A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in His Majesty's Ship, the Endeavour. Faithfully transcribed from the Papers of the late Sydney Parkinson, Draughtsman to Joseph Banks, Esq. on his late Expedition, with Dr. Solander, round the World…. COOK: FIRST VOYAGE, Sydney PARKINSON.
A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in His Majesty's Ship, the Endeavour. Faithfully transcribed from the Papers of the late Sydney Parkinson, Draughtsman to Joseph Banks, Esq. on his late Expedition, with Dr. Solander, round the World…
A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in His Majesty's Ship, the Endeavour. Faithfully transcribed from the Papers of the late Sydney Parkinson, Draughtsman to Joseph Banks, Esq. on his late Expedition, with Dr. Solander, round the World…

A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas…
A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in His Majesty's Ship, the Endeavour. Faithfully transcribed from the Papers of the late Sydney Parkinson, Draughtsman to Joseph Banks, Esq. on his late Expedition, with Dr. Solander, round the World…

London: Printed for Stanfield Parkinson, the Editor, 1773.

Large quarto, with frontispiece portrait, a map and 26 plates; completely uncut and partly unopened; an exceptionally large copy in its original binding of blue-grey paper boards, plain paper spine carefully renewed; in a folding cloth case.

Uncut in original boards, and larger than ever.

A really exceptional copy of the first edition of the most handsome of the unofficial accounts of Cook's first voyage. Copies of the first edition of Parkinson are invariably quite large with generous margins (and are often misleadingly catalogued as "Large paper" - in fact there were no "small paper" copies, only copies cut down by the binder), but the book is virtually never seen as here, completely uncut in its simple original binding. The spine has been replaced with appropriate plain paper. For the record, this copy measures 380 x 95 mm (binding) and 362 x 292 mm (bookblock).

A really exceptional copy of the first edition of the most handsome of the unofficial accounts of Cook's first voyage. Copies of the first edition of Parkinson are invariably quite large with generous margins (and are often misleadingly catalogued as "Large paper" - in fact there were no "small paper" copies, only copies cut down by the binder), but the book is virtually never seen as here, completely uncut in its simple original binding. The spine has been replaced with appropriate plain paper. For the record, this copy measures 380 x 95 mm (binding) and 362 x 292 mm (bookblock).

Parkinson, the son of a Quaker brewer of Edinburgh, was apprenticed to a draper when his ability for drawing 'flowers, fruits and other objects of natural history' first attracted the attention of Sir Joseph Banks. Banks engaged him as botanical artist on Cook's first voyage, and he went on to produce an important series of magnificent botanical and natural history drawings, and was the first professional artist to set foot on Australian soil. He died at the end of the voyage, en route from Batavia to the Cape of Good Hope.

Parkinson was responsible for the original drawings for twenty-three of the twenty-seven plates here. His original artwork and these splendid engravings made from it represent one of the chief visual sources for Cook's first voyage, and one of the first views European observers had of such South Pacific scenes. Parkinson's journal of the voyage is plain and unaffected, and in the words of its editor 'its only ornament is truth, and its best recommendation characteristic of himself, its genuine simplicity'. Curiously, as the botanical drawings were retained by Banks, none of his botanical drawings appear in his own account, and not until recent years has the world at large learned of Parkinson's genius as a botanical artist.

The book contains extensive accounts of New Zealand and Australia, and has some of the earliest natural history observations on the region. Parkinson's image of the natives of New Holland, as well as his depiction of the kangaroo, form fine engravings in this publication. His journal also has some of the earliest natural history observations on the region, and in fact contains the first published use of the word kangaroo (as "kangooroo", p. 149). When Parkinson drew the kangaroo he noted that 'In gathering plants today I myself had the good fortune to see the beast so much talked of, tho but imperfectly; he was not only like a grey hound in size and running but had a long tail… what to liken him to I could not tell…' (Endeavour River, 27 June, 1770). Six weeks later, on 4 August while still at Endeavour River, Cook recorded that '…the Animal which I have before mentioned is called by the natives Kangooroo or Kanguru'.

At the end of the voyage, en route from Batavia to the Cape of Good Hope, Parkinson died of a fever, still only a young man in his mid-twenties (his exact birth-date is not known). When the expedition returned to England his manuscripts and drawings became a matter of dispute. Banks, as his employer, considered that they were his, while Parkinson's brother Stanfield claimed them under the provisions of his brother's will. When Hawkesworth learned of the impending publication of this work, he got an injunction to delay its appearance until some time after his official account of the first voyage. He further retaliated by deliberately omitting Parkinson's name from the narrative and even the botanical illustrations in the official account of Cook's first voyage to the Pacific give no credit to the artist.

Provenance: Early continental bookseller's label on front board; Private collection (Sydney).

Beaglehole, I, pp. ccliii-cclv; Beddie, 712; Davidson, 'A Book Collector's Notes', pp. 54-56; Hill, 1308; Hocken, p.12; Holmes, 7; Kroepelien, 944; New Zealand National Bibliography, 4466; O'Reilly-Reitman, 371.

Price (AUD): $28,500.00  other currencies Ref: #4504475

Condition Report