Visit our Christmas Gift Finder
Click & Collect from 2 Hours*
Free Delivery to UK Shops
Free UK Standard Delivery On all orders £20 and over Free Delivery to UK Shops Local shops and expert booksellers nationwide Free Click & Collect to UK shops From 2 hours of your order*
Gordon Bennett and the First Yacht Race Across the Atlantic (Paperback)
  • Gordon Bennett and the First Yacht Race Across the Atlantic (Paperback)
zoom

Gordon Bennett and the First Yacht Race Across the Atlantic (Paperback)

(author)
£8.99
Paperback 288 Pages / Published: 09/02/2017
  • In stock online

Usually dispatched within 24 hours

  • This item has been added to your basket
Your local Waterstones may have stock of this item. Please check by using Click & Collect
The 1866 transatlantic yacht race was a match that saw three yachts battle their way across the Atlantic in the dead of winter in pursuit of a $90,000 prize. Six men died in the brutal and close-fought contest, and the event changed the perception of yachting from a slightly effete gentlemen's pursuit into something altogether more rugged and adventurous. The race also symbolized the beginning of America's 'gilded age', with its associated obscene wealth and largesse (the $90,000 prize put up by the three contestants is about $15 million in today's money), as well as the thawing of relations between the US and UK. The narrative focuses on the victorious yacht Henrietta and her owner James Gordon Bennett. Bennett was the son of the multimillionaire proprietor of the New York Herald, and a notorious playboy. His infamous stunts included driving his carriage through the streets of New York naked, tipping a railway porter $30,000, and turning up at his own engagement party blind drunk and mistaking the fire for a urinal, which led to the coining of the phrase 'Gordon Bennett!'. However, Bennett was also a serious yachtsman and had served with distinction during the civil war aboard Henrietta, and he was the only owner to be aboard his own boat during the race. Other characters include Bennett's captain Samuel Samuels (legendary clipper skipper, ex-convict and occasional vaudeville actor), financier Leonard Jerome, aboard Henrietta as race invigilator (he also happened to be grandfather to Winston Churchill) and Stephen Fisk, a journalist so desperate to cover the race that he evaded a summons to appear as a witness in court and instead smuggled himself aboard Henrietta in a crate of champagne. Using the framework of the race to discuss the various historical themes, there's ample drama, and the diverse and eccentric range of characters ensure that this is a book laced with plenty of human interest, scandal and adventure.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781472941022
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 219 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
The story is engagingly told by distinguished journalist and maritime historian, Sam Jefferson. * Gentleman's Journal *
Sam Jefferson's story is written with style, colour and wit. A cracking yarn. * Boat International *
Entertaining * Daily Mail *
a jaunty and surprise-packed retelling of a wonderful story, which leaves readers with an abundance of good yarns to recount on their next night watch * Times Literary Supplement *
entertaining tale of yachting history and sybaritic excess * Guardian *
Sailors in particular will enjoy this harrowing story * Sailing (US) *
It's hard not to love a seas story that seems too outrageous to be true and such is the case with Gordon Bennett * Soundings (US) *
Biographer Sam Jefferson paints a colourful picture of James Gordon Bennett, as playboy, bon viveur and ardent yachtsman whose drinking gets him into a host of scrapes. * Yachting Monthly *
A breathtaking survey of the 1866 transatlantic yacht race. * Vanity Fair *

You may also be interested in...

Shadow of the Titanic
Added to basket
Admirals
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
When I Heard the Bell
Added to basket
In the Heart of the Sea
Added to basket
Last Man Off
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Ship Spotter's Guide
Added to basket
The Lighthouse Stevensons
Added to basket
The Wooden World
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
The Last Grain Race
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
1421
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
1434
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
The Levelling Sea
Added to basket
The Edge of the World
Added to basket
Mutiny on Board HMS Bounty
Added to basket

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.