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Lying for the Admiralty - Margaret Cameron-Ash

Lying for the Admiralty

By: Margaret Cameron-Ash, John Howard (Foreword by)

Paperback Published: 1st July 2018
ISBN: 9780648043966
Number Of Pages: 240

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Never have Cook’s journals and charts been subjected to such unbiased, forensic examination. The doubts, puzzles and queries raised by J.C. Beaglehole, Cook’s renowned editor and biographer, are answered. Cook’s discoveries had to remain secret until Britain could afford to send an occupation force to fortify the place and keep out the French hence the publication of Cook’s censored journal and charts.

From the Foreword by John Howard: “The author mounts a strong circumstantial case that Cook both discovered Bass Strait and actually gazed upon Sydney Harbour. Her proposition is that Cook and some of his party walked overland from Botany Bay to the Harbour... Her case is based on documentary and circumstantial evidence gleaned after meticulous research. She argues that deliberate obfuscation and distortion were tools of trade for the British Admiralty, then effectively run by its long serving and very able Secretary Philip Stephens.

Such was the colonial rivalry of the time that paranoia about Admiralty leaks were an incentive for deliberate inaccuracies to be included in formal reports of voyages and exploration."

An absorbing addition to an already well documented theme.


If school students or anyone else read only one book on the history of Australia's founding as a European settlement it should be this one. Nowhere else has there been set out in succinct detail the extent of the knavery that inspired colonial, political, economic and military aspirations among competing naval powers. While Cook may be the central personnage in this book, the respective roles of other explorers, military officers, politicians and administrators are no less pivotal and influential. Being printed on quality paper with colourful illustrations are added bonuses to this excellent read which adds credence to what, these days, could be termed pejoratively as "alternative facts".

Beacon Hill, Sydney.


An unexpected insight into 18th century maritime intrigue.


This book brings to life the character of formerly shadowy figures previously mentioned in the many works published to date on Cook's voyages. It resembles an espionage novel replete with numerous tracks leading from the background and personality of allied and foreign individuals, the duplicitous activity within the Admiralty, the colonial aspirations of European competitors and the expansionist goals of the British East India Company and its Dutch, Portuguese and French counterparts. Not merely a page-turner in itself, it encourages readers to further delve into the history of these entities while also allowing them to reach their own decision as to whether the author's conclusion can be confirmed on the evidence presented or if it remains unproven and but speculative.




4.5 2


ISBN: 9780648043966
ISBN-10: 0648043967
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 1st July 2018
Publisher: Rosenberg Publishing
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 24.0 x 18.0  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.6