A Pirate of Exquisite Mind
Explorer, Naturalist, and Buccaneer: The Life of William Dampier
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As a young man Dampier spent several years in the swashbuckling company of buccaneers in the Caribbean. At a time when surviving one voyage across the Pacific was cause for celebration, Dampier ultimately journeyed three times around the world; his bestselling books about his experiences were a sensation, influencing generations of scientists, explorers, and writers. He was the first to deduce that winds cause currents and the first to produce wind maps across the world, surpassing even the work of Edmund Halley. He introduced the concept of the "sub-species" that Darwin later built into his theory of evolution, and his description of the breadfruit was the impetus for Captain Bligh's voyage on the Bounty. Dampier reached Australia 80 years before Cook, and he later led the first formal expedition of science and discovery there.
A Pirate of Exquisite Mind restores William Dampier to his rightful place in history-one of the pioneers on whose insights our understanding of the natural world was built.
- Bloomsbury Publishing, May 2009
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