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Cochrane: The Fighting Captain

Robert Harvey

4 Reviews

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Biography: historical, political & military, Prose: non-fiction

The colourful commander who inspired Patrick O'Brian's Jack Aubrey

The adventures of the daring Thomas Cochrane, called 'the sea wolf' by Napoleon, are so extraordinary that his life reads like a page-turning work of fiction. In one sense it became so, for the novelist Patrick O'Brian by his own admission used Cochrane as the basis for Jack Aubrey, hero of his much-loved series of naval novels.

Cochrane became a household name when in 1800 he took command of the tiny brig, the Speedy, and created mayhem in the Mediterranean earning himself and his crew a fortune in prize money. A wildly contradictory character, never less than heroic, and this lively new account of his life has sold over 7,000 copies in hardback.

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Praise for Cochrane: The Fighting Captain

  • Wonderfully readable. - Independent

  • Entertaining and compulsive. - Sunday Telegraph

  • The book, like Cochrane's cascading exploits, fairly canters along. - TLS

  • wonderfully readable book....a Robert Harvey convincingly argues, it is Cochrane's exploits that give birth to the fictional genre of Napoleonic sea-adventures - The Independent

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Robert Harvey

Robert Harvey has been a columnist for the Daily Telegraph, assistant editor of The Economist and an MP. He is the author of many books, including a highly popular biography of Lord Cochrane.

He is a former member of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, was assistant editor of The Economist, and foreign affairs leader writer for the Daily Telegraph. His books include The Undefeated: The Rise, Fall and Rise of Modern Japan, Portugal: Birth of a Democracy, Liberators and Cochrane. Robert lives in Powys, Wales.

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