Roderick L(angmere) Haig-Brown Sheila Egoff - Essay

Sheila Egoff

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

One of the few examples in the series of the wholly unembellished biography is Roderick L. Haig-Brown's Captain of the Discovery: The Story of Captain George Vancouver (1956). Vancouver's voyages took him into the huts of the Hawaiian Islanders, the lodges of the West Coast Indians, and the galleys of Spanish men-of-war, and Haig-Brown takes full advantage of his opportunities for satisfying the child's natural interest in exotic settings, but never at the cost of distorting his subject. Vancouver was no swashbuckling explorer but a disciplined, skilled, conscientious navigator. Haig-Brown dares to show him as one, confident that solid achievement, however unspectacular in the accomplishment, is a theme that...

(The entire section is 1027 words.)