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The Journals of Captain Cook (Penguin Classics) Paperback – April 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Abridged edition (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140436472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140436471
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A principal source for understanding European exploration of the Pacific in the eighteenth century. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW The most important book ever written about Cook. IAN BOREHAM, THE CAPTAIN COOK STUDY UNIT. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Captain James Cook (1728-79) was born in Yorkshire and after an apprenticeship at a shipowners, joined the navy in 1755. Philip Edwards (now retired) has been a professor of English Literature at Trinity College, Dublin, and the universities of Liverpool and Essex. He has written widely on Shakespeare and on the literature of voyages.

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Customer Reviews

This is a spectacularly interesting journal.
"dalewaitken"
It was cool to read about Cook's journeys while staying right around the corner from where his last one tragically ended.
K. Raudive
Enjoyed this book and the exploration facets.
E. I. Lentz Jr.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Fred Camfield on April 5, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This well prepared abridged edition of Captain James Cook's journals is a specialized book of interest to people studying the exploration of the Pacific and/or the British Navy of that time period. Other people might find sections of it dry reading. The book is recommended for oceanography students as the 17th century voyages of exploration formed the basis for later oceanographic cruises.

Cook's voyages carried scientific personnel of that time period, many of whom died from the harsh conditions along with members of the crews. In addition to bad weather, there were diseases and hostile natives (including cannibals). Extensive charting was carried out and, on the second voyage, the Board of Longitude supplied Cook with Larcum Kendall's copy of John Harrison's H4 watch for determining longitude. Observations were made of prevailing winds, currents, temperature, and other things of scientific interest.

Natives throughout the Pacific would go to great lengths to obtain iron, expecially axes, even prostituting their wives and daughters (willing or not). Natives would attempt to steal items, if they could, leading to numerous confrontations including one in which a boat crew of the Adventure (the consort ship of the second voyage) were killed and eaten by the Maori natives of New Zealand.

Cook's journal ended several weeks before his death. The editor fills in details from journals of other people who were on the voyage, and speculates on the reason he was killed by the natives in Hawaii.

The book includes maps of Cook's routes on his voyages. It also has an index listing the names of the various individuals mentioned, with an indication of their positions on the voyages or their other positions if they were not active participants. While the index mentions the later careers of a few individuals like William Bligh, it makes no mention of John Gore's career (he is listed in the Wikipedia as having died in 1790).
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful By M. A. G. Burch on April 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
I wish I had read the reviews before paying for this. The key word for this edition is ABRIDGED. According to the editor Philip Edward's introduction, only about a third of Cook's/Beaglehole's text is included.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By "dalewaitken" on June 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a spectacularly interesting journal. Cook was an odd sort, that's for sure. But a genius? I'd certainly say so after reading his often-daily account of his activities. Really neat book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jim Trethewey on August 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book, but most people would probably get bored before reading it all the way through.
The good: includes journals of all three voyages.
The bad: some bits are left out (condensed). Cook's (mis-)spellings takes some getting used to, but adds some fun flavor to the reading. Stops very precipitously at the end in Hawaii (no Editor's notes about the events after).
For a more entertaining and readable (better spelled) account (of the first voyage only), I recommend "The Endeavor Journal" by Sir Joseph Banks. Or if you're a true die hard like me, I found reading Cook's jounal, then Banks' journal, then "A Voyage to the South Sea" by William Bligh to be a very pleasing sequence.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "olletsac" on July 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This re-issue of the Beaglehole edition of the Cook journals attests to the enduring importance of Cook as the exemplar navigator and Beaglehole as his nautical Boswell.
The writing is elegant and subtle and the fascination of the recital enduring.
Best there is no other!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Caddy Man on August 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a great book, came as promised. Book is in great shape. Reading real accounts of the behavior of native populations and what it must have looked like for the first time, is fascinating. Cook writes with an interesting style that makes it all the more interesting to read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John the Reader on May 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Extracted from both his journals, kept by Royal Naval law, and his logs; this accounts reflect the bluntly honest man in his heroic ventures. Coming `up through the hawsepipe' - starting as a hand on a coastal collier - to become a Naval Captain indicates the strength of that character, what surprises is his lack of the prejudices of his time. His many trips of exploration around the oceans obviously broadened his horizons well beyond his time. And his sheer ability - particularly in mapping and charting those seas induced the Navy to give him commands above his supposed `station in life''.

Some of the Endeavors chart's remain in use in this century - a fitting tribute to this meticulous man and his work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By john r. perry on November 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great read,, on an amazing explorer and person, a true adventurer, it is very difficult to understand what it must have been like to experience what the group had to endure, my only complaint was the size of the print, it was just too small.
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