Captain Cook Rediscovered
448 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Nov 2020
Release Date:01 Nov 2020
Release Date:01 Nov 2020

Captain Cook Rediscovered

Voyaging to the Icy Latitudes

UBC Press

Captain James Cook is inextricably linked to the South Pacific in the popular imagination, his voyages satisfying our fascination with so-called Polynesian exoticism. But his crowning navigational and scientific achievements took place in the polar regions.

Captain Cook Rediscovered is the first modern study to frame Captain James Cook’s career from a North American vantage. Recognizing that Cook sailed more miles in the high latitudes of all of the world’s oceans than in the tropical zone, this book gives due attention to his voyages in seas and lands usually neglected, such as South Georgia in the far southern Atlantic and the Alaskan subcontinent, whose dimensions Cook first delineated. David L. Nicandri acknowledges the cartographic accomplishments of the first voyage but focuses on the second- and third-voyage discovery missions in the icy latitudes near the poles, where Cook pioneered the science of iceberg and icepack formation

This ground-breaking book overturns an area of study that has been typically dominated by the “palm-tree paradigm.” Nicandri replaces that stereotype with a balanced account of Cook’s travels – resulting in a truly modern appraisal of Cook for the climate change era.

This fascinating account will appeal not only to students of environmental history, naval history, and polar studies but also to Cook enthusiasts and readers with an interest in exploration history, science, and the North.

Captain Cook Rediscovered is a fresh, revisionist study. Nicandri invites readers to regard the cartographer's actions, thinking, and writing as adhering to the instructions under which he sailed the Pacific. The result makes a compelling reconsideration of Cook as chiefly a tropical explorer. I.S. MacLaren, professor emeritus, Department of History and Classics, and Department of English and Film Studies, University of Alberta
David L. Nicandri is the former executive director of the Washington State Historical Society, where he served from 1987 until his retirement in 2011.


Part 1: Prequels

1 The North Sea and Canada

2 The Republic of Letters

3 The South Pacific

Part 2: A Frozen World

4 Toward the South Pole

5 The Limit of Ambition

6 Temporizing in the Tropics

7 Cook and Forster, on Ice

Part 3: A Third Voyage

8 An Ancient Quest: A New Mission

9 Southern Staging Grounds

10 Terra Borealis

11 Blink

12 Northern Interlude

13 Intimations of Mortality

Part 4: Sequels

14 Springtime in Kamchatka

15 Diminishing Returns

16 Seeding the Fur Trade on the Voyage Home


Notes; Bibliography; Photo Credits; Index

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