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The Admiral Benbow: The Life and Times of a Naval Legend (Hearts of Oak Trilogy) [Paperback]

Sam Willis
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

29 Sep 2011 Hearts of Oak Trilogy

Admiral John Benbow was an English naval hero, a fighting sailor of ruthless methods but indomitable courage. Benbow was a man to be reckoned with.

In 1702, however, when Benbow engaged a French squadron off the Spanish main, other ships in his squadron failed to support him. His leg shattered by a cannon-ball, Benbow fought on - but to no avail: the French escaped and the stricken Benbow succumbed to his wounds. When the story of his 'Last Fight' reached England, there was an outcry. Two of the captains who had abandoned him were court-martialled and shot; 'Brave Benbow' was elevated from national hero to national legend, his valour immortalized in broadsheet and folksong: ships were named after him; Tennyson later fêted him in verse; in Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, the tavern where Jim Hawkins and his mother live is called 'The Admiral Benbow'. For the very first time, Sam Willis tells the extraordinary story of Admiral Benbow through an age of dramatic change, from his birth under Cromwell's Commonwealth; to service under the restored Stuart monarchy; to the Glorious Revolution of 1688; to the French wars of Louis XIV; and finally to the bitter betrayal of 1702.

The Admiral Benbow covers all aspects of seventeenth century naval life in richly vivid detail, from strategy and tactics to health and discipline. But Benbow also worked in the Royal Dockyards, lived in Samuel Evelyn's House, knew Peter the Great, helped to found the first naval hospital, and helped to build the first offshore lighthouse.

The second volume in the Hearts of Oak trilogy, from one of Britain's most exciting young historians, The Admiral Benbow is a gripping and detailed account of the making of a naval legend.


Frequently Bought Together

The Admiral Benbow: The Life and Times of a Naval Legend (Hearts of Oak Trilogy) + The Glorious First of June: Fleet Battle in the Reign of Terror (Hearts of Oak Trilogy) + The Fighting Temeraire: The Battle of Trafalgar and the Ship That Inspired J. M. W. Turner's Most Beloved Painting
Price For All Three: 33.52

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus; Reprint edition (29 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849160376
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849160377
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Dr Sam Willis is a maritime historian and archaeologist and is a
fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is the author of the
best-selling Hearts of Oak Trilogy and the Fighting Ships Series. He
has consulted on maritime history for many clients including the BBC,Channel 4, NBC America and Christie's. Sam's work is coloured by his knowledge and
experience of seamanship. Sam's unique approach to maritime history and his vivid style of writing has led to him being described as 'A Nautical Tour de Force'.

Product Description

Review

'Willis is a magnificent describer of the realities of fighting ships at sea' Sunday Times.

'A fascinating biography ... Willis has done a tremendous job of reassessing this neglected period in our rich naval history' Mail on Sunday.

'A must-read account of the life of a man who embodies a forgotten and undervalued period in Britain's maritime history' Dan Snow.

'Fascinating ... One of the best naval biographies to appear for many years' BBC History Magazine.

'a vibrant picture of life in the British Navy in the century or so leading up to the great age of Nelson' Mail on Sunday.

