In this rich and stylish description by New Zealand scholar Salmond, Cook's voyages take on a peculiar, dreamlike quality. Salmond's claim is that Cook was far more affected by his exposure to the Polynesian world than historians have thought. This book is fascinating as an incomparable travelogue filled with amazing stories - the sexual paradise of Tahiti, the 'discovery' of Hawaii, close relations with Maori, and Cook's tragic death on the beach in Hawaii.The 'trial' of the title followed a horrific incident in New Zealand's Queen Charlotte Sound when Maori killed and ate a boatload of Cook's men. Later, sailors caught a dog guzzling a pink remnant, put the dog on trial, then convicted, cooked and ate it.
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This text provides an account of Cook's South Sea voyages, in which Cook plunged south to discover Antarctica and then veered north to discover Hawaii. In Anne Salmond's narrative, Cook's ships, far from remaining little wooden islands of Englishness in a Polynesian sea, become ever more tangled in the worlds they encounter, leaving Cook's tattooed, dazzled sailors just as altered as the Polynesians themselves.About the Author:
Anne Salmond is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. One of New Zealand's most prominent anthropologists and historians, Professor Salmond is the author of Hui: A Study of Maori Ceremonial Gatherings; Amiria: The Life Story of a Maori Woman); and Eruera: The Teachings of a Maori Elder (winner of a Wattie Book Award in 1981) which she co-wrote with Erua Stirling. Among her other acclaimed works are Two Worlds: First Meetings between Maori and Europeans, 1642 - 1772; Between Worlds: Early Exchanges between Maori and Europeans, 1773 - 1815 (winner of the Ernest Scott Prize in 1998); The Trial of the Cannibal Dog: Captain Cook in the South Seas (winner of the Montana Medal for Non-fiction in 2004); Aphrodite's Island: The European Discovery of Tahiti; and Bligh: William Bligh in the South Seas (a finalist in the 2012 NZ Post Book Awards). She received the CBE for services to literature and the Maori people in 1988 and was made Dame Commander of the British Empire for services to New Zealand history in 1995. In 2009, she was elected as a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) for her excellence in scientific research. She lives in Devonport, Auckland.
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