Download E-books Madness, Betrayal and the Lash: The Epic Voyage of Captain George Vancouver PDF

Download E-books Madness, Betrayal and the Lash: The Epic Voyage of Captain George Vancouver PDF

By Stephen R. Bown

From 1792 to 1795, George Vancouver sailed the Pacific because the captain of his personal day trip — and as an agent of imperial ambition. To map a spot is to regulate it, and Britain had its eyes on America's Pacific coast. And map it Vancouver did. His voyage was once one among history’s maximum feats of maritime bold, discovery, and international relations, and his marine survey of Hawaii and the Pacific coast was once at its time the main accomplished ever undertaken. yet simply years after returning to Britain, the 40-year-old Vancouver, hounded by way of critics, shamed through public humiliation on the fists of an aristocratic sailor he had flogged, and blacklisted due to a perceived failure to keep on with the Admiralty’s directives, died in poverty, approximately forgotten. during this riveting and perceptive biography, historian Stephen Bown delves into the occasions that destroyed Vancouver’s attractiveness and restores his place as one of many maximum explorers of the Age of Discovery.

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VANCOUVER got here OF age in the course of a extraordinary period in human background. The overdue eighteenth century provided an extraordinary window of peace, a brief lull within the epic fight among France and Britain for international pre-eminence. The Seven Years warfare had resulted in 1763, and the yank Revolution and Napoleonic Wars have been nonetheless years sooner or later. The chuffed twist of fate of this cessation of the struggle that had plagued Europe for hundreds of years, of the Age of Enlightenment, while cause and technological know-how and studying have been rising after centuries of fragmentation, and of advancements in naval know-how used to be altering the lives of individuals world wide. It used to be the start of an age that might witness progressive discoveries in drugs, technological know-how, expertise and politics. within the past due eighteenth century, the point of interest of geographic and clinical exploration used to be the Pacific Ocean. Centuries of voyages via the Portuguese, the Spanish and extra lately the commercially competitive Dutch had contributed to an ever-expanding horizon. The earth was once identified to be a globe, and its circumference used to be quite adequately known—having been painfully published on the rate of millions of mariners who had sailed blindly into the unknown and not back. that they had been smothered within the surf, damaged on jagged spires of rock, swamped via great waves and misplaced at sea simply because that they had no exact charts, no exact approach to navigation and no clean foodstuff, and the final of those difficulties resulted in the main dreaded of maritime illnesses: scurvy. cook dinner, between others, had made nice strides in fighting scurvy and in perfecting lately stumbled on equipment for navigating through calculating longitude at sea. This spirit of fraternity in medical inquiry masked an excessive fight: the ecu powers have been at the moment battling now not for army supremacy within the overdue eighteenth century—although that fight may come back all too quickly and occupy a lot of Vancouver’s career—but for cultural supremacy, as embodied through fresh discoveries in technological know-how, ordinary background, geography and ethnography. the full global used to be now Europe’s taking part in box. through studying extra in regards to the global and unravelling extra of nature’s secrets and techniques, a country received status. France had already despatched out Compte Louis Antoine de Bougain-ville on a world-girdling day trip of technological know-how and discovery, and Britain had funded a number of lesser voyages earlier than Cook’s. Spain had despatched, from Peru, ships that had visited Tahiti. however it was once James cook dinner who set the hot average for clinical voyages. one of many nice geographical mysteries of the age—the speak of armchair geographers, the idly curious and high-placed officers in nationwide governments—was the lifestyles of the “great southern continent” defined by means of the Greek thinker Claudius Ptolemy round advert one hundred fifty in his popular tome Geography. whereas operating on the library of Alexandria, Ptolemy had created a good chart of the realm, a chart that by the way didn't comprise North or South the US or the Pacific Ocean. yet within the vague southern hemisphere he put the mysterious land mass whose attainable life might hang-out eu explorers, map-makers and cartographers greater than a millennium and a part later: Terra Australis Incognita, the unknown southern continent.

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