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Readings

Readings

Letter readings from the voyages of discovery

On Wednesday 20 October 2010 National Museum Director Andrew Sayers AM, actor Rhys Muldoon, and the curator of Exploration & Endeavour: The Royal Society of London and the South Seas, Michelle Hetherington read from some of the documents on display in the exhibition.

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From instructions given to seamen to collect information on a wide range of subjects useful to science and Britain's imperial mission, to first impressions of Western Australia, and letters from Captain Cook and Joseph Banks on the Endeavour voyage, the readings bring alive the characters, trials and triumphs of those who ventured forth on voyages of discovery to the South Seas.

Hear Banks's frustration at not being allowed ashore in Rio de Janeiro, the methods Cook used to prevent scurvy in the Resolution and his opinion of the Polynesian celebrity Omai, early descriptions of the platypus, and the extreme flattery Mrs Cook and Matthew Flinders used towards Banks, as our readers take you back to the world of voyages of discovery.

'Letters from the voyages of discovery' traces a journey from the seventeenth century, when the Royal Society was founded 350 years ago, to the early years of British settlement in Australia.

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audio_w15 Letter readings from the voyages of discovery - audio and transcript now available