Biography Vanessa Collingridge Captain Cook

ISBN 13: 9780091879136

Captain Cook

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9780091879136: Captain Cook

Captain Cook was a man making two journeys, one public and one personal, and their success and ultimate cataclysmic failure are intertwined. By the time he "discovered" Australia, the mythology around Cook had set fast. Its strength endured the fractures of an unheroic descent and violent death. Almost 100 years later another man catches a boat to Australia. Like Cook, George Collingridge, aristocrat and artist, is seeking adventure - and like Cook, it proved to be his undoing. His journey leads him to old maps of early explorers, secret tales of hidden lands and buried treasure. It leads him to the real discoverers of Australia - the Portuguese. He stakes his reputation on the claim and loses it; his life is ruined by obsession. A hundred years later, Vanessa Collingridge is searching for books on her hero Captain Cook in a university library. She discovers the name of a distant cousin, George Collingridge, in a dusty card index. Thus a new journey of discovery begins - in the footsteps of her hero and his nemesis. The result is this biography which tells how passion and betrayal unite two men across 100 years and 10,000 miles. It sets Captain Cook, hero of conflicting myths, in the context of his times, his personality, his guiding philosophy and his extraordinary legacy.

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From the Back Cover:

In 1768 James Cook, on an epic sea journey that secured his place in history, discovered Australia. One hundred years later, countering cherished legends, George Collingridge dared to claim that the Portuguese had gotten to Australia first. Now Vanessa Collingridge, his distant cousin, unravels the strange tale of history's most fascinating explorer and the man who sought to dethrone him.
Collingridge charts Captain Cook's celebrated voyages: He mapped the Pacific Islands, circumnavigated Antarctica, charted New Zealand, and discovered the New Hebrides and Australia, curing scurvy along the way. He was shipwrecked on the Great Barrier Reef, cruised with sails frozen amid two-hundred-foot-tall icebergs, struggled to keep his crew from losing battles with alcohol and Polynesian women, and somehow managed to stay one step ahead of competing French and Spanish explorers. Over his twenty-one years of adventure-until his murder on a beach in Kealakekua Bay in Hawaii in 1779-Cook changed the Western map of the world.
Or so schoolchildren were taught. In 1883 British aristocrat George Collingridge sailed Down Under in search of adventure-and came across maps of Australia dated 1542 and 1546, drawn in northern France but based on Portuguese originals, suggesting that Cook was not the first to reach Australia. The proposal would prove Collingridge's undoing-and yet it is a controversy that lives on.

About the Author:

Vanessa Collingridge is currently a presenter and reporter on Tonight with Trevor MacDonald. A first class Geography graduate of Oxford, Vanessa's presenting career has spanned many scientific and historical programmes on both TV and radio. She has also had her own column with the Daily Telegraph.

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Collingridge, Vanessa
Published by Ebury Press (2002)
ISBN 10: 0091879132 ISBN 13: 9780091879136
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Vanessa Collingridge
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