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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'...an account that is part-biography, part-travelogue and extremely engaging.' -- Sunday Times
'She writes with great verve, an infectious love of maps and no fear of the superlative.' -- Sunday Times
'an account that is part-biography, part-travelogue and extremely engaging.' -- Sunday Times
It was about time Captain Cook was given a fresh look. Vanessa Collingridge has done just that. She has succeeded in breathing new life into an extraordinary life story which has become distorted and faded with history's hindsight.
Not only is it the story of the man behind the myth, but also of Vanessa's own journey to the inner life of Captain Cook. She weaves in the story of her ancestor George Collingridge, a scholar who committed professional suicide by being the first man to claim Cook did not discover Australia.
It's a fascinating and multi-faceted tale of obsession, exploration, maps and politics, told with great verve by a wonderful new writer.
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Book Description Ebury & Vermilion, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st US. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0091879132
Book Description Ebury Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0091879132 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0038866