Robert Mayhew at Literary Review:
For readers not of a nautical persuasion, knowing that Captain James Cook’s famous expedition of 1768–71 took place aboard the Endeavour, and that the Endeavour was a type of vessel known as a Whitby collier, probably marks the limit of their interest in the ship that took him to the South Seas. (The really well informed may also know that the Resolution, the flagship for Cook’s second voyage to the South Seas, was the same type of vessel.) While the town of Whitby makes some capital out of its linkage with Cook via a museum, and while maritime historians and enthusiasts have researched the Endeavour exhaustively, the general reader has had no further reason to consider Cook’s ship. Until now, that is. Peter Moore’s elegant and entertaining new book offers us a fascinating biography of the Endeavour, using it as a window onto the broader world of the mid-18th-century English Enlightenment.