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FORSTER, George.

Geschichte der Reisen, die seit Cook an der Nordwest- und Nordost-Küste von Amerika,

und in dem nördlichsten Amerika selbst von Meares, Dixon, Portlock, Coxe, Long u. a. m. unternommen worden sind.

Berlin: Vossischen Buchhandlung, 1791 Stock Code: 134112
£8,000.00
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First edition of this "early and important compilation of voyages to the Northwest Coast containing the voyages of Meares, Mortimer, Portlock, and Dixon" (Forbes). The work, which provides an update to the voyages covered in Forster's 1784 Geschichte der Reisen und Entdeckungen im Norden, also includes a series of essays and commentaries by Forster reviewing the history of Northwest Coast explorations, including early explorers such as Juan de Fucca, the Russians and the Spanish, Cook, George Dixon, John Meares, and James Colnett. Forster makes note of the difficulties between England and Spain over control of this area. A distinguished naturalist, Forster was employed as Chief Naturalist for the Resolution on Cook's second voyage, accompanied by his son Georg (1754-1794) as an assistant; "the elder Forster proved to be a highly capable scientist and a keen observerhis works proved him a veritable genius in many disciplinesbut he had a disagreeable personality and alienated the expedition's staff" (Rosove). His son published an unofficial alternate account of Cook's voyage six weeks before Cook's own and made frequent, unacknowledged use of his journals, in addition to Johann's notes and his own recollections, provoking a pamphlet war with William Wales, the astronomer on the expedition, and Lord Sandwich, commissioner of the Admiralty. Although well held institutionally in Germany and the US this work is uncommon elsewhere, with just one copy in the UK (British Library), and just nine copies traced at auction.

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Description

3 volumes, quarto (269 x 215 mm). Contemporary half calf, binding restored, original roundel on vol. III, new red leather labels and renewed shell pattern marbled paper sides.

Illustrations

With 4 large folded engraved maps and 27 engraved plates, 3 of which are folding.

Condition

A couple of gatherings in vol. III misbound. Restored spines somewhat rubbed and marked, very occasional spotting to contents, light foxing to book block edges, short closed tears to foot of folding map stubs, generally clean and sound, printed on good thick paper with generous margins; a very good set.

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