The Narrative of the Honourable John Byron, Commodore in a Late Expedition Round the World: Containing an Account of the Great Distresses Suffered by Himself and His Companions on the Coast of Patagonia, from the Year 1740, Till Their Arrival in England,

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John Byron (1723-86) died a vice-admiral, having earned the nickname 'Foulweather Jack' after much experience on rough seas. In 1741 he was a midshipman aboard HMS Wager in a squadron sent to attack Spanish ships off Chile. Shipwrecked in a storm after rounding Cape Horn, the majority of the survivors turned on their captain and attempted to make their own way home. Byron was among the group who stayed with the commanding officer. In 1768, now a commodore, he published this account of the five harrowing years it took to get back to England, by which time he was one of only four survivors. Although no doubt written to give his side of the story, it appealed to a public eager for tales of dramatic endurance against the odds. Aboard the Beagle on Darwin's voyage, the book also informed the shipwreck in Don Juan by the author's grandson.