Doctor of Creative Arts
School of Creative Arts
McKirdy, Mark, The secret journal of Captain Cook, Doctor of Creative Arts thesis, School of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong, 1994. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/960
On the 26th of August, 1768, James Cook sailed fromPlymouth in his ship, the Endeavour. It was the first of three great voyages by Cook, and part of his commission was to observe the Transit of Venus in Tahiti in June, 1769, and to then locate, if possible, the Great Southern Continent before returning to England. Cook completed the former, and on the 19th of April, 1770, he located the latter, sailing up the east coast of Australia till the Endeavour ran aground near Cape Tribulation on the 11th of June, 1770. The ship was repaired and finally reached England on 13 July, 1771. In his daily journal, Cook recorded the details of the voyage along the east coast of Australia, and ascribed the main cause of his ship running aground to the inconstancy of unfamiliar waters. My thesis. The Secret Journal of Captain Cook, concentrates on the Australian section of Cook's first voyage, from April 19, 1770 till mid June, 1770, and purports to be Cook's 'truthful' account of what really happened during that time. It was supposedly written in his house at Mile End not long after he had returned to England. As he states in this 'newly-discovered' work, it was not the inconstancy of unfamiliar waters which was the cause of the ship running aground. The truth of the matter was that the crew Cook took with him was so incompetent and preoccupied with personal feuds that disaster was inevitable. Being an honourable man. Cook felt compelled to set the record straight, irrespective of the cost to his reputation or naval future. Cook's authentic and serious account of his first voyage was written in diary format. Unlike that diary, my thesis is a humorous, largely fictitious, first-person narrative.
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