Two hundred and fifty years ago Commander James Cook boarded HMS Endeavour in Plymouth and set off on his first of three voyages of discovery. His intention? To go as far as he thought it was possible for man to go.
For the next four months the British Library, Euston’s finest public space, will be telling the story of the journeys, with original documents on display that artists, scientists and sailors produced whilst on board the ships.
You can check out the original artworks and Cook’s handwritten journal charting the three monumental explorations. There’s a section detailing the first crossing of the Antarctic Circle, when they travelled further south than anyone in the world, stunning artwork including the earliest European depiction of a kangaroo (really), and intricate maps charting the voyages that spanned more than a decade.
From Tahiti to New Holland (what they called Oz back then), North America to Easter Island – it wasn’t a bad achievement for a bloke from humble farming origins.