book cover of The Secret Life of James Cook
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The Secret Life of James Cook

(The first book in the Captain James Cook series)
A novel by

'A very enjoyable book.' The Otago Daily Times

"Lay has written a superb series of novels, which get under the skin of the protagonist and puts us aboard ship during his mesmerising voyages. Fans of Maturin and Aubrey will enjoy the relationship between Cook and Joseph Banks... The author deserves praise for the scale of his research and scope of his narrative." Richard Foreman.

Novelist Graeme Lay re-imagines the peerless navigator James Cook's life up to, and including, his first circumnavigation of the world.

A fictionalised account of the famous navigator's early life, the Secret Life of James Cook charts the sailor's early naval career, his marriage to Elizabeth and their family life.

The novel examines the relationship between James and his equally remarkable wife, Elizabeth, the woman he married when he was 34 and she 21, and by whom he had six children, all born while he was away at sea.

The Secret Life of James Cook also depicts the often-stormy relationship between the self-made English naval commander and the dashing, privileged naturalist Joseph Banks, who accompanied Cook on his first world voyage.

Cook must negotiate the troubled waters of his professional, as well as personal life, however. The ship becomes impaled on the Great Barrier Reef. Endeavour's hull is holed, her lower decks begin to flood, they are many miles from land.

How can the ship and her crew possibly survive?'

The Secret Life of James Cook is the first novel in an acclaimed trilogy. Read the sequels, James Cook's New World and James Cook's Lost World.

A full-time writer, editor and reviewer, Graeme Lay has written prolifically, including short stories, young adult fiction and travel writing, and has won numerous awards. He has a deep interest in the islands of the South Pacific and Australasia.

Praise for The Secret Life of James Cook:
'Graeme Lay ... is well placed to attempt what no one has ever managed to achieve, by telling us not just what Cook did, but what he was like.' North & South

'A wonderful read. I enjoyed it enormously.' Graham Beattie, Radio New Zealand

Genre: Historical

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