The Buccaneer Explorer

The Buccaneer Explorer

William Dampier's Voyages

William Dampier

Edited by Gerald Norris


Boydell Press



Intelligent and able, William Dampier spent years as a pirate before sailing with the Royal Navy. This is his own account of his remarkable voyages and groundbreaking scientific observations.
William Dampier (1651-1715) is the most remarkable seaman that England produced in the century and a half between Drake and Captain Cook. They each circumnavigated the world once; Dampier did so three times. He commanded the first government-funded voyage of discovery with a specific mission to report on matters of government and science. A good seaman, but a bad commander, he spent most of his life as a privateer, buccaneer, or pirate, and his career culminated in the capture of the great treasure galleon sent each year from the New World to Spain. But he was also a great writer, author of the first major English travel book, A New Voyage Round the World, and of scientific treatises and descriptions of natural history. His expedition to Australia was in many ways disastrous, with his ships being lost; but the book that came out of it, A Voyage to New Holland, is rich in evocative accounts of the peoples and places he had found or visited. He was not afraid to record things he could not explain, for `better qualified persons who shall come after me', and his books were reference works used extensively not only by subsequent voyagers but by modern scientists who continue to cite his observations. This edited account of his voyages gives an admirable picture of this fascinating and unorthodox figure in his own words.


12 black and white, 3 line illustrations
316 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
First Person Singular
Paperback, 9781843831419, May 2005
Paperback, 9781843833642, May 2005
Boydell Press
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Dampier's observations and descriptions are as valid today as they were in the 17th century and this book is to be commended to anyone who is interested in the great early voyages of exploration. THE REVIEW, the journal of the NHCRA
Dampier represents the wonders of a free and driven spirit. If you wish your soul to escape its present bounds, read this and it will. THE NAVAL REVIEW
A nicely printed compilation (and) a good sample of Dampier's prose. GUARDIAN
A model of observational reporting. REVIEWS IN AUSTRALIAN STUDIES

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