From the Inside Flap

Admiral John Benbow was an English naval hero, a fighting sailor of ruthless methods and indomitable courage. Benbow was a man to be reckoned with. In 1702, however, when Benbow engaged a French squadron off the Spanish Main, other ships in his squadron failed to support him. His leg shattered by a cannonball, Benbow fought on - but to no avail: the French escaped and the stricken Benbow succumbed to his wounds. When the story of his 'Last Fight' reached England, there was an outcry. Two of the captains who had abandoned him were court martialled and shot; 'Brave Benbow' was elevated from national hero to national legend, his valour immortalized in broadsheet and folksong. Ships were named after him; Tennyson later feted him in verse; in Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, the tavern where Jim Hawkins and his mother live is called the Admiral Benbow. For the very first time, Sam Willis tells the extraordinary story of Admiral Benbow through an age of dramatic change, from his birth under Cromwell's Commonwealth; to service under the restored Stuart monarchy; to the Glorious Revolution of 1688; to the French wars of Louis XIV; and finally to the bitter betrayal of 1702. The Admiral Benbow covers all aspects of seventeenth-century naval life in richly vivid detail, from strategy and tactics to health and discipline. But Benbow also worked in the Royal Dockyards, lived in John Evelyn's house, knew Peter the Great, helped to found the first naval hospital, and to build the first offshore lighthouse. The second volume in the Hearts of Oak trilogy, from one of Britain's most exciting young historians, The Admiral Benbow is a gripping and detailed account of the making of a naval legend.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good old Benbow 29 Jun 2011
By Gary B
Format:Hardcover
This is a very good history book and well worth a read. The problem, as the author is obliged to remind us in most chapters, is that there is little written evidence of what exactly Benbow was up to for 90% of his life. Nevertheless, the book gives us an insight in to the naval and general history of the second half of the seventeenth century There are a few nautical faux pas, such as describing the trade winds as westerlies, but not too many. The writing style is light and entertaining and much the better for it.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Admiral Benbow 10 Nov 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a fine book that anyone with an interest in sailing warships will enjoy. The book contains a great deal of interesting information not only on the life but also of the 'times' of admiral benbow, from the civil war during which he was born to his exploits during the nine years' war (e.g. his involvement in bombarding enemy harbours) and finally his last battle in the Caribbbean during the spanish succession war. The book provides a wealth of background information on the development of the english navy during the second half of the 17th century. It is extremely well written in my opinion, once started it is very difficult to stop reading. Highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A forgotten admiral 28 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Every one has of course heard of Admiral Benbow or the Admiral Benbow pub of Treasure Island. Now with this outstanding book we know the whole storey and it is a very interesting storey too. The book is well illustrated and Appendix II Benbow's Warships is not to be missed including the illustrations of the ships.

My one regret about the book is that it is not the first of a series of the less known admirals of the age of sail. What about a book on Anson?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read 28 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very enjoyable read about a person I knew nothing about. The author binds facts together and provides explanations as to why events happened, not merely stating that they did.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Early Naval History 12 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Brilliant!! Goes well with "The fighting Temeraire" and "The Commander" giving a all round impression of war at sea in those days.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sam Willis does a good job 10 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am reading this after the author's 'Fighting Temeraire' and am really enjoying it. You can tell the author comes from an academic background because he presents information with an honesty if there is not enough evidence to prove a point. I have to say I prefer the Temeraire as the book flows much easier over the years. Well worth the money, I will read his 3rd book - The Glorious 1st of June when I get the time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Just about carries it off! 6 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It must be difficult to write a biography on someone were so few solid facts are known. Yet some how Sam Willis manages to just about carry it off. Not only do we have the biography but we get a social history and insights into the lives of Officers and crew on board 16th century fighting ships. I enjoyed it immensely.
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4.0 out of 5 stars benbow 29 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Benbow was a good read, although too much back ground information for the reader to digest but very informative.good.work.by the author.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A hero from The Early Days of Englands Maritime History
Some Character he seemed to be everywhere where he was needed to be building ships hospitals raiding ports and leading fleets you could say that he filled his time. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Gaarghoile
4.0 out of 5 stars A good exposition of a life reconstructed
Mr. Willis does a good job of threading together disparate fragments of information to create a plausible account of the life of the naval hero. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr. P J Cotton
3.0 out of 5 stars the life and times of a forgotten man
A lot of detail,on the british navy and the conflicts it was involved in across the world.
Bit heavy going at times.
Published 6 months ago by phill tarr
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Historical facts
I chose a 5* rating because content gave a true light into how the English Navy was at that time, I was impressed with the factual content which totally put to bed some of the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by pedro
4.0 out of 5 stars Benbow review
I liked it but there were no illustrations which was a big disappointment. Neverthless I was entertained and educated and that can't be bad.
Published 7 months ago by Nicholas Hamilton
4.0 out of 5 stars my fault,not usualy my kind of book,but i liked it.
i thought it would be,a well reserched but an action tale [o,brien style ] but its chocked full of fact but not dry, i learned plenty, it makes for a rich history, benbow served... Read more
Published 8 months ago by George Newton
4.0 out of 5 stars The Admiral Benbow
This is a very enjoyable book for anyone who likes Naval History and the history of the period covering the English Civil War and the restoration of the monarchy in the 1660's and... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Anita Shepherd
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