A Voyage Round the World… Drawn up from Authentic Papers. By an Officer on Board. COOK: SECOND VOYAGE, An OFFICER, pseud.
A Voyage Round the World… Drawn up from Authentic Papers. By an Officer on Board.

A Voyage Round the World…
A Voyage Round the World… Drawn up from Authentic Papers. By an Officer on Board.

London: printed for W. Lane, 1781.

Quarto, with the cancel second-issue title-page slightly shorter than the text-block (as usual); a very good copy in old maroon cloth with spine label.

"The Officer": one of the earliest published accounts of the Antarctic

Very rare: one of the earliest accounts of Cook's second voyage, and thus of the Antarctic, this is one of the most uncommon of any of the surreptitiously published accounts of sailing with Cook. The second voyage began in July 1772 when Cook, now promoted to the rank of Commander, set out once more for the southern Pacific in the Resolution, with the Adventure alongside. This voyage was particularly important since Cook made the first crossing of the Antarctic Circle in search of the elusive Southern Continent.

Very rare: one of the earliest accounts of Cook's second voyage, and thus of the Antarctic, this is one of the most uncommon of any of the surreptitiously published accounts of sailing with Cook. The second voyage began in July 1772 when Cook, now promoted to the rank of Commander, set out once more for the southern Pacific in the Resolution, with the Adventure alongside. This voyage was particularly important since Cook made the first crossing of the Antarctic Circle in search of the elusive Southern Continent.
Originally published in 1776, this second issue is the first to refer to the work as being written by "an officer on board" on the title-page and is noted by the great Cook bibliographer Sir Maurice Holmes as being "of extreme rarity". This differs from the earlier issue only in its altered title page and is otherwise unchanged, using the original printed sheets of the first issue. It was almost certainly rejigged as an apparently new work dated 1781 in response to news of Cook's death in Hawaii, which had reached England in 1780.
First published a full year before the official account, this was considered to be the first serious report of Cook's second voyage. However, having consulted on the matter with Cook himself, in October 1776 the Monthly Review published a damning list of fifteen falsely reported events in the work. As a result, in the two centuries since, the critics have fallen over themselves in their rush to dismiss the book out of hand, but Beaglehole – unsurprisingly – is the most even-handed, describing it as a "palpable fake" but with the significant concession that "it recounts a few incidents not otherwise known, which do not seem out of key with the voyage as a whole."
A close reading of the work confirms that several passages describe events in a broadly accurate, if slightly over-heated, way, making it extremely likely that the original source material derived from someone who had sailed with Cook. That being the case, "authorship" remains a hotly-contested question.

Beaglehole II, clv-clvi.pp; Beddie, 1246; Davidson, A Book Collector's Notes, p63; cf. Hill, 1545; Holmes, 39; Rosove, 1005.

Price (AUD): $38,500.00  other currencies     Ref: #4403166

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