Endeavour: Book summary and reviews of Endeavour by Peter Moore

Endeavour

The Ship That Changed the World

by Peter Moore

Endeavour by Peter Moore X
Endeavour by Peter Moore
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About this book

Book Summary

An unprecedented history of the storied ship that Darwin said helped add a hemisphere to the civilized world.

The Enlightenment was an age of endeavors, with Britain consumed by the impulse for grand projects undertaken at speed. Endeavour was also the name given to a collier bought by the Royal Navy in 1768. It was a commonplace coal-carrying vessel that no one could have guessed would go on to become the most significant ship in the chronicle of British exploration.

The first history of its kind, Peter Moore's Endeavour: The Ship That Changed the World is a revealing and comprehensive account of the storied ship's role in shaping the Western world. Endeavour famously carried James Cook on his first major voyage, charting for the first time New Zealand and the eastern coast of Australia. Yet it was a ship with many lives: During the battles for control of New York in 1776, she witnessed the bloody birth of the republic. As well as carrying botanists, a Polynesian priest, and the remains of the first kangaroo to arrive in Britain, she transported Newcastle coal and Hessian soldiers. NASA ultimately named a space shuttle in her honor. But to others she would be a toxic symbol of imperialism.

Through careful research, Moore tells the story of one of history's most important sailing ships, and in turn shines new light on the ambition and consequences of the Age of Enlightenment.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Though the minutiae may seem daunting at first, readers should stick with it, as the narrative transforms into a page-turning, breathtaking adventure story for the ages ... History at its most exciting and revealing." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"In learning about one boat's world-straddling feats, readers also learn about the impetuous spirit that transformed society during the decades she sailed ... With an acute eye, Moore limns the conflicting human impulses in the first episodes of this epoch-making drama. Maritime history that opens onto much more." - Booklist (starred review)

"Endeavour is a dazzling combination of science and adventure, lyrically evocative descriptions of lush tropical landscapes and salt-stung seascapes, and a portrait of an age of 'magnificent geniality' ... Endeavour is an absolute joy from start to finish, and surely my history book of the year." - Sunday Times (UK)

"Endeavour is an extraordinary book about an unlikely ship that defined an age ... The book reminded me of one of those opulent 18th-century feasts enjoyed by King George ­– endless exotic dishes all delivered with exquisite style. Like the age it recounts, it is a book of energy, creativity and self-confidence." - The Times (UK)

"Moore's richly detailed book is an engrossing love letter to a word, an attitude and a ship: it is an endeavour that honours 'Endeavour', without denying the death and destruction that followed in her wake." - The Guardian (UK)

"Endeavour is a deeply satisfying book. It represents an intelligent, diverse, fresh and challenging approach to writing the history of exploration. Paying homage to the remarkable lives of a single vessel, Peter Moore also gives the Endeavour a new lease of life long after its sinking." - Literary Review (UK)

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Author Information

Peter Moore

Peter Moore teaches creative writing at the University of London and the University of Oxford. He is the author of Damn His Blood and The Weather Experiment, which was named one of the New York Times Book Review's 100 Notable Books of 2015 and adapted for a BBC4 documentary series. He lives in London.

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