Author(s): John Robson
Why was James Cook chosen to lead the Endeavour expedition to the Pacific in 1768? In a period when who you were and who you knew counted for more than ability, Cook, through his own skills and application, rose up through the ranks of the Navy to become a remarkable seaman of whom men of influence took notice; Generals such as Wolfe and politicians like Lord Egmont took his advice and recognised his qualities. During this period, Cook added surveying, astronomical and cartographic skills to those of seamanship and navigation. He was in the thick of the action at the siege of Quebec during the Seven Years War, was the master of 400 men, and learned first-hand the need for healthy crews. By 1768, Cook was supremely qualified to captain the Endeavour. Highly readable and presenting much new research, this is an important new book for Cook scholars and armchair explorers alike.