A Pirate Of Exquisite Mind: The Life Of William Dampier Paperback – 1 Apr 2005
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"Lively... extraordinary life - an unlikely combination of plundering and pioneering achievements in natural history and exploration" (The Sunday Times)
"Gripping and well-researched... An impressive achievement" (Guardian)
"This long overdue biography wonderfully brings to life one of the most important explorers of the seventeenth century" (Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea)
"This eloquently enthusiastic biography, besides charting Dampier's astonishing achievements, offers fascinating information about his times" (The Age, Melbourne)
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
What I was left with was a great admiration for Dampier. Even though he was an extremely tough man he displayed a sensitivity in his interaction with the native people he encountered, and made an intelligent and systematic analysis of the physical world and the environments in which he found himself.
This book combines the best of serious history with the best of biography. My only small reservation is that while the maps illustrated in the book are reproductions of maps made by Dampier himself, it would have been nice to have an immediate comparison with current geographical knowledge - I had to constantly refer to a modern atlas.
I picked this up by chance needing something to keep me occupied while travelling. It is worth far more than just some airport novel. The book provides a fascinating view of the blurred reality between 17th century piracy, privateering, and defence of the realm. Moreover, it does so from the point of view of the (extra)ordinary seaman.
If your taste is for history or biography excluding footballers then this should not disappoint.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommnend it to all readers with an interest in adventure, sailing or history of the Carribean.
The truth is that this remarkable man was an acute observer and recorder of the world at large, its inhabitants, flora and fauna, without parallel in his own time and for many years thereafter. Three times he circumnavigated the globe, preceding Captain Cook in landing upon Australia. His first journey, shortly after his marriage, took him away for twelve years. Everywhere he went, Dampier looked, tested, tasted, made drawings and kept notes. His were the first descriptions in English of penguins, of zebras, of avocados,and many more. His theories of the interaction of winds and currents were similarly the first of their kind, their accuracy a source of knowledge for later generations. His published accounts of his travels were best-sellers.
Honoured in his lifetime by the great and the good of The Royal Society, drawn on by Daniel Defoe as a source for Robinson Crusoe, mirrored by Jonathan Swift in Gulliver's Travels, Dampier's reputation inexplicably fell into disregard during the 19th Century. In restoring it with scholarly research and in eminently readable style, the Prestons have done William Dampier the justice an exquisite mind deserves.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Enjoyed a view back in time of discovery,hardship and one mans quest for knowledge of our planet.Published 1 month ago by Madagascar47
a good book about an interesting man with all the things he went through it's a surprise he lived as long as he didPublished 5 months ago by windy carl
Excellent read. Its amazing how much Dampier managed to pack into his life. His truly was the joy of a person who has a greater understanding of what he sees through a respect of... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Vincent Bezzina
I enjoyed this. It was a revelation as I'd never heard of Dampier, even less his travels. It was fascinating to learn that ordinary sailors has already visited many of the places... Read morePublished 6 months ago by A. Hammock
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