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Biography & Autobiography Adventurers & Explorers

Captain James Cook in Atlantic Canada

The adventurer and map maker's formative years

by (author) Jerry Lockett

Formac Publishing Company Limited
Initial publish date
Nov 2010
Adventurers & Explorers, Naval, Historical
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2010
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2010
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2019
    List Price

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The skills, knowledge and experience that took Captain James Cook to the South Seas and around the world seemed to come out of nowhere. In fact, as author Jerry Lockett has discovered, their foundation was laid during the time he spent in Atlantic Canada. His experiences on Canada's east coast and the naval men he met there shaped him to become one of the most successful explorers of all time.
Cook arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1758 as a competent but undistinguished warrant officer in Britain's Royal Navy. Over the next nine years he learned the complex skill of navigation and prepared many detailed maps of the coastline and key harbours. He left with the skills and reputation that made him an obvious choice to lead a voyage of exploration to the far side of the world.
In this absorbing and well-researched biography Jerry Lockett tells us of Cook's experiences as a young man and of the influential men who became his mentors and patrons. He also describes Cook's role in the key British military actions at Louisbourg and Quebec which brought an effective end to the French regime in North America.

About the author

JERRY LOCKETT is an independent historian and editor. A two-time Atlantic Journalism Awards finalist, his work has appeared in New Scientist, BBC Wildlife Magazine, Geographical Magazine, Equinox, Cruising World, and Blue Water Sailing, among others. His first book, Captain James Cook in Atlantic Canada, won the Dartmouth Book Award in 2011 and was a finalist for the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award. An experienced sailor and yachtmaster, he spent five years as a charter yacht captain in the Caribbean and now lives and sails in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Jerry Lockett's profile page


  • Winner, Dartmouth Book Award for Non-fiction
  • Short-listed, 2010 Margaret and John Savage First Book Award
  • Short-listed, 2010 Margaret and John Savage First Book Award
  • Short-listed, Finalist -2010 Margaret and John Savage First Book Award
  • Winner, Dartmouth Book Award for Non-fiction
  • Short-listed, Margaret and John Savage First Book Award
  • Short-listed, Fianlist - Margaret and John Savage First Book Award

Editorial Reviews

"In this engaging portrait of the explorer as a young man, Lockett focuses on Cook's formative years in Eastern Canada, describing in vivid detail his role in both the Louisbourg and Quebec campaigns, as well as his survey of Newfoundland....
The author's intimate knowledge of the history of the region, as well as his meticulous research and accessible style, make this book a compelling read."

Canada's History Magazine

"Well-researched...Lockett has written an interesting, commendably brief yet clear picture of Cook. Well worth its shelf space in any Canadian maritime library."

Starshell Magazine

"... a most useful addition to the James Cook literature."

International Congress of Maritime Museums

Locketts study is a valuable contribution because he takes as his focus not the captain, but rather the master. ...Captain James Cook in Atlantic Canada offers scholarly and popular
audiences a window into Cook's formative years, his experiences in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, and his progress from an ambitious merchant seaman to one of the worlds most famous explorers.

Canadian HIstorical Review

"On occasion an historical publication will appear that one wishes one had written oneself, and Jerry Lockett's superb study of the Canadian career of James Cook is just such a work...demonstrates with clarity, pragmatic explanation, and unassailable detail the formative character of Cook's relationship with Canada...

Lockett's excellent, readable work belongs on the shelf alongside Beaglehole, Robson, and others who have led the way in illuminating the life and achievements of this extraordinary Yorkshire navigator."

Cook's Log, The Captain Cook Society

"...the main features of Cook's work in North American waters are nicely outlined. The writing is clear and direct."

The Northern Mariner

"This is a book for every resident of the Maritimes and Newfoundland and Labrador to read and treasure, and a "must-have" volume for any student of marine history."

Oceans Association Newsletter

Other titles by Jerry Lockett