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A Pirate Of Exquisite Mind : The Life Of William  Dampier - Diana Preston

A Pirate Of Exquisite Mind

The Life Of William Dampier

By: Diana Preston, Michael Preston

Paperback | 1 April 2005 | Edition Number 1

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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.

William Dampier, (1651-1715), was an English adventurer and pirate who preyed on ships on the Spanish Main. Poor and ill-educated and determined to make his fortune, he nonetheless had a passion for exploration and scientific research.

Dampier was the first to map the winds and currents of the world's oceans; led the first recorded party of Englishmen to set foot on Australia - 80 years before Cook; wrote about Galapagos wildlife 150 years before Darwin, who drew on Dampier's notes in his own work; was the first travel writer- A NEW VOYAGE AROUND THE WORLD was instant bestseller when it was published in 1697 - said to have influenced the novels of Swift and Defoe.

A man full of contradictions- he who achieved so much 'blew it' later in life, declining into scandal, failure and even farce. A unique man ahead of his time, he lived a large part of his life among pirates yet managed to preserve what Coleridge called his "exquisite refinement of mind". A classic example of the best narrative history.
Industry Reviews
"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

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