Sunday, 17 May 2009
The story of Captain Cook is one that continues to attract writers, historians and the public imagination. Each year new books about Captain Cook appear in bookshops. Our panel discuss their recent 'Cook books', and share their views about why he and his first voyage still fascinate twenty-first century Australians.
Professor Geoffrey Blainey
Geoffrey Blainey is an eminent Australian historian. He is the author of many books including The Tyranny of Distance, Black Kettle and Full Moon, and the best-selling A Short History of the World. His book about Captain Cook's first voyage is called Sea of Dangers: Captain Cook and his Rivals and was published by Penguin in 2008.
Jackie French is a writer, gardener and wombat negotiator from the Araluen Valley, author of over 100 books in many genres, with more than 50 awards in Australia and overseas. Her books include Hitler's Daughter, A Rose for the Anzac Boys, Diary of a Wombat and The Goat who Sailed the World, the story of the goat who sailed on Cook's first voyage to Australia.
Susan Hall is the publishing manager at the National Library of Australia. She has written, edited and published a range of books, including Guess Who? (written for children), Australia in Maps and A Banquet of Books. She is responsible for commissioning the publication in 2008 of Cook's Endeavour Journal: The Inside Story for the National Library of Australia's Collection Highlight series.
Dr Maria Nugent
Maria Nugent is a research fellow at the National Museum of Australia. She is the author of Botany Bay: Where Histories Meet. Her book about Captain Cook in Australia is called Captain Cook Was Here and was published by Cambridge University Press in 2009.
Martin Terry is a curator at the National Library of Australia. He is the author of Cooee: Australia in the 19th Century and Maritime Paintings of Early Australia 1788-1900. He contributed to the publication in 2008 of Cook's Endeavour Journal: The Inside Story for National Library of Australia's Collection Highlight series.
Mathew Trinca is general manager of the Collections and Content Division at the National Museum of Australia. He has co-edited Under Suspicion: Citizenship and Internment in Australia during the Second World War (National Museum of Australia Press, 2008), and Country: Visions of Land and People in Western Australia (Western Australian Museum, 2003).
Captain Cook books discussed by the panel
Sea of Dangers: Captain Cook and his Rivalsby Geoffrey Blainey
Two ships set out in search of a missing continent: the St Jean-Baptiste, a French merchant ship commanded by Jean de Surville, and the Endeavour, a small British naval vessel captained by James Cook. In Sea of Dangers, distinguished historian Geoffrey Blainey tells the story of these rival ships and the men who sailed in them.
Cook's Endeavour Journal: The Inside Story
This is the second book in the National Library of Australia's beautifully illustrated Collection Highlights series. It brings to life the record of one of the world's most famous expeditions, the circumnavigation of the globe by Lieutenant James Cook aboard HMB Endeavour.
The Goat Who Sailed the Worldby Jackie French
The Goat Who Sailed the World is the true story of the very stroppy animal which sailed with James Cook on the Endeavour, on the voyage that first mapped Australia's east coast and led to the British colony there 20 years later. It is written for 9 to 13 year olds.
Captain Cook Was Here by Maria Nugent
Captain Cook Was Here is a dramatic and lively account of the encounters over eight days and nights between the men of the Endeavour and local Indigenous people during the voyage's first extended landfall on Australia's east coast in 1770. This historical narrative is complemented by discussion of the stories that have been told about Captain Cook, in art, word and performance, by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians over two centuries.