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A New Voyage round the World, in the years 1768, 1769, 1770, and 1771
New York,: James Rivington,, 1774.. Two volumes, octavo, with two folding engravings and a folding map; some general browning and staining as normal for American books of the period; modern binding of dark brown calf, old labels preserved on the spines. The important first American publication of Cook's first voyage. This is also the first American work to publish details of the Australian east coast, and the map is the first serious American depiction of a complete Australian continent.The book is rare on the market, remarkably few copies having appeared for sale in modern times, most of them imperfect or in less than satisfactory condition. American books of this period tend to survive in small numbers, invariably in poor state: this copy is in good condition. Some examples of the book contain lists of subscribers: there are two issues identified by differences in the list of subscribers while the third issue did not contain a list; there is none in this copy.The frontispiece to the first volume (perhaps the second too - it is unsigned) was engraved by the American folk hero Paul Revere not long before the famous Midnight Ride, the event that ensured his leap to fame. Revere (1734-1818) was a gold and silversmith who sometimes supplemented his income with other work. During the economic depression that preceded the Revolution he began to work as a dentist and also as an engraver, producing a number of book illustrations along with more ephemeral material, such as business cards and bills of fare.Very few accounts of Cook's three voyages were published in America before the end of the eighteenth century: this was the first, and just six more would follow. One of the reasons for this may have been the general availability of imported English publications, but as Holmes points out, from a broadside dated 26 March 1774, there was a good economic incentive for a local publication in this case: "Whosoever would purchase the English Edition of the late Voyage round the World... must give Three Guineas for it; which excessive price has engaged James Rivington's Proposing to the public, a complete edition of that work... for one dollar and a half...".Beddie, 656; Holmes, 9.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-07-26           Check availability:      Biblio    


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