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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 velist Patrick O'Brian by his own admission used Cochrane as the basis for Jack Aubrey, hero of his much-loved series of naval vels. 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.
Robert Harvey is the author of numerous books including Clive (of India) and The Undefeated. He has worked for the Economist and is a former MP. He lives in Shropshire.