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Autobiography of a Seaman

Lord Thomas Cochrane

Book Overview: 

This two volume work is the autobiography of Lord Cochrane, a naval captain of the Napoleonic period. His adventures are seminal to the development of naval fiction as a genre. Marryat sailed with Cochrane, while later writers borrowed incidents from this biography for their fictions. Most notable among these is Patrick O'Brian, three of whose novels have clear parallels to incidents in the life of Cochrane.

This first volume covers Cochrane's earlier life, during which he is most active militarily.

This second volume of the biography of Lord Cochrane deals with his fall from grace, imprisonment for debt, loss of honours, and attempts to clear his name. It has had a marked influence on naval fiction, most obviously on some of the novels by Patrick O'Brian.

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Community Reviews

The Autobiography of a Seaman would be an interesting addition to a historical reference library, but I would not recommend it for "Entertainment" reading. Lord Cochrane dryly describes his seafaring ventures in a catalogic manner, reserving emotion for his dealings with various naval and government

This is, as the author admits, the memoir of an embittered old man. No doubt he had much to be bitter about but one can't help wondering whether he could have made life a bit easier for himself by being a little more diplomatic and reasonable in his relationships with others. The frustration of succ

Excellent and detailed narrative of an outstanding individual

His exploits and attention to detail make this adventure very believable. His story is one of a very complex man with much to offer the world around him.

Outstanding Biography

Lord Cochrane has been long honored for his nautical adventures and actions against the enemies of Great Britain. The nefarious treatment by internal government agents is not as well known but this book clarifies that period of torment.