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Friday, September 21, 2007

The real Jack Aubrey?


A new biography of Thomas Cochrane, the tenth Earl of Dundonald, came out this week: Cochrane : the Real Master and Commander, by David Cordingly, former Keeper of Pictures and Head of Exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, and author of Under the black flag: the romance and the reality of life among the pirates. NPR's Talk of the Nation not only aired an interview with Cordingly, but they've posted the audio of the interview as well as the Prologue from the book. The interview is great listening--it's a short segment (10 or 15 minutes)--and Cordingly and the host discuss not only Cochrane's naval career, but his importance to maritime and romantic literature: his life was an inspiration not only for Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels, but for Forester's Horatio Hornblower. In his time, he embodied the romantic hero and his influence was felt far and wide--he even drew praise from that quintessential romantic poet, Lord Byron.

Cochrane: The Real Master and Commander

3 comments:

Unofficialski said...

I heard this interview on NPR... very interesting. My favorite quote, "If you want to restore your reputation outlive your enemies"

-John
http://gcaptain.com

Heather said...

Hi, John--
Those are words to live by! They remind me of another great motto that a friend always used: "Living well is the best revenge." I think Cochrane would've liked that!

--Heather

Javier said...

Certainly, he´s the real Aubrey