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'ObservationsÖ at King George's Island in the South Sea' [and]
[London],: [Royal Society], 1767-, 1776.. Large octavo, folding plate; good in modern speckled boards. An attractive collection of three articles relating to Cook and the Endeavour voyage from the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society for 1771.The collection gives an interesting insight into some of the chief scientific concerns of Cook's first voyage, with three separate notices relating to the voyage and particularly the Transit of Venus as observed from Tahiti. The first is the "Observations ... at King George's Island in the South Sea" co-written with Charles Green the astronomer. Green is an interesting figure, for many years assistant to the Astronomer Royal at Greenwich, in 1763 he sailed on the testing voyage of John Harrison's famous chronometer H4. Green later quarrelled violently with Nevil Maskleyne and joined the Navy in a huff, but their relationship was sufficiently mended for Green to be recommended for the Endeavour voyage. He died in 1771 from dysentery contracted in Batavia. The article features extracts from the Log and an interesting plate which shows diagrammatically the differing readings of Cook and Green.The second article is a more technical piece on the "Variation of the Compass, as observed on board the Endeavour Bark", a pressing concern for eighteenth-century navigation. The last essay here is a letter from Johan Maurits Mohr, who settled in Batavia in 1737 where he built a fine observatory that was visited by Cook, and who had himself observed the Transit of Venus and taken notes.The great bibliographer Sir Maurice Holmes noted the first two articles from the Philosophical Transactions, but omitted the third.Holmes, 93, 94.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-08-01           Check availability:      Biblio    

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