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In 1708, there sailed form England two ships--the Duke and the Duchess--armed with letters of Marque form the English government, to capture gold-bearing Spanish galleo in the Pacific. The pilot of the group was the famed Captain Dampier, a seasoned voyager, and, it is said, a model for Swift's imaginary Gulliver. Thus began one of the boldest raiding missions of the 18th century. Told here in sparse but effective language, the three year trip was one of extreme bardship. Men endured bad food, cruel punishment, fleece sens around Cap Horn, even death from pestilence, in their pursuit of the Spaniard. The book tells how they visited South American ports in the Pacific, how they took a Spanish galleon in battle loaded with treasure, how they went to Guan, then New Guinea, and how sailors form other ships in the Pacific continually died from native treachery. Especially interesting is the account of how the two famed privateers visited Dutch Batavia, and what life was like in that far-distant colony. On concluding the voyage near London the ults from jealous competitors. How the captains and Dampier fought these suits, how their experiences set off a rage of South Sea speculation, and how these men met their ends provides an interesting coda to the Lale. Well researched and well-told sea history.

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 1962
Publisher: Random House