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Old 25-12-2006, 21:29   #1
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Early south seas

Looking for some good reads on the earliest European exploration of the south seas which I as understand began in the 1500's. I have already read several Captain Cook bios but that was a bit later.

(An all inclusive in Tahiti would have been something then methinks.)

Thanks in advance... Gary
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Old 25-12-2006, 21:56   #2
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Try these although I can't guarantee that any or all of them are still in print.

Glen Barclay - A History of the Pacific (1978)
Lowell Holmes - Treasured Islands (2001)
Richard Maury - Saga of the Cimba (1939)
Brett Hilder - Navigator in the South Seas (1961)
Jules Dumont D'Urville - Two Voyages to the South Seas (translation by Helen Rosenman (1992)

Also, many of the older books on cruising (hiscock etc) present some pretty cool snapshots of life in the paciic before the mongol hoards in their Benivarias descended.
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Old 25-12-2006, 21:58   #3
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God i'm a d...head. Misread your 1500 date. Was thinking you were after early 20th century gumph. Nonetheless you might still find those books interesting. Cheers
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Old 26-12-2006, 17:53   #4
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A reading one right now about Columbus. It is called Admiral of the Ocean A life of Chritopher Columbus by Sammuel Morrison. Isn't about the South Pacific its about the West Indies. Don't think there was much exploration of the South pacific until closer to the 1600's and that was done by the Portuguese and the Spannish. Here is a clip from a met museum web site.

European exploration of the Pacific began with the Spanish and the Portuguese. By the late 1500s, the Spanish had colonized the Philippines and had discovered several of the Caroline Islands in Micronesia, as well as the Solomon Islands in Melanesia and the Marquesas Islands in Polynesia. Spanish ships, known as the Manila Galleons, regularly crossed from the Americas to the Philippines but seldom encountered any islands unless blown off course. The Portuguese, sailing around the Cape of Good Hope to reach the Moluccas, explored the eastern islands of modern-day Indonesia in the early 1500s and also briefly encountered the island of New Guinea to the east. In 1600, however, the vast majority of the Pacific still lay unexplored.


and the URL European Exploration of the Pacific, 1600-1800 A.D. | Special Topics Page | Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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Old 26-12-2006, 19:09   #5
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A book I really enjoyed is "The Longest Voyage", by Robert Silverberg (the SciFi author). This briefly touches on the first Dutch expedition through Polynesia in 1615. "The Longest Voyage" is a very readable history of the early circumnavigations, and it goes deeply into the political and economic roots of these voyages.

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Old 26-12-2006, 20:26   #6
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Another interesting read on Christopher Columbus is "Columbus-For Gold-God-and Glory" by John Dyson.

It tells the story of the passage to the Americas with some pictures of paintings and documents. Also a group of men that built a ship (Caravel) copied after the Niña then sail the same course as Columbus using the same equipment and supplies..........................._/)
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Old 27-12-2006, 10:22   #7
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Herman Melville TYPEE
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Old 27-12-2006, 16:15   #8
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Just a note to say thanks for the posts. I am looking forward to following up the suggestions. This is a fascinating era. The south seas were little explored by 1600 but boy it is a pity what hit these islanders so fatally just a century later. I have a broad interest in the topic including the sailing ability of these early mariners. Thanks again... Gary
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