Cover image for A pirate of exquisite mind : explorer, naturalist, and buccaneer : the life of William Dampier
A pirate of exquisite mind : explorer, naturalist, and buccaneer : the life of William Dampier
Preston, Diana, 1952-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Walker & Company, [2004]

Physical Description:
ix, 372 pages ; illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
"At a time when surviving a voyage across the Pacific was cause for celebration, William Dampier journeyed three times around the world, sailing more than 200,000 miles in his lifetime and witnessing people, places, and phenomena no European had seen. As a young man he spent several years in the swashbuckling company of buccaneers in the Caribbean and Pacific, learning to survive in their bloodthirsty, uncertain world, before setting off on his first journey around the globe - a many-year odyssey, much of it spent in the theretofore mysterious Pacific and Southeast Asia. Later, his best-selling books about his experiences were a sensation; the vividness of his prose and accuracy of his descriptions put armchair readers in the midst of unknown worlds and introduced many words into the English language, including barbecue, chopsticks, and kumquat. Over time, Dampier's observations and insights influenced generations of scientists, explorers, and writers." "Dampier's powers of observation were astonishing. He was the first to deduce that winds cause currents and the first to produce wind maps across the world, surpassing even the work of Edmund Halley. His insights on land were equally astute: For example, he introduced the concept of the "sub-species" that Darwin later built into his theory of evolution, and his description of the breadfruit was the impetus for Captain Bligh's voyage on the Bounty. Dampier reached Australia eighty years before Cook, and he later led the first formal expedition of science and discovery back to Australia. So influential was Dampier that today he has more than one thousand entries in the Oxford English Dictionary."--BOOK JACKET.
Adventurer -- "A Self-Conceited Young Man" -- "A Great Prospect of Getting Money Here" -- "To Seek a Subsistence" -- "A Door to the South Seas" -- Buccaneer -- "That Sacred Hunger of Gold" -- "Two Fat Monkeys" -- Bachelor's Delight -- Enchanted Islands -- "We Ran for It" -- Traveler -- "You Would Have Poisoned Them" -- "As White as Milk and as Soft as Cream" -- "This Mad Crew" -- "New-Gotten Liberty" -- "Our Little Ark" -- Gut Rot and Gunpowder -- Painted Prince -- Celebrity -- Rover's Return -- "Good Copy" -- "Dampier's Voyage Takes so Wonderfully" -- Kiss My Arse -- Shark's Bay -- "A Flame of Fire" -- "Not a Fit Person" -- Ancient Mariner -- "Brandy Enough" -- Manila Galleon at Last.
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