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This book examines how the South Pacific was represented by explorers, missionaries, travelers, writers and artists between 1767 and 1914. It draws on history, literature, art history, and anthropology in its study of different, often conflicting colonial discourses of the Pacific. Among its themes are the persistent mythmaking around the figure of Cook, the Western obsession with Polynesian sexuality, tattooing, cannibalism and leprosy, the Pacific as a theater for adventure, and as a setting for Europe's displaced fears of its own cultural extinction.
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