Auckland Council Libraries: Anson and Cook

Anson and Cook

In the eighteenth-century, accounts of maritime exploration were a popular genre in book publishing.
This episode features two voyages that captured the public’s imagination – Anson’s controversial expedition to attack Spanish interests in South America, and Cook’s celebrated first voyage to the Pacific on the Endeavour.
Listen to Georgia tell the story of these journeys through the books published about them.

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See the books

Richard Walter. A voyage round the world… by George Anson, 1748.

Eight ships set out as part of Anson’s expedition, but only one made it back to England. In this image, we see them about to enter the Strait of Magellan, before hitting the storms that caused them to become separated.

John Bulkeley. A voyage to the South-Seas, 1743.

John Bulkeley and John Cummins were part of the crew of the wrecked ship, the Wager, and led the group who decided to return to England in the ship’s long boat. The title page of their book advertises its contents as a ‘faithful narrative’ of the controversial events it describes.

John Byron. The narrative of the Honourable John Byron, 1768.

John Byron published his account of the wreck of the Wager over 20 years after it occurred. The engraved frontispiece of his book shows the crew on the island with the wrecked ship in the waves behind them.

James Cook. Letter, 30 Nov 1768.

This letter was written by Cook on board the Endeavour when it stopped at Rio de Janeiro to purchase provisions. The essentials listed include 3470 tons of Fresh Beef, 60 bushels of Rice in the Husk, and 240 gallons of Rum.

John Hawkesworth. An account of the voyages…Vol.2., 1773.

This image from the published account of Cook’s first voyage to Aotearoa was created from an original drawing by Sydney Parkinson. It shows both Europeans and local Māori in small craft on the water in Tolaga Bay.

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Byron's narrative of the loss of the Wager [eBook] / John Byron

Anson and Cook reading list

Kura Heritage Collections Online

Auckland Council Libraries:Anson and Cook In this Meet a Rare Book podcast, hear about Anson’s expedition to attack Spanish interests in South America, and Cook’s voyage to the Pacific.