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The sensational fictionalised account of James Cook's extraordinary second voyage of discovery, from the tropical isles of Polynesia to the icey seas of the great Southern Ocean, the furthest south anyone had ever sailed.
James continued to stare at the vast, impenetrable sheet of frozen water. Beyond it, and surprisingly bright, was a range of ice mountains whose summits reached up to and vanished into a wig of white cloud ... 'I believe,' James said quietly, 'that we are now closer to the South Pole than anyone who has sailed before us.'
The year is 1771. James Cook, recently returned from his first, epic world voyage, is promoted to captain and instructed to embark on a search for the last undiscovered landmass, the Great Unknown Southern Continent. It proves to be one of the longest and most perilous voyages ever undertaken. Like an 18th-century Ulysses, Cook drives himself and his men onward, traversing the entire South Pacific, putting into place the last pieces of Earth's great jigsaw puzzle. And though it marks a personal triumph for Cook, his prolonged absence from his wife Elizabeth and their surviving children is marked by domestic tragedy and heartbreak.