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Captain Cook: The Life, Death and Legacy of History's Greatest Explorer [Paperback]

Vanessa Collingridge
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

6 Feb 2003

A uniquely woven story encompassing three separate centuries and three different lives. Captain Cook, best known for his heroic voyages through the Pacific Ocean, is brought to life in vivid detail. We follow his humble beginnings as the son of a farm labourer, through his convention-shattering treatment of the indigenous groups he met on his travels, and then onto his final tragic voyage which signalled the end of his revered reputation.

One hundred years on from the death of Cook, another great man, George Collingridge begins his own adventure. He, like Cook was oblivious to the implications his journey would have. Along the way he unfolds ancient maps, secret tales and unearths hidden lands and buried treasure. He is also said to have realised that it was not Cook who discovered Australia - it was the Portugese. This firm belief was the eventual cause of his self-destruction.

Another hundred years later Vanessa Collingridge, is searching for books on her lifelong hero Captain Cook in a university library. She discovers the name of a distant cousin, George Collingridge, in a dusty card index. And so a new journey of discovery begins - in the footsteps of her hero and his nemesis.

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Frequently Bought Together

Captain Cook: The Life, Death and Legacy of History's Greatest Explorer + Captain James Cook + James Cook: The Journals (Penguin Classics)
Price For All Three: 25.75

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press; New Ed edition (6 Feb 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091888980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091888985
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Assured, thorough and perceptive investigating" (The Scotsman)

"Enthralling" (Sunday Times)

"A vivid, absorbing account of the great explorer...animated by his biographer's passion for the humbly-born Yorkshireman" (Independent)

Book Description

An intimate biography of one of histories greatest explorers.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captain Cook 31 Mar 2003
An excellent read - superbly written, full of the excitement and adventure that Cook experienced for himself. Far from being a book of just historical facts, Collingridge brings Cook to life and you feel the determination of the man. I would recommend this to not just those who enjoy the stories of the world's explorers but anyone looking for a top quality read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A rather poor biography 24 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love biographies of historical characters. So I picked up this book with relish and read how enthusiastic the author was with her subject matter. Unfortunately my enthusiasm waned rather quickly. What the reader is treated to is a rather two-dimensional account of the life of James Cook. Did I feel I knew James Cook? Yes, but in a rather superficial and unsatisfying way. What was the driving force behind this great man? I'm still left wondering. A rather odd addition is the interleaving of George Collingridge (a distant ancestor of the author). He had a similar interest in Cook, but his inclusion in the book is tenuous at best. Eventually I found this constant switching between biographies tiresome and skipped the chapters on George's life. The book is a confusing mixture of the author's interest in Cook and her ancestory and this confusion leaves me wondering what the purpose of the book actually is. I later found "Captain James Cook a biography" by Richard Hough. I only wish I had found this book first.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a cheat 2 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author uses too much of the book telling us about a Victorian ancestor of hers. I wanted to learn more about Captain Cook. I did but felt I was wasting time reading about George Collingridge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written 12 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A really well crafted biography, Vanessa Collingridge relates Cook's story (warts and all) with an added twist. A must for anyone with a love of exploration and the sea.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unusual look at Captain Cook 16 April 2009
Vannessa Collingridge takes a considerable risk in fusing her biography of Capt. Cook with that of her own ancestor George Collingridge who had his own views on the discovery of Australia, where he lived in the early settler days. At one point I thought the juxtaposition was going to be forced but in fact she carries it off quite brilliantly. She also succeeeds in giving a more in depth and rounded picture of Cook himself.
A thoroughly good read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
As a previous reviewer said, the book needs more maps of the journeys discussed. It also intersperses Cook's story with that of George Collingridge, who claimed Cook wasn't the first person to discover Australia. Luckily, most of the Collingridge story is in distinct chapters so you can skip them if you want. Overall a good read.
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By Nan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fantastic read - even better if you saw Vanessa Collingridge's TV series. Intriguing information on how life was like sailing at that time of history without the benefits of modern technology. Also an insight of what lengths a man will go to when he believes in his own theory.The idea of comparison of Collingridge's ancestor's theory re: Australia which runs alternately with Cook's voyages is captivating.
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