Cochrane and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$9.49
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by Istra
Condition: Used: Very Good
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Cochrane: The Real Master and Commander Hardcover – September 18, 2007


See all 15 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$16.97 $1.99
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Frequently Bought Together

Cochrane: The Real Master and Commander + Commander: The Life and Exploits of Britain's Greatest Frigate Captain
Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Choose Your Own Autobiography
Step right into Neil Patrick Harris's shoes in an exciting, interactive autobiography that places the reader squarely in the driver's seat. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; 1st edition (September 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582345341
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582345345
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #552,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Thomas Cochrane was one of the Royal Navy's greatest frigate captains and most controversial figures during the Napoleonic Wars. A counterpoint to Horatio Nelson and his band of brothers, who were masters of fleet actions and blockade, Cochrane was a daring commerce raider whose prizes were so rich that he sailed into port with solid gold candlesticks lashed to his mastheads. He was a master as well of coastal raiding and cutting-out expeditions, culminating in the crippling of a French squadron at Basque Roads in 1809. Cordingly, an established historian of Nelson's navy, tells Cochrane's story with flair and sympathy—especially when recounting his professional destruction by a corrupt and inefficient naval establishment, which he challenged from his seat in Parliament with the same energy he turned against the French at sea. Cochrane's support of radical domestic causes further marked him, and in 1814 he was convicted in a Stock Exchange scandal whose details remain unclear. Surmounting disgrace and imprisonment, Cochrane in 1818 was offered command of revolutionary Chile's navy. He led it to victory against its Spanish enemy, then repeated the performance for another rebel state, Brazil. Less successful fighting for the Greeks against the Turks, he returned to Britain a national hero, had his case successfully reviewed and was restored to rank and honor. Small wonder that Cochrane's career was a major source of Patrick O'Brian's popular series, though Cochrane might have considered Jack Aubrey a bit of a bore. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Most intriguing and satisfying...Within his nearly 85 years, Cochrane packed enough drama and history to shame both Horatio Nelson and Sir Francis Drake...O'Brian fans will find great satisfaction in smoking out similarities and differences between Cochrane and Aubrey.”—Ken Ringle, Washington Post

“[Cordingly] used previously unpublished papers, extensive original research and his own travels to tell Cochrane’s story which is as good as any fiction.”—BoatU.S. Magazine

"Cordingly, an established historian of Nelson's navy, tells Cochrane's story with flair and sympathy"—Publisher's Weekly
 
“Avast, Horatio Hornblower! Shove off, Jack Aubrey! Give way to a real life knee-breeched naval hero. Maritime historian Cordingly...presents the life of Thomas Cochrane, tenth Earl of Dundonald (1775–1860), a lanky Scot who was the very model, we are told, for the stalwart characters of C.S. Forster and Patrick O’Brian...Readers can practically smell the salt air as Cordingly recreates the age of sail, of press gangs, of round shot, grape, canister and loud nine pounders, of wellarmed ships of the line, jolly boats, bum boats and fire ships. To document the career of his hero, the author draws on memoirs, logbooks, archives, correspondence and ephemera. He chronicles in copious detail Cochrane’s considerable bravery on deck and personal failings ashore. Landlubbers may find this a lengthy voyage, but devotees of yarns about brave British tars will be delighted to be aboard.”—Kirkus Reviews

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Well written and well researched.
John F. Evans
I'ver been meaning to read this for some time -- I've read the 22 Jack Aubrey/Stephen Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brian, and the Hornblower series by C.S. Forester.
Lawrence T. Burch
I enjoyed reading the book as the subject matter was interesting.
Dirt Dok

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Trinque VINE VOICE on December 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think I am correct in saying that I have read all of the biographies of Thomas, Lord Cochrane, published in the last few decades, and I would rate this volume as the being the best of all, giving good coverage of all phases of Cochrane's long naval and political careers. Unlike some authors, Cordingly is careful to match Cochrane's own accounts of his activities against other primary sources, and to give equal balance to Cochrane's activities in the wars for South American independence with those during the Napoleonic Wars.

