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November 1, 1995

James Cook and the Conquest of Scurvy

Author Affiliations

Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, Conn

JAMA. 1995;274(17):1402. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530170082037

This book is well researched and contains a great deal of detail on events leading up to Captain James Cook's three historic 18th-century voyages on behalf of the British Royal Society. These were the first exploratory voyages made primarily for scientific purposes, in search of the Great Southern Continent and the Northwest Passage.

Dr Cuppage, who is a pathologist with a particular interest in Captain Cook, spent a great deal of time and effort gathering historical material relevant to Cook's voyages. He traveled to many of the key places visited by Cook, and Dr Cuppage's own photographs of these locales are included in the book. There are details about the scientists and physicians who accompanied Cook, their observations on plants, animals, and geographic aspects of the areas visited, and their accomplishments in navigation.

The history of scurvy is well covered, and Cuppage presents an excellent review of British Naval Surgeon

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