Anson's voyage of 1740-44 holds a unique and terrible place in British naval history. The misadventures of this first attempt by Royal Navy ships to sail round the world make a dramatic story of hardship, disaster, mutiny and heroism. Only one of Anson's squadron, the flagship Centurion, completed its mission. The other vessels were wrecked, scuttled or forced back in shattered condition. Out of 1850 officers and men who sailed from Spithead in September 1740, almost 1400 died, most from disease or starvation. With crews ravaged by scurvy, Anson's ships were battered by relentless storms as they attempted to round Cape Horn. Two of the six men-of-war in the squadron turned back, their captains to face later accusations of desertion. A third, the Wager, was wrecked on a desolate island off the coast of Chile in circumstances in which all discipline vanished. This work recounts this classic story from sea history, detailing the dramatic hardships, diasters, mutiny and heroism that occurred.
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Glyn Williams has been Professor of History at Queen Mary and Westfield College since 1974. His main teaching interests are the history of exploration, the history of Europe overseas, and British imperial history. He has travelled and lectured in Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the West Indies. He is Emeritus Professor of the University of London. He lives in Kent.From Publishers Weekly:
In 1740, during England's war with Spain, Commodore George Anson set sail for the South Pacific with a squadron of six ships. He was to seize the legendary galleon that carried Spain's annual plunder from South America to Manila, but almost immediately Anson's mission turned to one of survival. The squadron's ships were overcrowded and poorly equipped. The outbreaks of scurvy were among the worst in recorded maritime history. About 74% of the crew died from disease or starvation, and the squadron was so late in sailing that they tried to round Cape Horn at the worst possible time, when the autumn storms were reaching their furious heights. There the squadron was scattered. Two ships, Anson's and a sloop, made it into the Pacific, two turned back, and one was wrecked. Nonetheless, Anson pushed the Centurion on in search of the galleon. That he managed to take the Spanish ship and get her treasure home to great acclaim provides a remarkable ending to his painful, four-year journey. But Williams seems more interested in chronicling events than in telling a great story, and he often bogs down the plot while resolving countless discrepancies in the various survivors' stories. Such painstaking accuracy will please academics, but it will probably keep this book from taking off. (Nov.)
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Book Description U.K / HarperCollins, 2000. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. No Jacket. The misadventures of this first attempt by Royal Navy ships to sail round the world make a dramatic story of hardship, disaster, mutiny and heroism. Only one of Ansonís squadron, the flagship Centurion, completed its mission. Ansonís voyage of 1740-44 holds a unique and terrible place in British naval history. With illustrations & maps. A 1st edition paperback in new condition. (264 pages & 21 pages of introduction). Bookseller Inventory # 4697
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110006531784