The Great South Sea

English Voyages and Encounters, 1570-1750
Williams, Glyndwr
Date published: 
January 1997

From the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, English buccaneers, privateers, and naval expeditions sought fame and fortune in the distant reaches of the South Sea. Beginning with the voyage of Francis Drake in the 1570s and continuing through that of George Anson in the 1740s, a series of predatory English adventurers pursued Spanish treasure, and for a few the dream of riches came true. For most the voyages ended in disappointment, or even death. This engrossing book investigates these maritime adventures and how they were described in popular accounts of the time - accounts that affected English consciousness and perceptions of the wider world and that influenced the planning and nature of the later great voyages of James Cook and others.