In his Account, Crook reports the words of Kiatonui, one of the main chiefs of the island of Nukuhiva, who exclaimed : “How can Mr Crook claim to know God, when he cannot even tell one tree from another ? “
The originality and insight of this Account of the Marquesas Islands (published now for the first time as well in an English and in a French edition) have been enhanced both by contemporary testimonies concerning Crook’s adventure and by today’s prefaces by Professor Greg Dening and His Grace Bishop Le Cleac’h.
In the Pacific, the shock from the meeting of cultures in the 18th century continues to make waves in the 21st.
On the 7th of June 1797, when William Pascoe Crook disembarked from the Duff onto the Marquesan island of Tahuata, he had just turned 22 years of age. At that time, the society which took him in was a traditional one, forced to deal with the natural disasters of drought and its ensuing famine, and the new products brought for trade by western travellers, whalers and beachcombers – particularly alcohol and firearms.
Because he took the trouble to learn to speak their language, Crook became an important witness to these first contacts, as well as to the new everyday lifestyle of the Marquesans, their customs and their aspirations – and their resistance to foreign ideas.
An account of the Marquesas islands 1797-1799
by William Pascoe Crook
Forewords by Greg Dening
H.-M. Le Cleac’h
Biography by Douglas Peacocke
Preliminary Discourse by Samuel Greatheed Observations made during a Voyage to the Marquesas Islands by Captain James Wilson in the Duff (1797), Captain Josiah Roberts in the Hope ((1791), Captain Edmund Fanning in the Betsey (1798) and by Edward Robarts (1799)
letter by Crook
Instructions and Report by the L.M.S.
Illustrated with charts, portraits of persons of that time and maps drawn by Andreas Dettloff.
20,7 x 29,7 cm