A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean; Undertaken by Command of His Majesty for Making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere…. COOK: THIRD VOYAGE, James COOK, James KING.
A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean; Undertaken by Command of His Majesty for Making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere…
A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean; Undertaken by Command of His Majesty for Making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere…
A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean; Undertaken by Command of His Majesty for Making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere…

A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean…
A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean; Undertaken by Command of His Majesty for Making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere…

London: Stockdale, Scatcherd and Whitaker, Fielding, & Hardy, 1784-5.

Four volumes, octavo, with two folding maps and 49 plates, in a smart modern binding of polished half-calf with gilt labels, with the often discarded half-titles present.

First octavo edition

First octavo edition of the third voyage account, with a large chart of the world as discovered by Captain Cook, and a finely engraved folding map of the Hawaiian Islands. Intense public interest in the fabulous discoveries of the third voyage and widespread consternation over the death of England's beloved mariner resulted in copies of the quarto edition selling out quickly. The demand prompted two London octavo editions of 1784-1785, including this set printed for John Stockdale and a group of entrepreneurial publishers. The text was abridged, omitting some technical and navigation details, and as a result reads more like an adventure than the official quarto edition. The list of subscribers is considerable, indicating the fervent public interest and a modest price considerably reduced from that of the expensive quarto edition.

First octavo edition of the third voyage account, with a large chart of the world as discovered by Captain Cook, and a finely engraved folding map of the Hawaiian Islands. Intense public interest in the fabulous discoveries of the third voyage and widespread consternation over the death of England's beloved mariner resulted in copies of the quarto edition selling out quickly. The demand prompted two London octavo editions of 1784-1785, including this set printed for John Stockdale and a group of entrepreneurial publishers. The text was abridged, omitting some technical and navigation details, and as a result reads more like an adventure than the official quarto edition. The list of subscribers is considerable, indicating the fervent public interest and a modest price considerably reduced from that of the expensive quarto edition.

In addition to the two impressive maps, the plates have been re-engraved for the smaller format. Aside from the large chart accompanying the first volume showing the progress of the expedition the two folding plates are noteworthy. The first depicts the death of Cook and was engraved after the original by Dodd. It ignominiously depicts the last moments of the great navigator, here shown lying face down and clutching the shore whilst dragged by the calves by a Hawaiian warrior in a tapa cape. The second folding plate is a map of the Hawaiian Islands, with a separate and most engaging chart of Karakakooa Bay marked with soundings, details of native villages and areas under cultivation - and the location 'Here Capt. Cook was killed' duly noted.

This edition was originally issued in weekly parts with printed wrappers; half-titles for this edition seem to be usually absent, though this set includes those for volumes 2 to 4 (none is called for in volume 1). The title pages are dated 1784, although the span of publication passed into the following year.

Beddie, 1545; Forbes, 'Hawaiian National Bibliography', 69; ; Hill, 362; Sabin, 16251.

Price (AUD): $4,850.00  other currencies Ref: #3712595

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