Imprint: Australian Scholarly Publishing

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781925588415
Released: October 2017

A$44 Buy now

South Sea Argonaut: James Colnett and the Enlargement of the Pacific 1772–1803

By Allen Mawer

‘Who is Colnett?’ So asks Jack Aubrey in Patrick O’Brian’s Far Side of the World. Who indeed. As an adventurous teenager, James Colnett had sailed with Cook in the Resolution. He later became a pioneer in the Pacific sea otter trade, nearly starting a war with Spain in the process. He attempted to force Japan and Korea to admit British trade, and failing that smuggled pelts into China. He conducted a whaling reconnaissance to the Galapagos Islands and transported convicts to New South Wales. One way or another, he managed to intersperse fighting his country’s enemies in the American and French wars with thirteen years plying the South Seas. Seeing himself as a latter-day Argonaut, he reflected that his working life had been devoted to ‘enlarging the bounds of Navigation and Commerce’. The Pacific gave him ample scope.


Categories: Ships And Shipping, Biography, Australian History

You might also like:

The diary of Philip Thomas Smith on board the Royal Admiral en route for Van Diemen’s Land
Richard Fotheringham

Driftwood: Escape and survival through art
Eva de Jong-Duldig

Labor and Santamaria
Robert Murray

Racers of the Deep —The Yankee Clippers and Bluenose Clippers on the Australian Run 1852–1869
Ralph Neale