 by N. Tuson
5.0 out of 5 stars COCHRANE
For anyone interested in history this is a fantastic book,superby written by David Cordingly. This is a book very hard to put down once started and very quickly devoured. Read more
Published on 18 April 2012 by Vian Morris
4.0 out of 5 stars Nelson on adrenaline
when Cochrane met Nelson the former was still a young man who must have looked up to the great hero Nelson in awe and admiration. Read more
Published on 8 Nov 2011 by M. Baerends
2.0 out of 5 stars attention to detail???
The story has been recovered fron cochranes own autobiography
but lack of detail in the combat zones ,leaves a feeling of glossing over what could have been a great read. Read more
Published on 19 Sep 2008 by masspecguy
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