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The English Dane

This gripping nineteenth-century adventure stars Jorgen Jorgenson, a Dane who made Britain his adopted country. Restless for adventure, he came to London, and began his career by sailing to establish the new colony of Tasmania. Twists of fortune then found him captaining a ship for Napoleon before travelling with British traders to Iceland where he found his moment of glory- ruling the country for two months after staging an outrageous coup. Much lay ahead, from imprisonment in the hulks, patronage by Joseph Banks, to travels in Europe as a British spy. But Jorgensen was dogged by his own excesses, and ended up transported as a convict to the very colony he helped to found. Here he reinvented himself again as an explorer, and, despite his sympathy for the people, was caught up in the terrible Aboriginal clearances. Using unpublished sources and letters, Sarah Bakewell tells his extraordinary tale with dazzling verve.
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'A rollicking, roistering yarn about one of the most extraordinary adventurers of all time, written with the care of a true scholar adn the verve of a born storyteller. A triumph' - Magnus Magnusson

About the Author

Sarah Bakewell had a wandering childhood in Europe, Australia and England. After studying at the University of Essex, she was a curator of early printed books at the Wellcome Library before becoming a full-time writer, publishing her highly acclaimed biographies The Smart and How To Live. She lives in London, where she teaches creative writing at City University and catalogues rare book collections for the National Trust.


"Bakewell is superbly matched to the task. Her account of the world encountered by Jorgenson is as rich and nuanced as her description of his life" Independent "Precise, amusing and intriguing. A vivid and moving portrait of an extraordinary but flawed man... A terrific book" Daily Telegraph "Sarah Bakewell has a fine story to tell, and she is its skilled servant...A wonderful, intelligently told story" -- Thomas Keneally Guardian "Splendid... An extraordinary story brilliantly told" Australian "An accomplished book" Sunday Times

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