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A Voyage round the World, in His Britannic Majesty's Sloop Resolution, commanded by Capt. James Cook, during the years 1772, 3, 4, and 5
London: B. White [etc.], 1777. Two volumes, quarto, with a large folding map, the map in fine state; a very good copy in contemporary calf, gilt borders to sides, spine labels renewed. First edition of the alternative account of Cook's second voyage, published some six weeks before the official version. Although the Forsters had to rush to complete the work, it is 'an important work and a necessary supplement to the official account' (Davidson).Johann Forster and his son Georg had sailed together on Cook's second voyage after Banks and his associates withdrew. Initially given the task of preparing the official account, the Forsters' fractious relationship with the Admiralty soon became impossible, and Johann Forster was dismissed from taking any part in the official publications. Thus denied, the Forsters set to work to forestall the official version with their own account, taking advantage of the loophole that only Johann had any legal agreement with the Admiralty: the account appeared in Georg's name.The publication was the source of great rancour, which was only enflamed when the astronomer, Wales, roundly accused Georg of being author in name only, the real author being solely his father. This is palpably untrue and, as Georg states in his preface, he did indeed write the account in consultation with his father's journal. Whatever the case, it effectively signalled the end of the Forsters' chances in England, and by mid-1780 both had returned to Germany.The split between Cook and the Forsters has scarcely been repaired even now. Sir Maurice Holmes' comment on the work is arch, and Beaglehole was never keen to promote the role of the Forsters. However, recent work by Michael Hoare and Nigel Erskine has seen the importance of the Forsters' contribution to Cook's voyage reappraised in a more positive light. Bagnall, 2012; Beddie, 1247; Davidson, A Book Collector's Notes, pp. 61-2; Hill, p. 108; Hocken, pp. 16-17; Holmes, 23; Kroepelien, 450; O'Reilly-Reitman, 382.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2015-08-10           Check availability:      Biblio    

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