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Madness, Betrayal and the Lash

The Epic Voyage of Captain George Vancouver

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


From 1792 to 1795, George Vancouver sailed the Pacific as the captain of his own expedition — and as an agent of imperial ambition. To map a place is to control it, and Britain had its eyes on America's Pacific coast. And map it Vancouver did. His voyage was one of history’s greatest feats of maritime daring, discovery, and diplomacy, and his marine survey of Hawaii and the Pacific coast was at its time the most comprehensive ever undertaken. But just two years after returning to Britain, the 40-year-old Vancouver, hounded by critics, shamed by public humiliation at the fists of an aristocratic sailor he had flogged, and blacklisted because of a perceived failure to follow the Admiralty’s directives, died in poverty, nearly forgotten. In this riveting and perceptive biography, historian Stephen Bown delves into the events that destroyed Vancouver’s reputation and restores his position as one of the greatest explorers of the Age of Discovery.

Publishers Weekly Review

04 May 2009 – Though mostly forgotten, the 1791-95 voyage of Capt. George Vancouver and his crew rivaled Columbus and Cook's for long-term impact; Vancouver's painstaking navigation through the uncharted Pacific set the path for modern North Pacific history. Bown (Scurvy, A Most Damnable Invention) provides a thorough, engaging account of a journey remarkable for its time and even more so in retrospect. Essential background information is flawed by excessive foreshadowing, but Bown's vivid account of Vancouver's work-mapping the labyrinthine coast between Northern California and southern Alaska, stopping off in Hawaii and Spanish California-proves fascinating. Plans for the voyage changed repeatedly; the end of the American Revolution, Britain's long rivalry with Spain, the pressure for new trade routes, manipulation by British politicians and fur traders, and the obsession with finding a Northwest Passage made a difficult, vague assignment nearly impossible. The last chapters read like a thriller, as Vancouver's health declines, his relations with the crew sour, and Britain and France go to war. Any fan of the Great Age of Sail, the history of the Royal Navy, or European voyages of exploration will enjoy rediscovering this almost-forgotten hero.
Madness, Betrayal and the Lash
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  • £8.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: History
  • Published: 05 May 2009
  • Publisher: D & M Publishers
  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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