Captain Cook's epic voyage to the east coast of Australia began after he sailed to Tahiti in 1769 to view the transit of Venus. This celestial event, repeated today, 6 June, has inspired authors for years, particularly writers of fantasy fiction. Dominick Healy's 1943 novel, A Voyage to Venus, is available for readers online. In the literary stakes, Shirley Hazzard's prize-winning novel, The Transit of Venus, is probably the stand-out.
'I puzzle on and marvel at
The manner of her magic that
Does me this kindness:
To take my sight, yet leave me free
In my mind’s dazzled eye to see,
Despite my blindness ...'
Let us hope he did not look directly at the sun !