Author(s): Neil Chambers (Editor)
When English naturalist Joseph Banks accompanied Captain Cook on his historic mission into the Pacific, he took with him a team of collectors and illustrators who returned with unprecedented collections of artefacts, specimens and drawings, opening up a whole world of knowledge as yet undiscovered by Europeans. The book features original voyage specimens together with illustrations and descriptions of them, showing a rich diversity of newly discovered species. It also shows how Banks organised this material, planning but ultimately failing to publish it. The objects showcased in this book tell the story of the Endeavour voyage and its impact ahead its 250th anniversary in 2018. Original artwork from the voyage is compared with the often stylised engravings later produced in London for the official account and new material from Bank's journey is brought to life, much of which has never before been recorded in print. Endeavouring Banks also considers the work of Banks's often neglected artists - Sydney Parkinson, Herman Diedrich Sporing, and Alexander Buchan, as well as the priest Tupaia, who joined Endeavour in the Society Islands. Their surviving illustrations remain the most important body of images produced since Europeans entered this region.