A Voyage round the World in His Britannic Majesty's Sloop Resolution…[with]  Observations made during a Voyage Round the World on Physical Geography, Natural History and Ethic Philosophy. COOK: SECOND VOYAGE, George FORSTER.
A Voyage round the World in His Britannic Majesty's Sloop Resolution…[with] Observations made during a Voyage Round the World on Physical Geography, Natural History and Ethic Philosophy.

A Voyage round the World… [with] Observations made during a Voyage Round the World…
A Voyage round the World in His Britannic Majesty's Sloop Resolution…[with] Observations made during a Voyage Round the World on Physical Geography, Natural History and Ethic Philosophy.

London: B. White, 1777 & 1778.

Three volumes (the first work is in two volumes), quarto, with the large folding map in the first volume and the folding table of languages in the second work; bound without 1 p. list of subscribers and 4 pp. contents in the second work; contemporary marbled calf, flat spines with ship ornaments in gilt between bands, double black leather labels.

The Forsters' two independent accounts of Cook's second voyage

A contemporarily-assembled set of the first editions of both works produced by the Forsters, father and son, as a result of Cook's second voyage. Georg Forster's Voyage round the World is one of the most considered of all the secondary accounts of Cook's voyages while his father Johann's Observations is a pioneering work on the anthropology of the Pacific. Their combined work forms a distinct and vital contribution to the history and accomplishments of the arduous voyage.

A contemporarily-assembled set of the first editions of both works produced by the Forsters, father and son, as a result of Cook's second voyage. Georg Forster's Voyage round the World is one of the most considered of all the secondary accounts of Cook's voyages while his father Johann's Observations is a pioneering work on the anthropology of the Pacific. Their combined work forms a distinct and vital contribution to the history and accomplishments of the arduous voyage.

The Forsters travelled on the Resolution following the withdrawal of Joseph Banks and his party from the voyage. Johann was one of the pre-eminent scientists and natural historians of his generation, while Georg, not even eighteen when he joined the ship, proved to have a facile pen and an alert and inquiring mind. Johann was supposed to write the official record, but he and Georg returned to controversy, culminating in their being told by the Admiralty to withdraw from any involvement with the official account, which was left to Cook and his editor Canon Douglas. Thus denied, the Forsters 'set to work to forestall it with an account of their own, and succeeded in doing so by about six weeks' (Holmes). This thoughtful narrative account in two volumes, the first work in this attractive set, was the work of the younger Forster, Georg, though it is clear that Johann contributed to its writing. It was a significant alternative account of the expedition and 'an important and necessary addition to Cook's voyages' (Hill).

However what should have been the Forsters' crowning achievement helped exacerbate, instead, the rift between them and the British establishment, especially once the accusation that George was the author only in name had surfaced, chiefly as a result of the printed attacks by the voyage's astronomer, William Wales. Sir Maurice Holmes' comment on the work is arch ("But whatever the respective shares of father and son in the composition of this book, it is pertinent to observe that no acknowledgement is made of the assistance derived from Cook's journal, the proof-sheets of which had in accordance with the agreement signed at the Admiralty on April 13th, 1776, been placed at the elder Forster's disposal", and Beaglehole was never keen to promote the role of the Forsters. However, recent work by Michael Hoare and Nigel Erskine has seen the importance of the Forsters' contribution to Cook's voyage reappraised in a more positive light.

Johann's influential Observations effectively demonstrated a new way of looking at voyage anthropology, ethnography, and all aspects of encounters with native peoples. His "Remarks on the Human Species", accounting for two-thirds of the text, and its most important part, is primarily concerned with the South Sea Islanders, with inquiries into their 'progress toward civilisation', principles of happiness, health and diseases, religion, morals, manners, arts, and sciences, with a comparative table of languages from the Society Islands to New Holland. Johann had originally been asked to supply a volume of his scientific observations as a companion publication to the official account of the voyage, but this project had been shelved as relations between the Forsters and the Admiralty worsened after their publication of the unofficial Voyage, but Forster persisted with this work and had it printed on his own account. As well as complementing Georg's Voyage, this should also be considered the companion piece to the two-volume official narrative of the voyage. Forster includes interesting comments on the preservation of health during long sea voyages, notably regarding the findings of Dr James Lind (one of the people originally considered for the second voyage, who withdrew together with Banks and Solander after the contretemps regarding their accommodation).

Some copies of the Observations had the Pacific islands map based on the Tahitian Tupaia's chart bound in; it has not been added to this copy.

Provenance: William Hutchinson, of Eggleston Hall (armorial bookplate in each volume). Eggleston Hall a classic Greek revival design by Bonomi, makes ends meet today by hosting the TV show "Ladette to Lady". Honestly.

Beaglehole, II, pp. clii-cliii; Beddie, 1247, 1261; Hill, 625, 628; Hocken, p. 16-18; Holmes, 23, 29; Kroepelien, 450, 456; O'Reilly-Reitman, 382, 395, etc; Rosove, 132.A1.d, 140.A1; Spence, 464, 467.

Price (AUD): $11,500.00  other currencies Ref: #4504288

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