Rob Mundle’s biography of James Cook is the third in his trilogy of maritime explorers – the first two dealing with the lives of Captain William Bligh and Lieutenant Matthew Finders. Mundle notes that the link between the three men is the fact that Bligh sailed with Cook, and Flinders sailed with Bligh.
From a humble background as the only surviving son of a Scottish farm labourer and his wife in Maron-in-Cleveland, Yorkshire, James Cook took to the sea at the age of 18 and over the next thirty-two years would travel some 220,000 miles under sail, including his three voyages of discovery into the Pacific which so dramatically contributed to the mapping of the known world.
His achievements were astonishing: disproving the existence of the supposed great southern land, circumnavigating New Zealand and establishing that it comprises two main islands, discovering the Hawaiian Islands, discovering and charting Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and claiming the east coast of Australia as British territory.
There are many accounts of Cook’s adventurous life, dating right back to 1771, the year in which Cook’s first voyage ended. Rob Mundle’s relates the life and travels of this great navigator in an easily read style that enables the reader to vividly imagine the challenges, the excitement and the dangers of maritime exploration in this era.
Author: Rob Mundle
Published by: ABC Books