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The Buccaneer Explorer: William Dampier’s Voyages
Tuesday, 01 September 2015 12:34

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Edited by Gerald Norris
Publisher: The Boydell Press

From Baird Maritime

William Dampier has long suffered from a “bad press”. He is usually depicted as a pirate or buccaneer rather than the explorer and legitimate privateer that he mostly was. In reality, he was no more a pirate than Francis Drake. It all rather depends on your nationalistic point of view.

This very well edited review of Dampier’s excellent journals paints a more realistic view of the man than normal despite its unfortunate title. This is a revised and updated edition of an original published in 1994.

Probably the best and fairest description of Dampier is contained in the editor’s introduction, viz: “William Dampier is the most remarkable seaman that England produced in the century and a half between Francis Drake and Captain (James) Cook.” That only starts to describe his extraordinary achievements. Importantly, rather than dying on the gallows Dampier expired in bed in his comfortable and expensive house in England!

elligent, erudite and literate man, Dampier was also, obviously, brave and resourceful. He was an adventurous and brilliant travel writer. Fortunately and fairly, if rather belatedly, Dampier’s reputation has been rehabilitated and enhanced more recently. This fine book has contributed substantially to that.

Ordering information:

The Boydell Press,
Woodbridge, UK.
Web: boydellandbrewer.com

 

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