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Seafarers' Voices, A Privateer's Voyage Round the World: No. 2 (Seafarers Voices 2)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Seafarers' Voices, A Privateer's Voyage Round the World: No. 2 (Seafarers Voices 2).pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Captain George Shelvocke(Author)

    Book details

In 1719, Captain George Shelvocke, a poverty-stricken ex-naval officer, appealed for help to an old shipmate, Edward Hughes, who was then part of a consortium fitting-out two privateering vessels to prey on the Spanish in the Pacific. He offered Shelvocke the captaincy of the larger ship but then demoted him to a smaller vessel, and Shelvocke, bitter and revengeful, immediately set off on his own for South America with a semi-mutinous crew, and his much-hated Captain of Marines, William Betagh.After rounding Cape Horn, one of Shelvocke s men shot a black albatross an event later to be immortalised in Coleridge s Rime of the Ancient Mariner and then, off Chile, with considerable loot onboard his ship, the Speedwell, was wrecked in the Juan Fernandez Islands. Undaunted, he built another vessel and eventually returned to England, via Macao, loaded with Spanish plunder. Back home he was arrested for piracy and defrauding his shareholders, though he argued that he owed the original owners nothing as their ship had been honestly lost.The events were grippingly portrayed in his memoir A Voyage Round the World by Way of the Great South Sea, though some of it was disputed by Betagh and others, and it still reads today as a fast moving, incident-packed tale exposing the world of the maritime mercenaries and privateers, men who would take on anything and everything for Gold!
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Review Text

  • By Whitetiger on 30 August 2016

    Brilliant, really interesting - looking forward to reading others in the series.

  • By M. Baerends on 15 November 2011

    The second in a series of 'Seafarers Voices', 'A Privateer's Voyage Round the World' easily meets the high expectations set by Jean Marteilhe's 'Galley Slave'.Whereas Marteilhe seems to have been a friendly character, innocently punished by his cruel king to serve in the galleys, George Shelvocke willingly started a career as captain of a privateer ship. The story starts on the eve of the War of the Quadruple Alliance; Shelvocke is waiting for a letter of marque, allowing him to plunder Spanish ships as a privateer, but as England is slow in declaring war on Spain (this incidentally did not stop them from annihilating the Spanish navy at Passaro without a declaration of war) he makes a detour to Ostende to get an Austrian letter of marque (Austria was of course at war with Spain, the latter country having invaded Sardinia).Trouble starts almost immediately after departure in early 1719. Shelvocke's crew must have been the worst bunch of criminal, incompetent, mutinous & otherwise unplesant scum. Maybe this is the kind of people that were attracted to serving on privateers, or maybe Shelvocke is being subjective, who knows. In any case, nothing goes well, there is a state of almost continuous chaos, drunkenness and subordination on board, the few prizes they take off the Chilean/Peruvian coast are mostly worthless, they end up on islands entirely covered in a thick layer of guano, get drunk, are harrassed by birds that bombard their own ship with particulary foul-smelling guano, get drunk again, and then finally run their own ship aground at the Juan Fernandez islands.Somehow they manage to build a replacement boat (this despite complete anarachy among the stranded crew), and then board another ship to serve as a proper replacement. But still things continue going south all the time; when they are not out of food they are out of water - in short a horrible ordeal.Overall, this is a truly interesting, and - completely unintentionally - an extremely funny book. Again a really good addition to the 'Seafarers Voices' series!

  • By Carole on 10 November 2015

    This is a really intriguing series of books (seafarers voices), which include some otherwise hard to find historical nautical memoirs. They are a nice handy size, and good quality hardbacks with paper dust jackets.From this seller, the book arrived very well-packaged and totally undamaged, and at a very good price too!

  • By wolfguard on 22 December 2014

    Father enjoyed the book, brought the whole series.

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