In three epic journeys Captain Cook discovered more of the earth's surface than any other man. Not only was he a prolific seaman, but he was also valued as a scientist, cartographer and surveyor. Quite simply, James Cook was the greatest explorer in history.
Vanessa Collingridge, writer, broadcaster and geographer, set out to write an intimate biography of the man who had fascinated her since childhood. A biography which would paint a more detailed portrait than ever before. However during her research she made a discovery that was to explode her preconceptions.
Wile poring over yellowing library index cards she was surprised to come across the name of George Collingridge, a relative who 100 years ago had set off in search of his hero, Captain Cook. But it was only when she learnt of Collingridge's own shocking discovery that she realised how intertwined she was with Cook's legacy.
George Collingridge, an artist, soldier, traveller and nineteenth-century gentleman, was the first man to claim that the Portuguese, and not Captain Cook, discovered Australia. It was a claim that sent Collingridge's career, reputation and aspirations into free-fall. And it is a controversy that still rages.
For the first time, in this book Captain James Cook is given the study of passion, complexity and exploration that he deserves. Part biography and part historical mystery Vanessa Collingridge has written an extraordinary book that brings Cook and the power of his legacy to life.