A new interest in European maritime exploration was aroused with thepublication of the first volume of J.C. Beaglehole's edition of TheJournals of Captain James Cook in 1955. In the forty-odd years sincethen, our knowledge of this exploration -- and of the imperialism ofwhich it was a part -- has expanded enormously.
We now recognise that the scientific endeavours, once seen asdisinterested manifestations of the Enlightenment, actually had bothstrategic and commercial implications. And today much greater emphasisis given to the meanings of early encounters for both the Natives ofthe Pacific islands and the Strangers from the European world.
Glyndwr Williams has played a leading role in the development ofthese new insights. Always at the forefront of new historiographicaldevelopments, his interests range from North America to the Pacific toAsia, encompassing historical, geographical, cartographical,ethnographic, artistic, and literary perspectives.
In addition to his own mature overview of British maritimeexploration, Pacific Empires offers stimulating contributionsby a number of Williams' colleagues, all authorities in theirrespective fields. They cover such themes as science and expansion, andculture contact in North American and the Pacific, and they reflect onthe nature of history and historiography. Glyndwr Williams hasprofoundly influenced the development of new understandings of Europeanexploration and imperialism. Pacific Empires is a fittingtribute to his achievements and to the esteem in which his colleagueshold him. It is also a timely examination of historical understandingsat the end of the twentieth century
It is a pleasure to review an old-fashioned book, free of modish interpretations and experimental methodologies. Overall, this is an interesting and readable collection of essays, honestly researched and faithfully written ... a fitting tribute to the life and work of Glyndwr Williams.
Part 1: Explorations, Imperial and ScientificVentures
To Make Discoveries of Countries Hitherto Unknown: The Admiralty andPacific Exploration in the Eighteenth Century / GlyndwrWilliams
The Spanish Yoke: British Schemes to Revolutionize Spanish America1739-1807 / Alan Frost
Alexander Dalrymple and the Hydrographic Office / AndrewCook
An Empire of Science: The Voyage of HMS Herald 1845-1851 / JaneSamson
John Lort Stokes and the New Zealand Survey 1848-1851 / RJBKnight
A Warrant Officer in the Arctic: The Journal of George Ford1850-1854 / William Barr
Part 2: Encounters and Transformations
The Hegemony of Laughter: Purea’s Theatre / GregDening
Vancouver’s Vision of Native Peoples: The Northwest Coast andHawai’i / Robin Fisher
Whose Scourge? Smallpox Epidemics on the Northwest Coast /Christon I. Archer
The Career of William Ellis: British Missions, the Pacific, and theAmerican Connection / Andrew Porter
Colonised Lives: The Native Wives and Daughters of Five FoundingFamilies of Victoria / Sylvia Van Kirk
Part 3: Reflections
The Great Map of Mankind: The British Encounter with India /P.J. Marshall
Exploring the Pacific, Exploring James Cook / DavidMackay
The Works of Glyndwr Williams
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