Cook, the Discoverer
In March 1787, eight years after the death of Captain James Cook on the shore at Kealakekua Bay in Hawaii, the German naturalist, philosopher and polyglot George Forster completed his remarkable essay Cook der Endecker. Written as the introduction to Forster's German translation of the official account of Cook's third voyage, the essay constitutes an appraisal of the contribution made by Cook to the progress of the Enlightenment wherein Forster believed he had finally done justice to the memory of the great discoverer. The essay also provided an opportunity for Forster to draw from his personal experience of sailing with Cook during the arduous and challenging three year (1772-1775) Antarctic voyage of the Resolution, the voyage from which Cook returned triumphant as the most accomplished explorer of the eighteenth century.
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