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The Explorations of Captain James Cook in the Pacific: As Told by Selections of His Own Journals 1768-1779 Grenfell Price, A. 2009


Carr 1983The Explorations of Captain James Cook in the Pacific: As Told by Selections of His Own Journals 1768-1779
By A. Grenfell Price, and published in 1971 by Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-22766-9

This selection of passages from Captain James Cook's journals was originally published in 1957 by Georgian House and the Limited Editions Club, and has been reissued in later editions, including the 1971 paperbound edition by Dover Publications. The book's 292 pages include three dozen line drawings by Geoffrey C. Ingleton. Maps illustrating understanding of the Pacific geography before and after Cook are also included. Regrettably, there is no index.

This edition contains an introduction by Professor Percy C. Adams placing various editions of Cook's journals and voyages in perspective. There is a short chapter on "ocean problems of the eighteenth century" and a short summary of Cook's early career. A brief bibliography cites J. C. Beaglehole's edition of the journals published by the Hakluyt Society, as well as other primary and secondary sources. Professor Beaglehole checked journal extracts included in this edition that corresponded to his research at the time of publication.

The text is structured in sections organized around each of the Three Voyages. The editor's commentary is found at the beginning and end of the seventeen chapters and occasionally within connecting journal extracts to provide continuity. Cook's death is based upon Lieutenant James King's account. A final chapter summarizes Cook's achievements. The editor concludes, "No previous navigator had contributed voyages of such length; remained at sea for such long periods, or brought back so much accurate knowledge of such an immense extent of the Earth."

There are several reasons to acquire a volume that was initially published fifty years ago. The editor's introductions are brief but useful and lead the reader to an understanding of highlights during Cook's three voyages. The text contains extracts of the Admiralty's instructions to Cook for each expedition as well as a few citations from Cook's letters to the Admiralty as, for example, the encounter with the Great Barrier Reef in June 1770.

For readers unable to locate or read J. C. Beaglehole's four volumes of the journals or other versions, such as Philip Edwards's James Cook: The Journals, the Grenfell Price book serves as a very manageable and useful introduction to Cook's journals, navigation, and voyages of exploration. Although published some time ago, the book remains in print today and is relatively inexpensive in either new or used copies.

Reviewer: James C. Hamilton

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 47, volume 33, number 1 (2010).

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Thank you for your enquiry Adrian. I do not know of the incident that is referred to in the letter, but I can comment on the following -
Peg Ames was not a direct descendant of Captain Cook, as none of his children survived to have choildren of their own. Nor does her name appear amongst those relatives of Captain Cook via his sister Margaret. So she is merely a "descendant" of Cook in terms of her maritime skills.
The "Seagull" which helped her is probably the model of outboard motor that she used to power her small boat out to their vessel. The vessel may have been named the Pieta, however it is also possible that the writer is referring to an Italian yacht/luxury motorboat, made by a firm called Dalla Pieta Yachts.
By Cliff Thornton on 8/18/2014 10:51:15 PM Like:0 DisLike:0
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Hello. I have a copy of this book (though Publisher is shown as "the Heritage Press". On one of the

blank pages at the start of the book, is an ink written letter thus ;-"to ? Peg Ames, a proud and worthy descendant of Captain Cook,who when her mate (?) lay ill on one of the islands in the Aegean Sea, did single handed,manned the ships boat and with only the help of "Seagul" braved the seas ? to (?) secure her ship Pieta (?) and to see that she rode (?) out safely the on coming storm."
It is then signed L +K´s K.D.A.
Can you give any info on this please ? Thank you
By Adrian Lopez on 8/18/2014 7:54:29 PM Like:0 DisLike:0

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