Item #125612 An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the Order of His Present Majesty for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere…. Cook: First Voyage, John Hawkesworth.
An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the Order of His Present Majesty for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere…
An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the Order of His Present Majesty for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere…
An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the Order of His Present Majesty for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere…
An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the Order of His Present Majesty for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere…

An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the Order of His Present Majesty for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere…

1773. London: W. Strahan & T. Cadell, 1773.

3 vols., 4to, xii, [xlvii], 456; xiv, 410; [1]-395pp. With 28 charts and 24 engraved plates (many folding). Old polished calf, rebacked (c. 1950?), the usual (and mostly inoffensive) browning. A very tall copy (some leaves untrimmed). Anonymous bookplate in vols. 1 and 2. Full collation on request.

§ Cook’s great first voyage and the discovery of the eastern coastline of Australia.

Second edition of the official account of Cook's first voyage. This edition, printed in the same year as the first, is preferred "as it is complete with the chart of the Strait of Magellan and the List of Plates, and contains new information in the form of a new preface [by Hawkesworth]" (Parsons). The primary purpose of Cook's voyage in Endeavour was the observation of the transit of Venus from Tahiti, which would enable the distance between the earth and the sun to be calculated. Another mission was to search for "Terra Australis", the great hypothetical southern continent balancing the northern land mass. The first voyage was to result in the discovery of the Society Islands, the circumnavigation of New Zealand, and the charting of the eastern coast of Australia. "Hawkesworth, an eminent London author, was chosen by Lord Sandwich and commissioned by the Admiralty to prepare these narratives for publication. [He] was expected to add polish to the rough narratives of sea men, and to present the accounts in a style befitting the status of the voyages as official government expeditions, intended to embellish England's prestige as a maritime power" (Hill). Although the book was a huge success, fast becoming a best-seller, it was disastrous for its editor: "He was publicly attacked on three different counts: by the captains for tampering with the texts of their journals, by prudish readers for reprinting descriptions of the sexual freedoms of the South Sea islanders, and by devout churchmen for impiety in the general introduction to the work, in which Hawkesworth had rashly challenged the doctrine of providential intervention. He was devastated by this critical barrage, and it was thought to be the main cause of his death. The rumour recorded by Malone that he killed himself with an overdose of opium is uncorroborated, but Fanny Burney's conviction that his health was destroyed by the vilification he suffered seems well founded" (ODNB).

Bibliography: Hill 782; Howgego I, C173; Parsons Collection 90; Sabin 30934. Item #125612

Price: $10,400.00

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