A Pirate of Exquisite Mind: The Life of William Dampier: Explorer, Naturalist and Buccaneer
William Dampier, (1651-1715), was an English adventurer and pirate who preyed on ships on the Spanish Main. Poor and ill-educated and determined to make his fortune, he nonetheless had a passion for exploration and scientific research.
Dampier was the first to map the winds and currents of the world's oceans; led the first recorded party of Englishmen to set foot on Australia - 80 years before Cook; wrote about Galapagos wildlife 150 years before Darwin, who drew on Dampier's notes in his own work; was the first travel writer: A NEW VOYAGE AROUND THE WORLD was instant bestseller when it was published in 1697 - said to have influenced the novels of Swift and Defoe.
A man full of contradictions: he who achieved so much 'blew it' later in life, declining into scandal, failure and even farce. A unique man ahead of his time, he lived a large part of his life among pirates yet managed to preserve what Coleridge called his "exquisite refinement of mind". A classic example of the best narrative history.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - JBD1 - LibraryThing
A decent overview of the life of William Dampier, who could indeed be described as a pirate, explorer, naturalist, &c. given all the various and disparate things that he managed to do during his career. A bit overly digressive at times, but other than that, a good read. Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - msf59 - LibraryThing
I read this, as part of my first group read. It's a terrific biography! The research was awe-inspiring and the narrative flow was perfect. Pirate or not, Dampier was one heck of an explorer and naturalist, just sadly neglected. I highly recommend it! Read full review
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A Pirate of Exquisite Mind: The Life of William Dampier : Explorer ...
Diana Preston,Michael Preston
No preview available - 2004