Hampton Sides, The Wide Wide Sea at Placitas Library

Saturday, August 10, 2024 - 2:00pm

Did you miss out our last Hampton Sides event? No worries! He will be at the Placitas Community Library on August 10th at 2pm for a reading and signing of his latest book, The Wide Wide Sea: Imperial Ambition, First Contact and the Fateful Final Voyage of Captain James Cook.

This is a FREE event and Hampton Sides' books will be available for purchase.

Click here for more information and reach out to the Placitas Community Library if you have any questions!

"Here is an adventure so strange and epic it rivals the greatest tales of myth. The cast of characters includes a restless Captain Cook, an anxious King George III on the verge of losing his American colonies, a London high society newly infatuated with the romance of the "noble savage," and a good-natured young Polynesian man heartily bent on an inter-island massacre. Sides turns this riveting narrative into a cautionary tale about the heedless cruelty of colonialism and the collateral damage that can result from even the best-intentioned first contact." — Peter Heller, New York Times bestselling author of The Dog Stars, The River, and The Guide

"An acclaimed historian takes to the sea in this rousing tale of exploration ... Sides draws on numerous contemporaneous sources to create a fascinating, immersive adventure story featuring just the right amount of historical context ... Lusciously detailed and insightful history, masterfully told." — Kirkus Reviews, (starred)

"This exquisitely crafted and novelistic portrait of the mercurial captain enthralls."
— Publishers Weekly, (starred)

From New York Times bestselling author Hampton Sides, an epic account of the most momentous voyage of the Age of Exploration, which culminated in Captain James Cook's death in Hawaii, and left a complex and controversial legacy still debated to this day.

On July 12th, 1776, Captain James Cook, already lionized as the greatest explorer in British history, set off on his third voyage in his ship the HMS Resolution. Two-and-a-half years later, on a beach on the island of Hawaii, Cook was killed in a conflict with native Hawaiians. How did Cook, who was unique among captains for his respect for Indigenous peoples and cultures, come to that fatal moment?

Hampton Sides' bravura account of Cook's last journey both wrestles with Cook's legacy and provides a thrilling narrative of the titanic efforts and continual danger that characterized exploration in the 1700s. Cook was renowned for his peerless seamanship, his humane leadership, and his dedication to science--the famed naturalist Joseph Banks accompanied him on his first voyage, and Cook has been called one of the most important figures of the Age of Enlightenment. He was also deeply interested in the native people he encountered. In fact, his stated mission was to return a Tahitian man, Mai, who had become the toast of London, to his home islands. On previous expeditions, Cook mapped huge swaths of the Pacific, including the east coast of Australia, and initiated first European contact with numerous peoples. He treated his crew well, and endeavored to learn about the societies he encountered with curiosity and without judgment.

At once a ferociously-paced story of adventure on the high seas and a searching examination of the complexities and consequences of the Age of Exploration, The Wide Wide Sea is a major work from one of our finest narrative nonfiction writers.

HAMPTON SIDES is the author of The New York Times bestselling histories On Desperate Ground, In the Kingdom of Ice, Hellhound on his Trail, Blood and Thunder, and Ghost Soldiers, which won the PEN USA Award for Nonfiction. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Event address: 
453 Hwy 165
Placitas, NM 87043
The Wide Wide Sea: Imperial Ambition, First Contact and the Fateful Final Voyage of Captain James Cook By Hampton Sides Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385544764
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - April 9th, 2024