Read Captain Cook’s Epic Voyage by Geoffrey Blainey

The story of the astonishing voyage of Captain James Cook and the Endeavour, to mark the 250th anniversary of that voyage, and Cook’s claim to sovereignty.

I was looking through the books available via the BorrowBox app and stumbled upon Geoffrey Blainey’s Captain Cook’s Epic Voyage. After reading Stan Grant’s conflicted thoughts on James Cook and often passing Cook’s relocated cottage in Fitzroy Gardens, I thought it would be interesting to actually read about his journey in detail, rather than live with the myth.

Blainey’s book provides a glimpse into the miracle of the journey, as well as the luck involved, especially regarding scurvy and fresh food. He manages to tie various voices together, whether it be different diaries and the snippets of stories that had been picked up through journeys. What was intriguing was the way in which information that we take for granted these days was often kept secret, such as Torres Strait, due to the strategic benefits.

In the conclusion, Blainey discusses the theory that the Chinese actually discovered Australia prior to Europeans. He argues that whether this is true or not, ‘discovery’ is more that finding a place, it is actually doing something with the place.