THE SECRET LIFE OF JAMES COOK
Writer and editor Graeme Lay has long showed an interest in the history of the South Pacifi c.
Inevitably, the momentous historical presence of Captain James Cook would have crossed his path.
The fi rst biography of James Cook appeared in 1788 almost 10 years after his murder in Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii. Hundreds of accounts have since followed.
The hidden face on the cover of the book is a pertinent statement. Cook’s personality remains an enigma.
His obsessions and asceticism have long puzzled historians. Can we really know the innermost thoughts, emotions and motivations of any individual?
This conundrum has obviously piqued Lay’s imagination. His response here is not idle speculation.
The author has cleverly woven fact and fi ction in such a manner that this account combines the synergetic forces of logic and veracity.
The speculative and inventive dimension here emerges in the form of Cook’s secret journal for his wife’s eyes only.
It is a substantial component of the story. In these journal entries he shares his very personal anxieties and expresses his endearments to his wife and children. Deeply felt love and compassion have not previously been apparent among Cook’s psychological characteristics.
Apart from the inspirational story of the fi rst journey of the Endeavour, many of the human insights created here adds a special dimension for readers.