James Cook, born in 1728, was one of the most celebrated men of his time, the last and the greatest of the romantic navigator/explorers. His voyages in the Royal Navy to the eastern and western seaboards of North America, the North and South Pacific, the Arctic, and the Antarctic brought a new understanding of the worlds geography and of the peoples, flora, and fauna of the lands he discovered.
Richard Hough's vivid narrative captures all the excitement of this age of discovery and establishes Cook as a link between the vague scientific speculations of the early eighteenth century and the industrial revolution to come. A pioneer in many fields, Cook produced maps of unprecedented accuracy; revolutionized the seaman's diet, all but eliminating scurvy; and exploded the myth of the Great Southern Continent imagined by earlier geographers and scientists.
Hough consulted numerous archives and traveled in Cook's wake from Alaska to Tasmania, visiting many of the Pacific islands—including the spot where Cook was stoned to death by cannibals in the Hawaiian archipelago—to produce a comprehensive and immensely readable biography, full of new insights into the life of one of the worlds greatest mariners.
This meticulous narrative captures an age of discovery and establishes Cook as a link between the vague scientific speculations of the 18th century and the industrial revolution to come. Includes an interesting new element is medical evidence that may explain Cook's strange behavior on his final voyage.
Born in Yorkshire, England, James Cook (1728-1779) joined the navy in 1755. His expeditions to the Pacific did more than any other navigations to add to our knowledge of the area. He was killed by local inhabitants in Hawaii.
Philip Edwards is Emeritus Professor of English at Liverpool University and the author of Last Voyages: Cavendish, Hudson, Ralegh and The Story of the Voyage: Sea Narratives in Eighteenth-Century England.
The keen-eyed, cool-headed, and fearless men (Kit Carson, Jim Bridger, Buffalo Bill Cody, Big Foot Wallace, and Captain Jim Cook, among others) who were pivotal personalities for more than half a century in the almost ceaseless task of clearing the way for and guarding the lives and properties of explorers, emigrants, and settlers in the West, are an extinct type of pioneer, Accounts of the heroic deeds of this handful of men, however, remain today as indelible records that dramatize the melting away of this country’s vast frontiers.