The voyages of Captain Cook are endlessly fascinating to a wide audience, and no aspect of them has been more controversial than Cook's death. This book reprints one of the classic accounts of this episode, the vivid and lively narrative by one of the voyage surgeons, David Samwell. This book not only makes Samwell's "Narrative of the Death of Captain James Cook" readily available for the first time, but presents it with Samwell's previously unpublished letters relating to Cook's third voyage, and his poetry. The introductory essays discuss Samwell's contribution to our understanding of this dramatic period in Pacific and maritime history, and examine the personality and career of Samwell himself.
Nicholas Thomas is the director of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge and the author of many books. Dr Jennifer Newell is the Assistant Curator of Pacific Ethnology in the Division of Anthropology and Assistant Professor in the Richard Gilder Graduate School at The American Museum of Natural History.