Cochrane was an extraordinary man, his genuine history perhaps more amazing than any of the fiction inspired by his real-world activities, this is a biography that does him justice, lauding his good qualities and achievements without hiding his flaws and failures.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
49 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Douglas S. Wood on March 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Many readers will come to David Cordingly's The Real Master and Commander from a desire as fans of Patrick O'Brian and C.S. Forester to learn more about the remarkable man whose life provided the raw material for the tales of Jack Aubrey and Horatio Hornblower. Make no mistake, however, Cordingly's excellent historical biography deserves to be read on its own merits.

Lord Thomas Cochrane executed such stunningly audacious feats - successfully attacking much larger ships with his small sloop Speedy, leading an attack of fireships on the French fleet at Basque Roads, and helping Chile and Brazil establish their independence - that one might cry `what pitiful stuff' if one read it in a work of historical fiction. But it really happened.

Cochrane was a flawed man who could not restrain himself from reckless attacks on powerful forces in the navy and the government generally. When he found himself entangled in an infamous stock exchange fraud (the leaders spread false rumors that Napoleon had died and then sold their shares when the market predictably spiked), he discovered that powerful men were only too happy to see him convicted and drummed out of the navy. Cordingly judiciously sifts the evidence of Cochrane's guilt or innocence from our vantage point nearly 200 years later.

In addition to his naval feats Cochrane also fought for reform causes as a member of parliament. His intemperate tactics and language did him little good. Of course, he was quite right in insisting that either the electoral system would be reformed from within or reformed with a vengeance from without.

After several years in the `wilderness', Cochrane sailed to South America and successfully aided the rebellion against Spain and Portugal.
Read more ›
7 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By M. L. Reynolds on November 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
For those of us suffering from Patrick O'Brian withdrawal syndrome David Cordingly may well be the answer. His life of Lord Cochrane, the Real Master and Commander, is every bit as gripping as any O'Brian novel. What's more, details of British political life at the turn of the nineteenth century make Karl Rove and the Swift Boat crew seem like gentlemen and the UN Oil for Peace scandals small change. Cordingly brings history to life and I am now eager to read his earlier books.

lance Reynolds
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David Mabry on December 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am not an O'Brian fan but I do love C.S. Forester. This gripping true life narrative was an easy read and was more exciting than the fiction that used Cochrane as an inspirtation. This unfortunate tragic hero's life is told in gripping detail from his self-claimed sabotage as a naval officer to his failed career as a reformist politician in the Napoleanic Era of England. The scientific advances both in military and civilian pursuits are also touched on as scientific curioisty and their failure to commercially take advantage of their discoveries seemed to have run in Cochrane's family. For those who love those fictious sea tales of both O'Brian and Forester, this is the real thing.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Roy K. Farber on December 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
David Cordingly brings to life this tragic hero, as vividly as any fictive work, but with a bold reality of his times, the war against Napoleon through the independence movements of Chile, Brazil and Greece, all in which Lord Cochrane played an indispensable role, and of the radical politician who, as a naval officer, actually cared for the wellbeing of those who entrusted their lives to him, and thereby acquired their undying adoration. And, insodoing, this real life biography outshines those works relying as their basis thereon.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dana Stabenow on December 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Chances are you've already heard of Horatio Hornblower, Jack Aubrey, maybe even Frank Mildmay. But how about Thomas Cochrane, the real life British naval officer upon whose life and career all of these fictional characters are at least in part based?

That's what I thought. Don't worry, David Cordingly's Cochrane: The Real Master and Commander has got you covered.

The best biographies illuminate not only their title character but the time and place in which that character lives, and this book does that in spades, with some eye-opening revelations. For one thing, I had no idea that the British Navy during the Napoleonic Wars were on the whole, well, pirates.

Oh yes, they were, and I'll tell you why. The British Navy was essentially a money-making proposition in those days. Whenever a British ship caught an enemy ship, it would be sent back to England where it would be assessed by the Admiralty and assigned a value, one-eighth of which was then shared among the officers and crew of the capturing ship. The more enemy ships they captured, the more prize money they made, and Cochrane, whose improvident father had cost the family the hereditary estate, was forever in a row with whoever was in charge about getting full value for the ships he captured.

An eye ever to the main chance Cochrane may have had, but he was also by everyone's account, even his enemies', of which he made many, a master mariner. Cordingly writes that some of Cochrane's actions, described in full in you-are-there prose, are still cited by naval historians as the best of their kind. He was his own worst enemy on land but at sea he was unsurpassed.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews