The life of William Dampier.
William Dampier is one of England’s forgotten heroes. In 1676, he started his career as a poor buccaneer, preying on ships in the Spanish main. He could have easily ended up on the gallows for piracy. Instead his sense of adventure and curiosity about the world around him led him to become the first person to circumnavigate the world three times, and to map the winds and the currents of the world’s oceans. He landed in Australia eighty years before Cook, and visited the Galapagos islands one hundred and fifty years before Darwin. He wrote the best selling travel books, which inspired Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, and enriched the English language with many new words, from ‘barbeque’ and ‘avocado’ to ‘sub-species’. 512 pages PB