European encounters with Pacific peoples often proved as wrenching to the Europeans as to the natives. This anthology gathers some of the most vivid accounts of these cultural exchanges for the first time, placing the works of well-known figures such as Captain James Cook and Robert Louis Stevenson alongside the writings of lesser-known explorers, missionaries, beachcombers, and literary travelers who roamed the South Seas from the late seventeenth through the late nineteenth centuries. Through their detailed commentary on each piece and their choice of selections, the editors emphasize the mutuality of impact of these colonial encounters and the continuity of Pacific cultures that still have the power to transform visitors today.
University professors from America, England, and Australia, the editors of this fascinating collection of travel and exploration narratives state early on that their book "is intended to serve as a resource to enable teachers and students to engage with primary materials, some of which are otherwise difficult to obtain." Fortunately, for those not in pursuit of scholarship, this work offers an interesting overview of British and American experiences in the Pacific from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Some of the narratives come from familiar chroniclers, e.g., Captain Cook, Mark Twain, and Robert Louis Stevenson, but most are from the bold souls who set forth to Oceania as mariners, missionaries, and explorers. All the ingredients for high adventure are present: shipwrecks, mutiny, cannibalism, Christian conversions, trade, and the lure of wealth. However, the abundance of anthropological observation is inevitably colored by the constraints of Western civilization. An extensive bibliography is also included, but period illustrations are sparse. Recommended for large public and academic libraries.--Janet Ross, Sparks Branch Lib., NV Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Jonathan Lamb is a professor of English at Princeton University. He is the author, most recently, of The Rhetoric of Suffering and coeditor of Voyages and Beaches: Pacific Encounters, 1769-1840.
Vanessa Smith is a research fellow at King's College, Cambridge University. She is the author of Literary Culture and the Pacific: Nineteenth-Century Textual Encounters.
Nicholas Thomas is a professor of anthropology at the Australian National University and the director of the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research in Canberra. He is the author of, among others, Possessions: Indigenous Art/Colonial Culture and In Oceania: Visions, Artifacts, Histories, and coauthor of Bad Colonists: The South Seas Letters of Vernon Lee Walker and Louis Becke.
List of Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction Part I: Adventures and Explorers
1. The Discover of New Holland - William Dampier
2. Lionel Wafer Crosses Darien - Lionel Wafer
3. Richard Simson at Juan Fernandez - Richard Simson
4. Commodore Anson Lands at Juan Fernandez - George Anson
5. Byron and the Patagonian Giants - John Byron
6. The Discovery of Tahiti - Samuel Wallis
7. The Unfortunate Compiler - James Cook, Joseph Banks, and John Hawkesworth
8. Providential Cannibalism - Johann Reinbold Forster
9. William Wales Makes Observations - William Wales
10. Benevolence on the Beach - George Keate Part II: Beachcombers and Missionaries
11. Resident Observer - James Morrison
12. The Brethren and the "Tayos" - William Wilson
13. Falling from Grace - George Vason
14. A Stranger in a Strange Country - Edward Robarts
15. The Violence of the Beach - Samuel Patterson and Richard Siddons
16. Missiles and Missives - William Mariner
17. Unutterable Practices - William Ellis
18. Property and Providence - John Williams
19. Tapu and Conceit in the Marquesas - David Darling
20. Philanthropic Sympathy and the Interests of Commerce - Abby Jane Morrell
21. Among the Cannibals - Mary Wallis
22. Tapa and Muru in New Zealand - Frederick Maning Part III: Literary Travelers
23. A Yankee at the Court of Captain Cook - Mark Twain
24. Quite Alone in a Mountain Village - Constance F. Gordon-Cumming
25. Belated First Contact - Robert Louis Stevenson
26. Cannibal Fashions - Fanny van der Grift Stevenson
27. "That Link of History" - Henry Adams/Ari'i Taimai
28. The Ebbing of the Tide - Louis Becke