Call Boomerang Books 1300 36 33 32

Description - Gordon Bennett and the First Yacht Race Across the Atlantic by Sam Jefferson

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.

Buy Gordon Bennett and the First Yacht Race Across the Atlantic by Sam Jefferson from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9781472916730
ISBN-10: 1472916735
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 153mm x mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Adlard Coles Nautical
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publish Date: 25-Feb-2016
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - Gordon Bennett and the First Yacht Race Across the Atlantic by Sam Jefferson

Book Reviews - Gordon Bennett and the First Yacht Race Across the Atlantic by Sam Jefferson

» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about Gordon Bennett and the First Yacht Race Across the Atlantic book by Sam Jefferson and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a Boomerang Books Account Holder - it's free to sign up and there are great benefits!)

Write Review


Author Biography - Sam Jefferson

Sam Jefferson is a journalist and maritime historian, and is one of the leading authorities on the clipper ship era. He is a former Deputy Editor of Sailing Today, and writes regularly for Classic Boat, Sailing Today and Traditional Boats and Tall Ships. He is the author of Clipper Ships and the Golden Age of Sail and Sea Fever, both published by Bloomsbury.

Books By Sam Jefferson

Sea Devil by Sam Jefferson
Hardback, September 2017
$42.94
Sea Fever by Sam Jefferson
Paperback, February 2016
$17.71
Clipper Ships and the Golden Age of Sail by Sam Jefferson
Hardback, October 2014
$77.30