Cook: The Extraordinary Voyages of Captain James Cook --- by --- Nicholas Thomas. James Cook, navigator, geographer and explorer had already completed significant cartographic and navigational work off the coast of Newfoundland when he was tapped to find the expected “antipodean” landmass in the South Pacific .During three voyages beginning in 1768 and ending with his death in Hawaii in 1780 he accomplished much. He discovered or visited virtually all Pacific Island groups; circumnavigated New Zealand; landed on Australia; was able to discount the existence of an accessible southern continent and then, in his northern voyage find no northwest passage around the northern extent of North America. These were voyages of heroic proportions that, according to some, were made by a man, larger than life. But the book is not quite as swash-buckling: It proceeds slowly, sometimes, seemingly without energy and with much introspection --- with talk about the natives and the significance of this or that. I wanted more “let’s get on with it”. But for the serious student, undoubtedly this is quite a helpful buck. For the rest of us, well, it may be too much “filler”.
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