An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the order of His Present Majesty for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere, and successively performed by Commodore Byron, Captain Wallis, Captain Carteret and Captain Cook, in the Dolphin, the Swallow, and the Endeavour (1773-84)
This collection brings together the accounts of all three exploratory journeys undertaken by Captain James Cook and his crew. Hired by the Royal Society in order to provide an answer to the question of existence of Terra Australis, a hypothetical large southern continent, Cook ventured into the Pacific three times in the course of 11 years – from 1768 to 1771, from 1772 to 1775 and from 1776 to 1779. Aside from bringing a definitive “no” as the answer to the above question, Cook has greatly contributed to the increase of knowledge about Pacific and, by charting the east coast of Australia, laid the foundation for its colonization in the coming years. A man of many skills, Cook was an excellent navigator and cartographer, but also a great planner who knew that the well-being of his crew was essential for the success of their ventures. In that regard, he paid great attention to their nutrition and maintenance of physical fitness. Today, several institutions in Australia bear Cook’s name, and numerous geographical terms and toponyms reflect the importance of his contribution to geography.