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    The Wide Wide Sea

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    ISBN: 9780241437339
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    AuthorSides, Hampton
    Pub Date11/04/2024
    Publisher: HAMISH HAMILTON
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    From New York Times bestselling author Hampton Sides, pre-order the epic account of the most momentous voyage of the Age of Exploration, culminating in Captain James Cook's death in Hawaii, and a complex and controversial legacy debated to this day . . .
    On July 12th, 1776, Captain James Cook, already lionized as the greatest explorer in British history, set off on his third voyage in HMS Resolution. Two-and-a-half years later, on a beach in Hawaii, Cook was killed - beaten and stabbed in a conflict with the indigenous population.

    What brought Cook to these final moments, so at odds with his reputation? Renowned for his humane leadership, dedication to science and the curiosity and respect, not judgement, with which he greeted societies that were new to him, Cook had already mapped huge swathes of the Pacific and initiated first European contact with numerous native peoples.

    The stated mission for his third voyage was to return a Tahitian man, Mai, who had become the toast of London high society, to his home islands. But Cook carried secret orders to venture north, to discover the fabled Northwest Passage and chart and claim lands before Britain's imperial rivals. And Cook himself was different on his final, fatal voyage.

    The great navigator became mercurial, resorting to the lash to enforce discipline on board, leading his ships into danger time and again, and meting out savage punishments against native peoples for perceived wrongs. Whatever was driving Cook, his mission revealed itself to be the sharp edge of a colonial sword that brought catastrophe to the people in its path. And, after returning from the Arctic to the shores of Hawaii, Cook's expedition finally tore itself apart ...

    Deeply researched and vividly told, The Wide Wide Sea is at once a ferociously-paced, epic adventure and a searching examination of the consequences of the Age of Exploration from a master storyteller.


    'Enthralling ... as gripping as any well-paced thriller but a lot more interesting because it is also true' - THE TIMES


    'Splendid in every way... a marvellous nonfiction thriller' - WALL STREET JOURNAL

    'Extraordinary ... meticulous research shores up a fast-paced narrative' - FINANCIAL TIMES

    'Viscerally dramatic ... spellbinding... bold, dynamic, unusually vivid' - NEW YORK TIMES

    'Unforgettable...a pulse-racing epic ... a masterful work of history and storytelling' - LOS ANGELES TIMES

    'Reads like a first-class epic thriller' - TIME

    'Phenomenally gripping ... Sides works story-telling magic' - BOSTON GLOBE