Blue Latitudes

Blue Latitudes

Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before

Book - 2002
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In an exhilarating tale of historic adventure, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Confederates in the Attic retraces the voyages of Captain James Cook, the Yorkshire farm boy who drew the map of the modern world Captain James Cook's three epic journeys in the 18th century were the last great voyages of discovery. His ships sailed 150,000 miles, from the Artic to the Antarctic, from Tasmania to Oregon, from Easter Island to Siberia. When Cook set off for the Pacific in 1768, a third of the globe remained blank. By the time he died in Hawaii in 1779, the map of the world was substantially complete.Tony Horwitz vividly recounts Cook's voyages and the exotic scenes the captain encountered: tropical orgies, taboo rituals, cannibal feasts, human sacrifice. He also relives Cook's adventures by following in the captain's wake to places such as Tahiti, Savage Island, and the Great Barrier Reef to discover Cook's embattled legacy in the present day. Signing on as a working crewman aboard a replica of Cook's vessel, Horwitz experiences the thrill and terror of sailing a tall ship. He also explores Cook the man: an impoverished farmboy who broke through the barriers of his class and time to become the greatest navigator in British history.By turns harrowing and hilarious, insightful and entertaining, BLUE LATITUDES brings to life a man whose voyages helped create the 'global village' we know today.
Publisher: New York : H. Holt, 2002.
ISBN: 9780805065411
0805065415
Characteristics: 480 p. ; 25 cm.

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Bududo
Dec 26, 2016

The author alternates between his description of a place that Captain James Cook visited (including his origins from Yorkshire) and visitation of Cook's places of discovery all done in the last decade. These contrasting narratives over time works remarkably well - there is never a dull moment. The author is also open minded and fair about judging Cook's actions and decisions. He does not succumb to hagiography or political correctness but provides a fairly straightforward narrative. This was very enlightening. Helpfully, the author provides commentary from contemporary sources as well as that of historians. A bibliography is provided to further reading.

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paulsarkisian
Oct 15, 2012

This is a very entertaining and informative read. I've been on a kick of reading 17-Century seafaring books, and this one is one of the best.

Horwitz smoothly moves betwen Captain Cook's voyages of discovery and his own adventures travleing to the actual locations.

I am reminded of Bill Bryson - mixing history and sense of place with his own personal fun narrative.

ijaeger Aug 23, 2011

Excellent writing of an historic voyage, interwoven withhe writers own travel experiences

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snoids
Apr 25, 2008

An interesting mix of Captain Cook's travels and those of the author.

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