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The Life of Captain James Cook

Arthur Kitson

Book Overview: 

In publishing a popular edition of my work, Captain James Cook, R.N., F.R.S., it has, of course, been necessary to condense it, but care has been taken to omit nothing of importance, and at the same time a few slight errors have been corrected, and some new information has been added, chiefly relating to the disposition of documents.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .April. From the wording of Mr. Lane's appointment it would appear that the surveyor's position was to be left open for Cook if it was thought desirable for him to resume it.


Till a few years ago writers on the subject were content to draw their information as to the first voyage of Cook to the South Seas from the so-called history of Dr. Hawkesworth. This gentleman, who posed as a stylist (Boswell calls him a "studious imitator of Dr. Johnson"), was introduced by Dr. Charles Burney to Lord Sandwich for the express purpose of writing an account of the expedition, and was supplied with all the records in the possession of the Admiralty relating to it, he had access to the Journal of Sir Joseph Banks, the Notes of Dr. Solander and others who accompanied Cook, and, more than all, he had the opportunity of personal communication with the leaders of the party. Notwithstanding these advantages he interpolat. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The book seems a mechanical compilation of historical documents, ordered chronically. Although very detailed, it lacks emphasis and distillation. Therefore the reading is tedious without overview and highlights.