An Evening with Hampton Sides


City Opera House Wed, May 1 7:00 PM


Special note regarding a two-ticket/one book purchase:  ONLY ONE BUNDLE (2 tickets/1book) can be purchased per order.  For more than one bundle, please place additional order(s) or call the City Opera House at 231-941-8082 ext. 201. Thank you!

Hampton Sides is the award-winning author of the bestselling histories Hellhound on his Trial, Blood and Thunder and Ghost Soldiers.

Now he tells the tale of Captain James Cook’s last journey, a thrilling narrative of the constant danger of exploration in the 1700s. Before embarking on his last voyage, Captain Cook was admired for his peerless seamanship, his humane leadership, and his dedication to science. He treated his crew well, and endeavored to learn about the native societies he encountered with curiosity and without judgment.


Yet on this last journey, something was different. Cook became hot-tempered, lashing his crew members and leading his vessels into danger time and again. Uncharacteristically, he ordered violent retaliation for perceived theft on the part of native peoples. This may have had something to do with the pressure he felt from secret orders–to chart and claim lands before Britain’s rivals could and to discover the fabled Northwest Passage. But the ultimate effects were catastrophic for Indigenous people around the world. Tensions between Cook’s overt and covert missions came to a head on the shores of Hawaii. His first landing there was harmonious, but when Cook returned after mapping the coast of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, his exploitative treatment of the Hawaiians led to the fatal encounter.


At once a ferociously-paced story of adventure on the high seas and a searching examination of the complexities and consequences of the Age of Exploration, The Wide Wide Sea is a major work from one of our finest narrative nonfiction writers.


Doors open at 6 p.m. with live music and a cash bar.


The event begins at 7 p.m. and includes a Q and A and author signing. Each ticket comes with a hardcover copy of “The Wide Wide Sea”  (or opt for a two-ticket package with one book.  For this option, please call the City Opera House Box Office).