(London: Printed for W. Strahan and T. Cadell [first two voyages]; Printed by H. Hughs for G. Nicol and T. Cadell [last voyage], 1773, 1777, 1785). Text volumes: 292 x 238 mm. (11 1/2 x 9 1/4"); Atlas: 510 x 373 mm. (20 x 14 1/2"). Eight volumes plus Atlas. FIRST EDITION of the second work; Second (and best) Edition of the first and third works.
Modern cat's paw sheepskin in the style of the period, raised bands, spine panels with central gilt ship, one red and one green label; Atlas in contemporary mottled half calf over marbled boards, raised bands, spine panels with gilt ship at center, two red morocco labels, new endpapers. All in fine cream-colored buckram clamshell boxes with black morocco labels on spines. WITH 204 ENGRAVED CHARTS AND PLATES: 52 in first work, as called for (42 folding); 64 in second work (31 folding); 87 in third work (14 folding), 65 in atlas (including two copies of plate 74, "A View of the Town and Harbour of St. Peter and St. Paul in Kamtschatka"; plate 28, "A Dance in Otaheite," invisibly bound in from a different copy). Atlas with a facsimile of the Chart of the Straits of Magellan from the first voyage (original present in first work). Folding table of languages in second work; folding table of numerals in third work. Beddie 650, 1216, 1552. Half a dozen quires in first work somewhat browned or foxed (never offensive), portions of plates a bit browned from contact with acidic text paper, all works with occasional light offsetting, isolated minor spots or smudges, half a dozen of the very large folding plates with short tears at the edge near the mounting tab, but nevertheless in very nearly fine condition (especially considering the number of volumes and the shape of other sets), our volumes CONSISTENTLY CLEAN AND FRESH INTERNALLY, WITH GENEROUS MARGINS AND RICH IMPRESSIONS OF THE PLATES, AND THE WHOLE SET IN UNWORN BINDINGS.
This is a very pleasing set of the complete voyages of Captain Cook, one of the most famous tales of exploration in the Western world. Composed of what bibliographers consider the best editions of each voyage, it also contains the often-lacking Chart of the Straits of Magellan in the first work (with, for some reason, the bonus of a facsimile of the same in the Atlas to the Third Voyage). Between the years 1768 and 1779, James Cook (1728-79) explored the Pacific Ocean in the ships Endeavour and Resolution. DNB summarizes the impact of his travels: "In his three voyages to the Pacific, Cook disproved the existence of a great southern continent, completed the outlines of Australia and New Zealand, charted the Society Islands, the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, and the Hawaiian Islands, and depicted accurately for the first time the north-west coast of America, leaving no major discoveries for his successors. In addition the scientific discoveries in the fields of natural history and ethnology were considerable and the drawings made by the artists were of great significance." Although there are numerous monuments to Cook, "the best memorial to him is the present-day map of the Pacific, which he did so much to shape." The second edition of the first voyage is preferred because it contains Hawkesworth's angry response to critics of the first edition. The second edition of the third voyage appeared after Cook had been posthumously awarded the Royal Society medal, which is reproduced on the title page. The text was completely reset by Hughs, the printer who succeeded Strahan, and the paper and letter press of his edition were seen as superior to that of the first by, among others, Mrs. James Cook, who chose that edition when presenting copies. The present set is in particularly nice condition internally, with the folding plates and charts showing little of the wear and tear one expects to see. (CFB1710)
Add to Cart Price: $48,000.00
PJP Catalog: 72.075