Buccaneers, Explorers and Settlers : British Enterprise and Encounters in the Pacific, 1670-1800 book cover
1st Edition

Buccaneers, Explorers and Settlers
British Enterprise and Encounters in the Pacific, 1670-1800

ISBN 9781138382510
Published June 7, 2019 by Routledge
314 Pages

USD $34.95

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Book Description

Buccaneers, Explorers and Settlers studies how during 'the long 18th century' British incursions into the Pacific transformed Europe's knowledge of that great ocean. Buccaneers devastated Spanish settlements and shipping in the South Sea, and the accounts by Dampier and his companions of their exploits became best-sellers. Anson's circumnavigation carried on the tradition of commerce-raiding, but it represented the beginnings of a more official interest in the Pacific and its resources. Later in the 18th century the hopes of speculative geographers that unknown continents and sea-passages existed in the Pacific prompted a series of expeditions by Cook and his contemporaries. New peoples were discovered as well as new lands, and the voyages led to changing perceptions of their lifestyles. Exploration was followed by trade and settlement in which Cook's associates such as Banks played a leading part. Before the end of the century there were British settlements in New South Wales, Nootka Sound had become a centre of international dispute, and across the Pacific traders, whalers and missionaries were following the tracks of the explorers.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; 'The inexhaustible fountain of gold': English projects and ventures in the South Seas, 1670-1750; Buccaneers, castaways, and satirists: the South Seas in the English consciousness before 1750; Anson at Canton, 1743: 'a little secret history'; George Anson's Voyage Round the World: the making of a best-seller; The beginnings of Britain's exploration of the Pacific Ocean in the 18th-century (with Alan Frost); 'To make discoveries of countries hitherto unknown': the Admiralty and Pacific exploration in the 18th century; The Endeavour voyage: a coincidence of motives; Tupaia: Polynesian warrior, navigator, high priest - and artist; 'Far more happier than we Europeans': reactions to the Australian Aborigines on Cook's voyage; The English and Aborigines: first contacts; The First Fleet and after: expectation and reality; Seamen and philosophers in the South Seas in the age of Captain Cook; Explorers and geographers: an uneasy alliance in the 18th-century exploration of the Pacific; An 18th-century Spanish investigation into the apocryphal voyage of Admiral Fonte; Myth and reality: James Cook and the theoretical geography of Northwest America; Myth and reality: the theoretical geography of Northwest America from Cook to Vancouver; 'The common center of we discoverers': Sir Joseph Banks, exploration and empire in the late 18th century; Index.

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Glyndwr Williams is Emeritus Professor of History at Queen Mary University of London.


'I applaud Ashgate for trying to bring some fascinating articles to a wider audience...' Cook's Log '... this valuable volume, deserving of a place on the bookshelf of Pacific scholars.' The Northern Mariner '... would be an important addition to many libraries, especially those which do not carry the journals or other works from which it is compiled. In such a place, it would be an invaluable resource for students and other scholars of eighteenth-century exploration and related subjects.' The Mariner's Mirror '...[this book] does pull together a coherent story within its covers. That is an accomplishment books of essays all too rarely manage to achieve.' International Journal of Maritime History