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The action-packed true story of Commodore Anson's legendary 1740 mission to capture a Spanish galleon on the high seas chronicles the British officer's subsequent disastrous campaign that resulted mutiny, starvation, and heroism. Reprint..
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Glyn Williams is emeritus professor of history at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London. He has published numerous books on the history of Britain and the history of exploration.From Publishers Weekly:
In 1740, during England's war with Spain, Commodore George Anson set sail for the South Pacific with a squadron of six ships. He was to seize the legendary galleon that carried Spain's annual plunder from South America to Manila, but almost immediately Anson's mission turned to one of survival. The squadron's ships were overcrowded and poorly equipped. The outbreaks of scurvy were among the worst in recorded maritime history. About 74% of the crew died from disease or starvation, and the squadron was so late in sailing that they tried to round Cape Horn at the worst possible time, when the autumn storms were reaching their furious heights. There the squadron was scattered. Two ships, Anson's and a sloop, made it into the Pacific, two turned back, and one was wrecked. Nonetheless, Anson pushed the Centurion on in search of the galleon. That he managed to take the Spanish ship and get her treasure home to great acclaim provides a remarkable ending to his painful, four-year journey. But Williams seems more interested in chronicling events than in telling a great story, and he often bogs down the plot while resolving countless discrepancies in the various survivors' stories. Such painstaking accuracy will please academics, but it will probably keep this book from taking off. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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