No person in naval history, with the possible exception of Lord Nelson, has been the subject of so much romance or inspired so much heated controversy as has John Paul Jones. Such notable writers as Dumas, Melville, Carlyle, Kipling and Thackeray made him the subject of novels, poems and plays, yet from the cradle to grave and beyond the life of ...
No person in naval history, with the possible exception of Lord Nelson, has been the subject of so much romance or inspired so much heated controversy as has John Paul Jones. Such notable writers as Dumas, Melville, Carlyle, Kipling and Thackeray made him the subject of novels, poems and plays, yet from the cradle to grave and beyond the life of Jones (1747-92) was beset with mystery. From the rumours of illegitimacy to the search for his coffin more than a century after his death, the story of a gardener's son who became the founder of the United States Navy is an epic of spectacular exploits and outstanding achievements punctuated by disappointments and disasters that would have crushed a lesser man. The man of action, whose bravery and skill earned him a knighthood and a sword of honour from the French and a unique gold medal from Congress, was at the same time the most literate of America's sea captains, a one-time Shakespearian actor and a poet of considerable merit. He was also a notorious lothario who changed partners so often that the British, whom he defeated at sea, took their revenge by naming a derisive allusion to his womanising. Of all the exploits of this outstanding figure of the naval campaign of the American Revolution, none surpassed his encounter off Flamborough Head with HMS Serapis, a larger, faster and more powerfully armed ship than his own. The story of how Jones, by sheer guts, indomitable will and a refusal to admit the possibility of defeat, emerged victorious from the most desperate circumstances has been an inspiration to soldiers everywhere; and none more so that the US Navy itself in the dark days that followed Pearl Harbor, when the immortal words of that dour little Scotsman - 'I have not yet begun to fight' - were in the mind of every American seaman. In this, the first major biography in forty years, James Mackay presents an accurate and fully rounded picture of one of the greatest sailors of all time.
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Very Good in Very Good jacket. 9781840180572. Biography/Autobiography. Quantity Available: 1. Shipped Weight: 1kg. Category: History; Biography/Autobiography; Maritime; ISBN: 1840180579. ISBN/EAN: 9781840180572. Inventory No: 11939.
First edition. First printing of first UK hardback edition. Fine/Fine. 320 pages including index and 12 pages of B/W plates. Not price clipped. No inscriptions. Over 6" by 9.5". The first major biography of Jones in over forty years. Dr Mackay is an award winning biographer.
Publishers Weekly, 1999-08-16 Mackay, who has written biographies of such Scottish icons as Robert Burns and William Wallace (Braveheart), turns his attention to John Paul Jones (1747-1792), the Scottish-born first naval hero of the United States. During the Revolutionary War, Jones acquired a reputation for prodigious seamanship and bravery, culminating in a series of daring raids off the coast of England in 1779. In his later years, Jones fought for Russia's Catherine the Great against the Turks before eventually dying of pneumonia in Paris, poor and alone, abandoned by his many mistresses. Such are the bare facts of Jones's life, but the intervening 200 years have added scores of folktales and myths, which Mackay devotes much of his energy to deflating. Unfortunately, he may have deflated too much. Jones comes off, despite his wild career, as petty, self-absorbed and, as Mackay admits, "a bit of a bore." The incendiary captain of popular imagination?and of a 1959 film starring Robert Stack?is replaced by a petulant, rank-obsessed narcissist. Mackay largely manages to overcome the unattractiveness of his subject, mostly through riveting accounts of naval battles and instructive descriptions of life at sea. At times, the level of detail may be tiresome to all but the most enthusiastic naval buffs. In general, however, Mackay delivers a fine, unflinching portrait of a man whose deeds were nobler than his character. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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