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James Cook

The Story Behind the Man Who Mapped the World
Narrated by: Michael Carman
Length: 21 hrs and 23 mins
Categories: History, World
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

Non-member price: $44.95

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Publisher's Summary

The name Captain James Cook is one of the most recognisable in Australian history - an almost mythic figure who is often discussed, celebrated, reviled and debated.   

But who was the real James Cook?  

This Yorkshire farm boy would go on to become the foremost mariner, scientist, navigator and cartographer of his era, and to personally map a third of the globe. His great voyages of discovery were incredible feats of seamanship and navigation. Leading a crew of men into uncharted territories, Cook would face the best and worst of humanity as he took himself and his crew to the edge of the known world - and beyond.  

With his masterful storytelling talent, Peter FitzSimons brings the real James Cook to life. Focusing on his most iconic expedition, the voyage of the Endeavour, where Cook first set foot on Australian and New Zealand soil, FitzSimons contrasts Cook against another figure who looms large in Australasian history: Joseph Banks, the aristocratic botanist. 

As they left England, Banks, a rich, famous playboy, was everything that Cook was not. The voyage tested Cook's character and would help define his legacy.  

Now, 240 years after James Cook's death, FitzSimons reveals what kind of man James was at heart. His strengths, his weaknesses, his passions and pursuits, failures and successes.  

James Cook reveals the man behind the myth.

©2019 Peter FitzSimons (P)2019 Hachette Australia Audio

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Absolutely brilliant!

From start to finish I thoroughly enjoyed this, transporting me back to what felt like another world , it was an education for me, at times I envy the adventures these teal men had.

I have a completely different perspective and appreciation for James Cooks accomplishments, an inspirational leader of men, I find his writings about the indigenous people I very respectful
Great audio book, 25 hours went very quick.

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Fine reading of entertaining biography

I began listening to this book with a somewhat heavy heart - could anyone make Captain Cook interesting as well as admirable? The answer is yes, Peter FitzSimons can, with the aid of his numerous researchers who dug out information from obscure sources, Peter tell us. There is so much extra stuff I had not heard about or imagined - details of naval procedure and exploration, customs of the inhabitants of Pacific islands, differences between Cook and Banks, info about the other men on the Endeavour etc. etc. Peter's narrative style is quirky but always engaging, even gripping. I am so glad I read it, or heard the reading. Michael Carman does a great job narrating the book, with many thorny pronunciations to deal with.
One question remains: when Cook was sailing up the 2000-mile eastern coast of Australia, why did he continue to deny the possibility of a Great South Land? Was he expecting something the size of Asia? It was 'only New Holland', he says, more or less. What did he think New Holland consisted of?