Author(s): Anthony Cornish
DoP September 2008 Captain James Cook is probably the most famous explorer of all time, and not without good reason. The three Pacific voyages of discovery he made between 1768 and 1779 set new standards in navigation, surveying and shipboard health; he discovered and charted numerous lands; and due to the interest and influence of the Royal Society, a group of scientists and artists accompanied each expedition to record the people and places that they encountered. Their paintings and drawings not only advanced the botanical and natural sciences, but left us with a vivid visual reminder of those voyages. Many books have been written on the subject, but this is the first to approach it from the point of view of the visitor to the Endeavour replica, or the reader with a healthy curiosity rather than a scholarly interest, by pulling out the key questions and providing the essential information to each one. The 101 Questions and Answers structure is an ideal one in which to deal with such diverse questions as: How many ships took part in the voyages? What were their names? What is a collier? What were Cook's secret instructions? Did Cook discover Antarctica? Who said 'Ne plus ultra'? Where did Cook learn his surveying techniques? What was the transit of Venus? How did they measure longitude? Which voyage did the artist William Hodges accompany? What is breadfruit?