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Author Name:    BEAUFORT, Francis). FRIENDLY, Alfred FRIENDLY, Alfred

Title:   Beaufort of the Admiralty : The Life of Sir Francis Beaufort 1774-1857. First American Edition in dustjacket

Publisher:    Random House, New York, 1977, ISBN:0394417607 

Seller ID:   15511

(BEAUFORT, Sir Francis). FRIENDLY, Alfred. Beaufort of the Admiralty : The Life of Sir Francis Beaufort 1774-1857. New York : Random House, (1977). First US Edition. Pp (6),[7]-362. Illustrated. 8vo, brown cloth spine. "To yachtsmen, the name 'Beaufort' signifies the international scale of wind forces. To cryptographers, it identifies a famous cipher. Yet these inventions only inadequately represent the tremendous accomplishments of one of the nineteenth century's most gifted and complex figures. For Admiral Sir FrancisBeaufort's greatest achievements were the revitalization of the Hydrograph ic Office and the perfecting of the Admiralty Chart, a standard for accuracy from the 1830s to the present day. Some of his own surveys, made more than 160 years ago, are still the official authority. Virtually self-educated (he left school at fourteen), Beaufort eventually became Hydrographer of the Admiralty after adventurous service in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars; he suffered nineteen wounds in capturing an enemy vessel from under the guns of a Spanish fortress, and came close to death again from a fanatic's bullet while surveying the Turkish coast. He remained head of the Hydrographic Office longer than any man before or since, building it into the finest chart-making and maritime-science center of its age, and forming alliances with such great scientists as Herschel, Airy and Babbage. (It was through Beaufort's connections with the Cambridge scientists that Darwin was selected to sail as 'savant' on the Beagle.) The great observatories at Greenwich and the Cape of Good Hope came under his administration. For eight years he presided over the Arctic Council in its searches for Sir John Franklin, lost on his last polar voyage to discover the Northwest Passage. Over a period of a quarter of a century Beaufort directed the most ambitious maritime explorations and experiments of the period. Beaufort's career was oneof struggle, of alternating episodes of triumph and despair; his was also the classic case of the evil of the "interest" system of naval promotions: for long years he was denied the advancement he deserved, until the injustice done him became notorious among his fellow officers. Portions of his 2000-odd letters and journals, never before published or even examined professionally, were written in cipher, which the author has succeeded in breaking. " - from the dj. With notes, bibliography and index. Ships in his life include Aquilon, Woolwich, Blossom, and Frederickssteen. Vg in dustjacket. 30.00


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