In the Wake of Cook: Exploration, Science and Empire, 1780-1801, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

In the Wake of Cook

Exploration, Science and Empire, 1780-1801, 1st Edition

By David Mackay


228 pages

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Originally published in 1985. After the epoch-making voyages of exploration of Captain Cook, a series of further exploratory missions was financed by the British government to add to the knowledge of the lands of the southern hemisphere: 'a more minute examination of the coast' was, for example, the brief of the voyage of the Investigator. Specimens of plants and fauna were to be collected, and useful products noted. The combination of the commercial streak with a commitment to empirical science was typical of the interests of the eighteenth century.

This book traces the explorations and achievements of those who undertook missions of this kind, as extensions of their patrons' eyes, as it were. The commercial possibilities - of cotton, furs, foodstuffs, and other products - were exploited to the full, and the achievements of science thus helped to strengthen the imperial effort. Notable figures include the distinguished naturalist Sir Joseph Banks and the notorious Captain Bligh of the Bounty. The fascination and wide-ranging story is told with full scholarly documentation and many new insights and discoveries.

Table of Contents

List of Maps; Preface; List of Abbreviations; Part One; 1. Introduction: Exploration, Science and Empire in the Late Eighteenth Century 2. The Rediscovery of the Southern Oceans 3. Fur Traders in the North Pacific 4. Government Interest in the North Pacific; Part Two; 5. Food for Slaves 6. The Empire and the Cotton Industry 7. Science and the East Indian Empire; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: The British Empire

The volumes in this set, originally published between 1968 and 1989, draw together research by leading academics in the area of the British Empire and provides an examination of related key issues. The volumes examine slavery in the British Empire, problems encountered in India in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, as well as the Empire at its most powerful. This set will be of particular interest to students of British, colonial, and world history.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General