Interwoven Lives of George Vancouver, Archibald Menzies, Joseph Whidbey and Peter Puget the Vancouver Voyage of 1791-95
|Author: ||Naish, John|
The Vancouver Voyage exemplifies the extraordinary upsurge in optimism and adventure in the last two decades of the 18th century. Four men were the lynch-pins of that enterprise and this volume examines their achievements and sufferings. It particularly examines the interplay and stress between the men, both physical and psychological, during the voyage. Evidence as to the nature of Vancouver's own chronic disease (which killed him in his 41st year) is presented, and his psychological state is analysed. The achievement of both Vancouver and Menzies in defeating scurvy during the voyage is described. Menzies' largely unpublished and voluminous journal provides the major source of information on the lands explored and the peoples encountered, and the work also contains original material about Whidbey's later life and relationships. Although unusual in format, this work seeks to illuminate the history of those times by applying a physician's eye to four outstanding representatives of an age of optimism. With nineteen photos and eight maps.
". . . a very readable and lucid recounting of one of the great voyages of maritime history. . . . .Particularly valuable are the pages in which the author deals with Vancouver's progressively worsening health from the time he left England to his death at 40. . . Also valuable are the chapters dealing the later careers of Menzies, Puget and Whidbey. . . . There is also a useful appendix on the life and culture of the West Coast Indians." - The Northern Mariner
"This is primarily a book about people and anyone interested in studying the motivations of men at work will not be disappointed. . . . in this work Dr. Naish has given us one of the fairest evaluations of Vancouver's personality, devoid of any of the purple prose inflicted by other writers using only their imaginations to form an opinion." - J. E. Roberts in the British Columbia Historical News