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The Collector-bookcover

By: Graeme Lay

The Collector

Pages: 306 Ratings:
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Brave, inquisitive, entrepreneurial: Joseph Banks personified the spirit of late 18th century Enlightenment Europe. Banks’ fascination with the plant and animal kingdom began when he was a boy in rural Lincolnshire. A privileged upbringing saw him schooled at the famous institutions Harrow, Eton and Oxford. As a well-connected, independently wealthy adult, Banks developed a particular friendship with Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich, who introduced Banks to the pleasures of angling, and the debaucheries of the London club scene.In 1768, 25-year-old Joseph joined a round-the-world voyage led by the great English navigator, James Cook. This introduced Banks to the freedoms of traditional Polynesian society. He became an ardent lover of indigenous women and an assiduous collector of exotic flora and fauna. Following his return to England, Banks became a figure of renown, lionised by English society. But his dreams of a second world voyage with Cook ended before they began. How did this happen? How did Banks’ vision become a chimera? This novel tells all.

Graeme Lay was born in Foxton, in the Horowhenua district of New Zealand’s
North Island. He grew up in the coastal province of Taranaki, which imbued him
with a lifelong love of the sea. He attended Victoria University of Wellington,
graduating in 1967. After living in England for several years, he returned to New
Zealand, living on the North Shore of Auckland city. He began writing in the
1970s, firstly short stories, then novels.

Many of his books draw their inspiration from the islands of the South Pacific,
through which he has travelled extensively. He is now the author of over forty
books: novels for adults and young adults, and collections of short stories and
travel writing. His best-known work is a novel trilogy based on the life of English
explorer James Cook. These are: The Secret Life of James Cook, James Cook’s
New World and James Cook’s Lost World
(Fourth Estate / Sharpe Books).

Graeme Lay writes from his home in the maritime suburb of Devonport, on
Auckland’s North Shore. He and his wife, Gillian, have three adult children.

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