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James Cook

by Peter Fitzsimons

Captain James Cook is one of the most recognisable in Australian history – an almost mythic figure who is often discussed, celebrated, reviled and debated. But who was the real James Cook?

The name Captain James Cook is one of the most recognisable in Australian history – an almost mythic figure who is often discussed, celebrated, reviled and debated.

But who was the real James Cook?

This Yorkshire farm boy would go on to become the foremost mariner, navigator and cartographer of his era, and to personally map a third of the globe. His great voyages of discovery were incredible feats of seamanship and navigation. Leading a crew of men into uncharted territories, Cook would face the best and worst of humanity as he took himself and his crew to the edge of the known world – and beyond.

With his masterful storytelling talent, Peter FitzSimons brings James Cook to life. Focusing on his most iconic expedition, the voyage of the Endeavour, where Cook first set foot on Australian and New Zealand soil, FitzSimons contrasts Cook against another figure who looms large in Australasian history: Joseph Banks, the aristocratic botanist. As they left England, Banks, a rich, famous playboy, was everything that Cook was not. The voyage tested Cook’s character and would help define his legacy.

Now, 240 years after James Cook’s death, FitzSimons reveals what kind of man James was at heart. His strengths, his weaknesses, his passions and pursuits, failures and successes.

JAMES COOK reveals the man behind the myth.



About Peter Fitzsimons

Peter FitzSimons is a journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald and Sun-Herald. He is also a regular TV commentator, a former radio presenter (very successfully, with Mike Carlton on Radio 2UE) and is also a former national representative rugby union player. Peter is the author of over 20 books - including GallipoliTobruk, Kokoda, Batavia, Mawson and the Ice Men of the Heroic Age, Eureka and biographies of Nancy WakeNed Kelly, Charles Kingsford Smith, Kim Beazley‚ Nick Farr-Jones‚ Les Darcy, Steve Waugh and John Eales. Peter is Australia's biggest-selling non-fiction author of the last ten years. Peter was named a Member of the Order of Australia for service to literature as a biographer, sports journalist and commentator, and to the community through contributions to conservation, disability care, social welfare and sporting organisations. He lives with his wife, Lisa Wilkinson, and their three children in Sydney.



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