The Authors and Their Works

1283 Words Feb 16th, 2018 5 Pages
Carr in his classic study of historiography, As discussed the backgrounds of the authors and their works plays a significant role in the writing of their biographies. Everybody is subjective; we are all to an extent shaped by what is around us.

The selected works mark turning points in the writing of the life of Cook, and each of them is considered as an important work within the field of Cook studies. They all display certain characteristics and carry certain discourses that mark them as also being evocative of their respective time periods. Cook scholars have often tried to prove or disprove certain facts, striven to edit and correct details or attempted to replicate and summarize the total available information. All of this is part of a wider discourse, an exploration of which is helpful in interpreting the backdrop surrounding Captain James Cook.

It seems only logical to start with the very first biography, although several works penned by Cook’s colleagues dealing with his character had appeared before this, most notably that of Johann Reinhold Forster, naturalist on-board the second voyage, in 1778. This first biographical work, The Life of Captain James Cook, was written by the biographer and Non-conformist Reverend Andrew Kippis, a member of The Royal Society and The Society of Antiquaries, and appeared 9 years after Cook’s death in 1788. Consequently this is the same year as the arrival of The First Fleet of ships…