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Showing posts from August, 2018

Captain James Cook at the British Library – Exhibition

I’ve just been to see the British Library exhibition “Captain Cook: The Voyages”. I was particularly interested in it because Cook’s voyages were one of the inspirations behind my first historical novel, To The Fair Land . A Maori bartering a crayfish - from Cook's first voyage It’s 250 years since Captain Cook set sail from Plymouth on HMS Endeavour on 26 August 1768. The voyage lasted until 1771, and was followed by two further expeditions from 1772 to 1775 and 1776 to 1780. Cook was killed in a skirmish on Hawaii on 14 February 1779.   The voyages were motivated by a combination of scientific curiosity and expansionism. The goal of the first voyage was to observe the Transit of Venus at Tahiti, though it also had another, secret motive. This was the search for the Great Southern Continent, a land mass which was believed to exist in the southern hemisphere. By the end of the second voyage, Cook had proved that the continent did not exist. Though that was disappoin

Anne and Mary: Pirates!

A guest blog by Helen Hollick Theirs was a harsh life, overshadowed each day by the presence of death, but the lure of gold, the excitement of the Chase – and the freedom that life aboard a pirate ship offered – even for a woman – was worth the risk. Helen has written a series of nautical Voyages based around her fictional pirate, Captain Jesamiah Acorne, and his ship, Sea Witch, but her latest UK release in paperback is a non-fiction book – Pirates: Truth and Tales published by Amberley Press, which explores our fascination with the real pirates and those who are favourites in fiction. Today, Helen drops anchor for another interesting addition to her on-line two-week Voyage around the Blogs with a pirate or two for company… If you were poor, black, or a woman, the early 1700s were not a good place to be. Women had no rights on decision of marriage, no rights over health and well-being, over their children or to legal justice. Women were regarded as possessions. One in f