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