Best-selling author Natasha Pulley will hold a meet the author event at Whitby library on Saturday 7 July, as part of the celebration of the 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook’s first expedition to the South Seas.
Natasha, award-winning author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, will talk about how a trip following in Cook’s footsteps with seven young people from Whitby and an experience of a lifetime sailing on the tall ship, Atyla, has had an impact on her forthcoming novel.
Ahead of the weekend’s celebration, Natasha and artist Fiona Macdonald joined the young people in London to investigate the art and science of the Cook story in visits to the Cook exhibition at the British Library, the Royal Society and the Natural History Museum. This is part of a project organised by Invisible Dust in partnership with North Yorkshire’s library service. They were leaving London on Tuesday 3 July on board the Atyla and were scheduled to arrive in Whitby on Friday.
Natasha said: “I’m writing a book about a lighthouse-keeper who ends up forced to work for the captain of a battleship during the Napoleonic Wars. When I heard about the chance to sail on the Atyla, I couldn’t possibly say no; it’s too good a research opportunity to miss. All the more alluring is the focus of this project, Cook and the Endeavour expeditions.
“While I’m writing about a time slightly after these expeditions, the Napoleonic Wars don’t exist in a vacuum. Many of the people in the navy then would have known Cook, would have joined, even, because of the things the crews of the Endeavour did, or would have known men from those crews. It’s the context in which my whole story sits.”
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street was Natasha’s first novel. It was an international bestseller, won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award.
Tickets for her talk are free, but places are limited so must be booked in advance. The talk will run from 11am to 11.45am on Saturday 7 July.