In a daring, almost reckless shift, Richardson moves the discussion of what Cook may have read to who may have read Cook’s voyages and how the reading of Cook’s voyages changed the Western view of the world. Cites library statistics from late 18th-century Bristol to show Hawkesworth the most circulated book, with its description of Cook’s first voyage, as the most circulated book in the decade of 1773-1784. By its very organization, he sees the library as a statement about the world and the places in it. As Captain Cook had authority over his ships just as his printed voyages took on the authority of the printed word. He thus sees Cook as an important point of origin for empire as a collection of places as well as a sovereign authority over them (p. 200).
p. 10, commenting on Paul Carter’s The Road to Botany Bay (1988): When Carter describes how Cook proceeded in “a cultural network of names, allusions, puns and coincidences, which … gave him, like his Pacific Ocean, conceptual space in which to move,” it must be recognized that a significant amount of this network was based on printed books. The Endeavour, the Adventure, and the Discovery were not simply ships, they were also libraries.