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Last Voyage of Captain Cook: The Collected Writings of John Ledyard (National Geographic Adventure Classics) Paperback – March 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Series: National Geographic Adventure Classics
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic; First American Edition edition (March 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792293479
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792293477
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,458,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By G. Hopman on June 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book can not be said to hold up to many of the writings about any of the voyages of Captain Cook. I also agree that the letters are of no worth. However, for anyone that has read other books about Captain Cook it is a very interesting book. There are many things that Ledyard writes, which differ with the accounts that Cook records, which makes it an interesting look at what some of the crew thought about the third voyage. If you have never read anything about Captain Cook, DO NOT start wiht this book. If you have read anyhting about Cook already then this book will please you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael on October 10, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I agree with the criticisms of the other two reviewers, I found Ledyard's journal on Cook's voyage interesting reading, and worth paying a few dollars postage for. But as there are only about 115 pages worth reading, I'd feel disappointed with this book if I'd bought it new, or paid more than a few dollars plus postage for it. Apparently, this is about the only chance you have of reading Ledyard's journal without going to antique book auctions. But more gifted writers may have covered this voyage better, and few readers will wade through the rest of the book in its entirety, letters and all. More interesting perhaps is the biography of Ledyard's life, written by James Zug. Just because a man led an exciting life doesn't mean he was a great writer.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Molly Johnson on January 2, 2006
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This book is not nearly as interesting, enriching, or well written as the other books in this series. (I highly recommend the Voyage of the Beagle by Darwin, for example.) Publishing a whole volume of Ledyard is really overkill, and misstates his importance as a writer and historian. While the 20-page account of Cook's murder and the, er, unpalatable aftermath of his death is riveting, the rest of Ledyard's journal is dull. The private letters that make up the latter half of the book have little of interest to the general reader. For much better travel adventure about the same regions that Ledyard covers here, read Darwin (see above), or the Mutiny on the Bounty trilogy by Nordhoff and Hall, or Farley Mowat (especially The Siberians).
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AlanTLedyard on April 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read anything I come across relating to John Ledyard the traveller. I'm not a historian, but as a person who is trying to find my ancestors, I have a keen interest in all Ledyards, who they are, where they came from, and what was their family like. Were they unusual? were they good people? Why do I know so little about them? And why am I able to find so much about this person? The last question of course, relates specifically to John Ledyard. I have been looking for information about him for more than forty years. I have found quite a lot; and quite a lot of it is not true.

There is no doubt that John Ledyard is an interesting subject for academics, historians, and biographers. I'm grateful for people like James Zug, Edward Gray, and others who go to the archives, and credible, authoritative sources that are not available to most people. John Ledyard deserves his "fame" and he deserves first-class scholarship that only a few are capable of getting and conveying it in a pleasing and interesting way as Zug, Gray and a few others have done. The authors mentioned here have apparently gotten to know one another since their books have been published. Zug's, "American Traveler..." in 2005; and Gray's "The Making of John Ledyard..." in 2007. I would hope that they keep in touch and keep John Ledyard "alive" for a time when all the untruths propagated about the family of Captain John and Abigail (Hempstead)Ledyard by early Ledyard "historians" can be put out with the garbage.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By skiermary on June 15, 2014
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This journal was kept by one of Dartmouth college's earliest students. He left school and traveled around the world with Capt. Cook, and was probably the first person born in what became the USA to set foot on the Pacific Coast. The journal is fascinating and covers just one of the adventures this prodigious traveler made during his rather short lifetime.
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