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Captain James Cook and his times

CollectionsANU Press (1965- Present)
Title: Captain James Cook and his times
Date published: 1979
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : Australian National University Press
The widespread effect in Europe of James Cook's voyages of discovery can be seen in the language of Coleridge and Wordsworth, the planning of ambitious Spanish missionaries and far-sighted Russian traders, and the letters exchanged by thinkers and scientists of many countries and two centuries. The round of commemorations that began in 1969 to mark the bicentennial of the three great voyages has stimulated research into Cook, and when an international symposium of Cook scholars was held in 1978 at Simon Fraser University, it brought a strong focus to the most articulate of this thought. Robin Fisher and Hugh Johnston have selected eleven papers that re-evaluate Cook's career and accomplishments and amply demonstrate the range and relevance of what was said at the Simon Fraser symposium. Terence Armstrong, Michael E. Hoare and Bernard Smith look at Cook's reputation and how it evolved. Howard T. Fry and David MacKay discuss two figures, Dalrymple and Banks, who lent much to Cook's reputation by means of their own genius. Sir James, Watt, in describing medical aspects of the voyages, sheds light on Cook{u2019}s death- the great puzzle of his biography. Alan Frost, Rudiger Joppien and Glyndwr Williams address Cook{u2019}s effects on art, literature and the language of geographers. Christon I. Archer analyzes why the Spanish allowed Cook to take credit for certain discoveries made by their own explorers. And Robin Fisher asks why we must assume that when Europeans first met men of other races, theirs was the dominant role. These essays, like all good writing by historians, cause us to look afresh at our culture and its evolution while they bring alive the era of James Cook- one of wide-ranging intellectual ferment.


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