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History General

The Tuamotu Islands and Tahiti

Volume 4 of Russia and the South Pacific, 1696-1840

by (author) Glynn Barratt

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2011
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2011
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jan 1992
    List Price

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The final volume in the quartet of books on the naval, scientific, and social activities of the Imperial Russian Navy in the South Pacific, this book focuses on the expeditions to Tahiti and the dangerous atoll chains to its east, known as the Tuamotus. Under the command of Captains Otto von Kotzebue and F.Fellingshausen, expedition members were the first to chart several of the Tuamotu islands. They also theorized correctly about coral reef and atoll formation, botanized, and collected ethnographica in a systematic way.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Glynn Barratt is a professor of Russian at Carleton University and author of many books on Russia's naval and diplomatic history.

Editorial Reviews

Barratt's approach is to provide a detailed historical summary of the voyages, astonishing for their scholarly detail and evident mastery of the overall picture of Pacific history, and then the transformation of the key journals of the voyages.

The Northern Mariner

The Tuamotu Islands and Tahiti is thoroughly researched and well written. The Russians who sailed in the South Seas emerge as skilful sailors, accomplished scientists and very decent men. Their records convey an attitude towards indigenous peoples far more sympathetic than many of the Europeans. Professor Barratt's work makes their story accessible and entertaining for a wide audience.

International Journal of Maritime History

The text, while full of detail for the specialist is eminently readable ... Barratt’s commentary and summary provide an essential framework and background for understanding the place of this expedition in the wider story of Pacific exploration ... This is an impressive contribution to the history of the South Pacific. Thanks to Barratt’s work of translation and his perspicuous style, that record is now available to the wider audience it deserves. The book is an essential addition to libraries in New Zealand.

New Zealand Slavonic Journal

Other titles by Glynn Barratt