'The Trial of the Cannibal Dog' is a spectacular recreation of three of the greatest and most startling of all human journeys. The Pacific voyages of James Cook explored the ice-bound fringes of the Arctic and Antarctic, sailed across perilous tropical seas, survived hurricanes and volcanic eruptions, discovered unknown lands and peoples and made their Captain an icon of imperial history.
Yet, as Anne Salmond shows, the story of these epic South Sea journeys is far more than one of conquest and control. She has devoted a lifetime to the study of relations between Europeans and Polynesians, and this startling, rich, stylish book is the result. In Salmond's account, Cook's great voyages regain their dreamlike quality as they encounter the last major human communities, untouched by wider worlds.