• by David Cordingly
  • Narrated by John Lee
  • 13 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of Under the Black Flag comes the definitive biography of the swashbuckling 19th-century maritime hero upon whom Jack Aubrey and Horatio Hornblower are based.Nicknamed le loup des mers ("the sea wolf") by Napoleon, Thomas Cochrane was one of the most daring and successful naval heroes of all time. In this fascinating account of Cochrane's life, historian David Cordingly unearths startling new details about the real-life "Master and Commander", from his daring exploits against the French navy to his role in the liberation of Chile, Peru, and Brazil, and the shock exchange scandal that forced him out of England and almost ended his naval career. Drawing on previously unpublished papers, his own travels, wide reading, and the kind of original research that distinguished The Billy Ruffian, Cordingly tells the rip-roaring story of the archetypal romantic hero who conquered the seas and, in the process, defined his era.


What the Critics Say

"Cordingly...tells Cochrane's story with flair and sympathy." (Publishers Weekly)
"[Listeners] can practically smell the salt air as Cordingly re-creates the age of sail." (Kirkus)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great biography of a great naval officer

First of all, I was amazed that there was so much information available on Cochrane to put into a book. I suppose, given his exploits and his fame, there would have been plenty of accounts written up about him. As for his personal life, not so much. But in this case, it is the details of his career that are of the most interest. Cordingly does a terrific job of stringing together all his sources to produce a coherent narrative of Cochrane's career. As great a job as Cochrane did, ultimately it seems that his superiors were content to use him as a line officer. Proof once again that who you know matters more than what you do. Or maybe it's about personality. Either way, lessons abound in this book for all of us trying to find our way through our own careers. Of course, for those fans of C.S. Forrester or Patrick O'Brien, it's a great treat to read about the original character on whom they built their respective series of books.
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- Barry "My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter."


I love the way the narrator switched between accents (Spanish, Scottish, French) when changing POV. Very well done and a wonderful book!
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- Rick

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-12-2007
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio