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The Endeavour Journals (Hardback)

Captain Cook in Australia

P&S History > By Century > 18th Century P&S History > Explorers & Adventurers World History > Australia & the Pacific

By Clare MacDonald, John MacDonald
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 376
Illustrations: 69 colour illustrations, 300 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399064095
Published: 10th April 2024



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In 1770 H.M. Bark Endeavour arrived in New Holland, Australia, the 'Continent of Smoke'. On board were Lieutenant James Cook, gentleman naturalist Joseph Banks, natural history artist Sydney Parkinson, and Midshipman James Magra.

For the first time, this book combines the journals of these men to present a single, cohesive narrative that brings the story to life as never before. The journals are complimented by over 300 images, including charts, costal profiles, plans of harbours, and many original drawings executed during the voyage of the animals, people and landscape unique to the region.

Of the many titles that are available concerning Cook and his voyaging, few focus on Cook’s New Holland experience. Most commonly these titles are interpretative accounts, and heavily weighted with the author’s opinion. However, here the story of New Holland is told in the words of the explorers themselves, containing first hand accounts of all the elements of drama, risk and first discovery.

Focusing particularly on the contact with the Indigenous people and how they were first described by Europeans, this is an adaption of the discovery story made accessible to the general reader as well as the historian, without compromising the integrity of the original document.

These adventurers were men of their own time, constrained by the common beliefs that fashioned the lives of people two hundred and fifty years ago. If some of their words sit uncomfortably with current thinking, we should remind ourselves that some of our own beliefs and actions, might similarly be thought beyond the pale by future generations, and that we too may find ourselves the target of criticism from those who come after us.

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About Clare MacDonald

Clare was born with the explorer’s gene. Leaving her home in England she set off alone into the unknown on a romantic journey to Australia. A match was born. The Cook story took John and Clare to Cooktown in far North Queensland, where Clare worked as a Dietitian looking after the health of the indigenous Guugu Yimithirr people, and John joined the Cooktown Re-enactment Association, helping to research Cook’s seven week stay there in 1770, and writing and producing the town’s annual re-enactment.
Together they found themselves always returning to the Cook story, which over the years grew several limbs – a self-guided tour of Cooktown’s historical sites followed, then a website describing Cook’s east coast journey, and now this book.
With it they hope to set the record straight, by letting Cook and his companions speak for themselves, saying what they saw and did, without the outside interference of any commentators.

About John MacDonald

John grew up on a cattle station in Central Queensland. He became acquainted with the Cook story as a boy during Christmas holidays when the family visited the coast. There he spent magic days exploring and fishing the rich waters of Keppel Bay with his father and uncle in their vessel the Flying Cloud. Cook’s presence was everywhere in the Bay. He gave the bay its name, and named Keppel Isles and several other features in the area. In those early days of the late 50’s much of the area was empty of civilization. It was just as Cook saw it. When John read Cook’s journal, and Banks’, he was hooked for life.
John travelled to England, trained as an actor and worked in the theatre where he met Clare.
John is a volunteer guide at the Australian National Maritime Museum guiding visitors wishing to explore the replica ship Endeavour which is sometimes moored at the museum.

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