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An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the order of his Present Majesty for Making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere,
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Other Items by Cook, James

  • An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the order of His Present Majesty for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere, and successively performed by Commodore Byron, Captain Wallis, Captain Carteret and Captain Cook, in the Dolphin, the Swallow, and the Endeavour Cook, James An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the order of His Present Majesty for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere, and successively performed by Commodore Byron, Captain Wallis, Captain Carteret and Captain Cook, in the Dolphin, the Swallow, and the Endeavour 1773-84
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(COOK, James.) HAWKESWORTH, John.

An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the order of his Present Majesty for Making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere,

and, successively performed by Commodore Byron, Captain Wallis, Captain Carteret, and Captain Cook, In the Dolphin, the Swallow, and the Endeavour: Drawn up from the Journals which were kept by the several Commanders, and from the Papers of Joseph Bankes, Esq. ...

Published: London: Printed for A. Strahan, and T. Cadell, 1773

Stock code: 62701

Price: £9,750

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Hawkesworth’s account of Cook’s first voyage was first published earlier in the same year. This, the second edition, “is considered the best one” (Hill), containing a new preface with the author’s reply to Dalrymple’s criticism of the first edition, and the chart of the Strait of Magellan. “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.” 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).

3 volumes quarto (279 220 mm). Contemporary calf, red and black morocco labels, raised bands, spines attractively gilt in compartments, single gilt fillet panel to the boards, edges sprinkled red 29 maps, 26 of them folding, and 23 plates, 12 folding. Armorial bookplate of Geoffrey Ecroyd to front pastedowns. A little rubbed at the extremities, neatly restored at the head- and tailcaps, and on the hinges, first map slightly torn on the stub, light browning, but overall a very good set in an extremely appealing contemporary binding.

Bibliography: Hill 783; Howgego I, C173; Sabin 30934

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