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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Captain Cook Rediscovered

Voyaging to the Icy Latitudes

Although the popular imagination has forever linked Captain Jams Cook with the South Pacific, his crowning navigational and scientific achievements actually took place in the polar regions. Recognizing that Cook sailed more miles in the high latitudes of all of the world’s oceans than in the tropical zone, Captain Cook Rediscovered is the first modern study to examine his career from a North American vantage, giving due attention to his voyages in seas and lands that are usually neglected. While acknowledging the cartographic accomplishments of Cook’s first voyage, through Australasian seas, David L. Nicandri focuses here on the second and third voyages, near the poles, where Cook pioneered the science of iceberg and icepack formation. This groundbreaking book completely reorients an area of study that has been typically dominated by the “palm-tree paradigm”—resulting in a truly modern appraisal of Cook for the era of climate change.

400 pages | 31 halftones | 6 1/2 x 9 1/2


"Nicandri sees Cook not simply as an avatar of empire, but as one of the Age of Enlightenment. The world Cook observed and recorded with scientific 'fastidiousness' led the way to new geographies and unparalleled global connections.”


"Numerous maps and illustrations will enhance this book’s appeal for general readers, and its historiographical intervention will be of interest to graduate students and specialists."

History: Reviews of New Books

Table of Contents


Part 1: Cook’s Early Career

1 North Sea and Canadian Experiences

2 The Republic of Letters

3 South Pacific

Part 2: The Icy Latitudes

4 Towards the South Pole

5 Temporizing in the Tropics

6 Cook, and Forster, On Ice

Part 3: A Third Voyage

7 An Ancient Quest: A New Mission

8 Southern Staging Grounds

9 Terra Borealis

10 Blink

11 Northern Interlude

12 Intimations of Cook’s Mortality

Part 4: Sequels

13 Springtime in Kamchatka

14 Diminishing Returns

15 Seeding the Fur Trade on the Voyage Home

16 A New Look at Cook, His Legacy, and Enlightenment Exploration

Notes; Bibliography; Index

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