Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sea of Dangers: Captain Cook and His Rivals in the South Pacific” as Want to Read:
Sea of Dangers: Captain Cook and His Rivals in the South Pacific
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sea of Dangers: Captain Cook and His Rivals in the South Pacific

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  34 ratings  ·  11 reviews
In 1769 two ships set out independently in search of a missing continent: a French merchant ship, the St. Jean-Baptiste, commanded by Jean de Surville, and a small British naval vessel, the Endeavour, commanded by Captain James Cook. That Christmas, in New Zealand waters, the two captains were almost within sight of each other, though neither knew of the other's existence. ...more
Hardcover, 322 pages
Published May 16th 2009 by Ivan R. Dee Publisher (first published January 1st 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sea of Dangers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sea of Dangers

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 68)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Angus Mcfarlane
Just as The Tyranny Of Distance: How Distance Shaped Australia's History captured the daring and mystery involved in discovering and exploring the Australian continent, Sea of Dangers also has a classic adventure feel to it. Rather than spanning the first century of European settlement in Australia, this book covers the few years of Cook's voyage to the pacific focussing mainly on the Endeavour, but mentioning the French voyage of de Surville, which took place contemporaneously, with both ships ...more
Great book about Captain Cook's 1768-71 voyage to the South Pacific, New Zealand, and Australia. There was actually a French expedition that covered much of the same region at the same time, even passing within less than 50 miles of each other, but neither Cook nor the French captain, Jean de Surville, had any knowledge of the other ship. Blainey is a good storyteller who does a fine job putting both expeditions into context, comparing their accomplishments and shortcomings. There are a few gram ...more
Blainey's book tells the story of Cook's voyage to see the transit of Venus then to find the great southern continent. He also tells of the voyage of Jean de Surville and the St Jean-Baptiste who is also on a journey of discovery and trade at the same time. At one point the two ships almost meet.

Both stories are easy to read and tell the lives of the ships and their crews. The stories could have made a good novel except the details are as historical correct as possible.

I am not sure the title o
Feb 15, 2010 Adrian added it
In 1768 James Cook took the Endeavour into the South Pacific to look for a continent that people believed existed somewhere between New Zealand and South America. At exactly the same time a French explorer Jean de Surville was looking for the same continent. The two explorers missed each other by less than 100 miles near the coast of New Zealand. Cook's journey which lasted nearly three years was notable for the discovery of Australia- I'll give him credit if Blainey won't- and his contact with ...more
David R.
A rather underwhelming treatment of two simultaneous voyages of discovery in the Southwest Pacific in 1770. One was the first voyage of the better-known James Cook of England. The other by French navigator Jean de Surville. (I am still searching for another rival to Cook). At one point their ships came unknowingly within a couple dozen miles, by best estimates. That said, Blainey's recounting is mostly lifeless: Cook is as much a cipher as he could be, and there's even less attention given to Su ...more
The author describes things we seldom, if ever recognize today: The smell of land, the color of water warning of reefs, information in sea swells, and more. Cook's mission was purely exploratory, while de Surville's was more an official, highly speculative commercial enterprise. Cook recognized that de Surville's failure added to the store of knowledge that was being accumulated during this period of the Age of Enlightenment, a gracious acknowledgment to someone who today is forgotten. A real ad ...more
good overviews and some detail of cook's and de surville's voyages to southwest pacific. if you don't know anything abut this, its a good place to start, if you do, its a nice re-visit. extensive use of beaglehole's books of sir joseph bank's and cook's journals.
An excellent take on Cook and the Endeavour, the lesser-known explorer Jean de Surville, and their race to find the Great Southern Land. Blainey is a gifted storyteller of history, and this is a very enjoyable read.
Beautifully written - bringing Captain Cook's journey to life.
This was so interesting.
Chris Bauer
Really fascinating to read.
John O'sullivan
John O'sullivan marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2015
Tanya marked it as to-read
Apr 13, 2015
Jack marked it as to-read
Feb 22, 2015
Linus Vieira
Linus Vieira marked it as to-read
Feb 21, 2015
Gerhardt Himmelmann
Gerhardt Himmelmann marked it as to-read
Dec 27, 2014
Meghan Anders
Meghan Anders marked it as to-read
Oct 31, 2014
Last Ranger
Last Ranger marked it as to-read
Oct 15, 2014
Hannah is currently reading it
Jan 10, 2015
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
sea of dangers 1 5 Nov 08, 2009 06:20PM  
Geoffrey Norman Blainey AC is a prominent Australian historian. He attended Wesley College and the University of Melbourne. He was appointed to a teaching post at the University of Melbourne in 1962, becoming Professor of Economic History in 1968, Professor of History in 1977, and then Dean of Melbourne's Faculty of Arts in 1982. From 1994 to 1998 Blainey was foundation Chancellor at the Universit ...more
More about Geoffrey Blainey...
A Short History of the World A Short History of the 20th Century A Very Short History Of The World The Causes of War The Tyranny Of Distance: How Distance Shaped Australia's History

Share This Book