James Cook never laid eyes on the sea until he was in his teens. He then began an extraordinary rise from farm-boy to the hallowed rank of captain of the Royal Navy, leading three historic journeys that would forever link his name with fearless exploration. In this book, modern-day adventurer Martin Dugard strips away the myth of Cook to reveal a ...
James Cook never laid eyes on the sea until he was in his teens. He then began an extraordinary rise from farm-boy to the hallowed rank of captain of the Royal Navy, leading three historic journeys that would forever link his name with fearless exploration. In this book, modern-day adventurer Martin Dugard strips away the myth of Cook to reveal a complex, conflicted man of tremendous ambition, intellect and sheer hardheadedness. When Great Britain announced a major circumnavigation in 1768 - a mission cloaked in science, but aimed at the pursuit of world power - it came as a political surprise that James Cook was given command. No commoner had ever commanded a Royal Navy vessel. "Endeavour"'s stunning three-year journey changed the face of modern exploration; charting the vast Pacific waters, the eastern coasts of New Zealand and Australia, and making landfall in Tahiti, Tierra del Fuego and Rio de Janeiro. Returning home a hero, Cook yearned to get back to sea. He soon took control of the "Resolution" and returned to his beloved Pacific in search of the elusive Southern Continent. It was on this trip that Cook's taste for power became an obsession, and his legendary kindness to island natives became an expectation of worship-traits that would lead him first to greatness, and finally to catastrophe. Full of action, lush description and fascinating historical characters, Dugard's gripping account of the life and gruesome demise of Captain James Cook is a thrilling story of a discoverer hell-bent on travelling farther than any man.
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Publishers Weekly, 2001-05-28 In a strong effort "to clear away the tangle of myth and hero-worship" that surrounds his subject, Dugard (Knockdown: The Harrowing True Account of a Yacht Race Turned Deadly), a well-known adventurer himself, deftly recounts the exciting story of James Cook, a farm boy from northern England who at first worked on merchant ships and then, when offered a chance to captain his own ship, turned his employer down and joined the Royal Navy. Cook started at the bottom and worked his way up, but knew he was not from the right social class to advance to captain. However, others recognized his talents: Cook was the first noncommissioned Royal Navy officer to be appointed to command a vessel. His trek with the Endeavour which began in 1768 and circumnavigated the globe, charted the coasts of New Zealand, scouted numerous Pacific isles and retrieved botanist Joseph Banks (who grew to respect Cook after trying to steal command of his ship) brought Cook international fame. Dugard recounts Cook's four-year voyage with the Resolution, which also sailed around the world while trying to locate the coasts of the legendary Southern Continent (Antarctica). By the end of this voyage, Dugard contends, Cook's ego had begun to get in the way of his talent. Thereafter, Cook began to make errors and became tyrannical at sea. This character change ultimately cost Cook his life when he was slain by Hawaiian natives. Well researched, with information from Cook's own journals, this fast-paced book brings to life the English explorer driven to outclass his predecessors and contemporaries. (June) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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