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A Voyage towards the South Pole, and Round the World, Performed in His Majesty's Ships the Resolution and Adventure...
London: W. Strahan, and T. Cadell, 1777. Two volumes, quarto, with frontispiece portrait and 63 engraved charts, portraits and plates; contemporary marbled calf. First edition of the official account of Cook's great second voyage and the first crossing of the Antarctic circle, 'arguably the greatest, most perfect, of all seaborne voyages of exploration. In his three years away he disposed of the theory of a great southern continent, reached closer to the South Pole than any other man, and touched on a multitude of lands - New Zealand and Tahiti again, and for the first time Easter Island, the Marquesas, the New Hebrides and New Caledonia' (Marshall & Williams, p. 276). This was historically the most important of Cook's three voyages, crossing the Antarctic circle when, early in the voyage, Cook cruised as far south as possible, round the edge of the Antarctic ice. In the Pacific, he visited New Zealand again, and either discovered or revisited many of the islands, including New Caledonia, Palmerston and Norfolk Islands, Easter Island, the Marquesas, New Hebrides, Tonga, the South Sandwich Islands and South Georgia.Between February and May 1773, the two ships separated, and Furneaux, commander of the Adventure, supplied Cook with the narrative of his experiences in the Adventure printed here: they called at Adventure Bay in Van Diemen's Land, and sailed up the east coast "intending to coast it up along shore, till we should fall in with the land seen by Captain Cook, and discover whether Van Diemen's Land joins with New Holland". Before they stood away for New Zealand, Furneaux had come to the opinion that "there is no strait between New Holland and Van Diemen's Land, but a very deep bay... ".Disappointed with John Hawkesworth's rendering of his first voyage in An Account of the Voyages undertaken... for Making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere (1773), Cook was determined that the second would not be similarly treated: although he had the editorial help of Dr John Douglas this 'is certainly Cook's book. There were to be no more Hawkesworths. "The Journal of my late voyage", writes Cook to his friend Commodore Wilson at Great Ayton, "will be published in the course of next winter, and I am to have the sole advantage of sale. It will want those flourishes which Dr Hawkesworth gave the other, but it will be illustrated and ornamented with about sixty copper plates, which I am of opinion, will exceed every thing that has been done in a work of this kind... As to the Journal, it must speak for itself. I can only say that it is my own narrative, and as it was written during the voyage" ... ' (Beaglehole).The two resulting quarto volumes, with their dramatic illustrations after William Hodges, 'would have given pleasure to any author', but they were never seen by Cook, who had embarked on his fatal last voyage by the time they appeared. The engravings anticipated by Cook are indeed superb; Hodges' presence as official artist on the voyage resulted also in a famous series of oil-paintings. Several repaired tears in folding maps; small hole (an original paper flaw) in the centre of one leaf in volume 2; binding well rebacked at an early date, slightly rubbed at extremities.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House]
Last Found On: 2017-02-03           Check availability:      Direct From Bookseller    


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