COOK, James.

Three Voyages to the Pacific Ocean.

The first performed in the years 1768, 1769, 1770 and 1771: the second in 1772, 1773, 1774 and 1775: the third and last in 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779 and 1780. Faithfully abridged from the quarto editions. Containing a particular relation of all the interesting transactions during the several voyages. To which is prefixed the life of Captain Cook. Complete in two volumes. Illustrated with eight handsome copperplate engravings.

Boston: Thomas & Andrews and D. West, Jan. 1797 Stock Code: 132846
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The first collected edition of Cook's voyages to be published in the US

First US collected edition of Cook's three voyages. Forbes notes that it "appears to be an adaptation of the text contained in Volumes VI and VII of William Mavor's Historical Account of the Most Celebrated Voyages, Travels & Discoveries" (1796). This edition is uncommon, with just two copies traced institutionally in the UK. "Cook earned his place in history by opening up the Pacific to western civilisation and by the foundation of British Australia. The world was given for the first time an essentially complete knowledge of the Pacific Ocean and Australia, and Cook proved once and for all that there was no great southern continent, as had always been believed. He also suggested the existence of Antarctic land in the southern ice ring, a fact which was not proved until the explorations of the nineteenth century. Cook was a brilliant navigator and hydrographer, an excellent administrator and planner, and probably the first sea captain to realise the importance of preserving the health and well-being of his crew. He did everything possible to maintain their physical fitness and the cleanliness of both men and ships. He conquered the hitherto prevalent scurvy by cutting down the consumption of salt meat and by always having fresh vegetables and fruit on board" (Printing and the Mind of Man).

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2 volumes, duodecimo (170 x 95 mm). Contemporary brown calf, rebacked to style, titles to red morocco label to spines.


Copper engraved frontispieces and seven plates, the plate "A view of the habitations in Nootka Sound", present twice, though only called for in volume II.


Ownership inscription dated 1952 in green ink to p. [iv] of both volumes; ownership stamp of Vasconcellos to foot of p. [5] of volume II. Careful restoration to spine ends and tips. A couple of scuffs to covers, edges toned, pencil marks to pastedowns, occasional worming to contents, most notably at foot of gathering y in volume II, tear to fore edge of p 289-90 of volume II, occasional dampstains to contents, offsetting to text, nevertheless a very good copy.


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