An Authentic Narrative of a Voyage performed by Captain Cook and Captain Clerke, in His Majesty's Ships Resolution and Discovery, during the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780; in search of a North-West Passage… including a faithful Account of all their Discoveries, and the unfortunate Death of Captain Cook…. COOK: THIRD VOYAGE, William ELLIS.
An Authentic Narrative of a Voyage performed by Captain Cook and Captain Clerke, in His Majesty's Ships Resolution and Discovery, during the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780; in search of a North-West Passage… including a faithful Account of all their Discoveries, and the unfortunate Death of Captain Cook…

An Authentic Narrative of a Voyage performed by Captain Cook…
An Authentic Narrative of a Voyage performed by Captain Cook and Captain Clerke, in His Majesty's Ships Resolution and Discovery, during the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780; in search of a North-West Passage… including a faithful Account of all their Discoveries, and the unfortunate Death of Captain Cook…

London: G. Robinson, J. Sewell; and J. Debrett, 1782.

Two volumes, octavo, with a folding chart and 21 engraved plates; a fine copy in contemporary calf gilt.

Important Cook's third voyage account, with a chapter on Tasmania and early Pacific views

First edition: a particularly attractive set of this rare account – the second such account to appear in English – of Cook's third voyage: 'an important supplement to the official account, which it preceded by two years' (Forbes). Ellis, surgeon's mate and talented amateur artist, sailed first on the Discovery and later on the Resolution. During the voyage he was thought of (by Captain Clerke) as a 'very worthy young man'. However on his return he was in financial trouble and, despite the Admiralty's prohibition of the publication of unauthorised accounts of the voyage, sold his narrative to a London publisher for fifty guineas. The book was published over his name, and was thus the first account of the expedition to acknowledge its authorship, earning the condemnation of Sir Joseph Banks, who wrote to him in January 1782 that 'I fear it will not in future be in my power to do what it might have been, had you asked and followed my advice'.

First edition: a particularly attractive set of this rare account – the second such account to appear in English – of Cook's third voyage: 'an important supplement to the official account, which it preceded by two years' (Forbes). Ellis, surgeon's mate and talented amateur artist, sailed first on the Discovery and later on the Resolution. During the voyage he was thought of (by Captain Clerke) as a 'very worthy young man'. However on his return he was in financial trouble and, despite the Admiralty's prohibition of the publication of unauthorised accounts of the voyage, sold his narrative to a London publisher for fifty guineas. The book was published over his name, and was thus the first account of the expedition to acknowledge its authorship, earning the condemnation of Sir Joseph Banks, who wrote to him in January 1782 that 'I fear it will not in future be in my power to do what it might have been, had you asked and followed my advice'.

Ellis' narrative contains much valuable information on Alaska, the Northwest Coast, and Hawaii, and the attractive engraved plates, after the author's drawings, include eight of Hawaii, two of Alaska, and three of the Northwest Coast. The plates show Ellis to have been a talented amateur artist, and represent a significant contribution to the graphic record of the voyage. They 'are among the earliest published on the Hawaiian Islands, Alaska, and the Northwest' (Hill). Choris' famous views did not appear until almost forty years later. Ellis' views of Hawaii provide the first general depictions of the islands, as Rickman's book, published in the previous year, showed only the death of Cook while Zimmermann's account was not illustrated. There is a chapter devoted to their visit to Van Diemen's Land in January 1777, in the course of which Ellis painted a famous watercolour view of Adventure Bay, now in the National Library of Australia.

This item can be seen in our latest catalogue.

Provenance: William Constable (FRS & FAS, 1721-1791, naturalist and scientist of Burton Constable Hall in East Yorkshire, with bookplates); Herman Milford (ink signature dated [18]90). Constable was also the "collector and compiler of a Cabinet of Curiosities of items collected on his Grand Tour to Italy in 1769. This is still on display at the old family home of Burton Constable Hall, Yorkshire, complete with many of the original labels, the only such cabinet to remain in its original country house location. Constable was particularly interested in the natural world and made attempts at classification (pre-Linnaeus) but despite his progressive thinking in the advancement of science he still believed that it was possible to cross-breed chickens with rabbits" (Forum Auctions).

Beaglehole, III, p. ccvii; Beddie, 1599; Forbes, 'Hawaiian National Bibliography', 41; Hawaii One Hundred, 3; Hill, 555; Hocken, pp. 20-21; Holmes, 42; Judd, 59; Kroepelien, 399; Lada-Mocarski, 35.

Price (AUD): $14,000.00

US$9,887.82   Other currencies

Ref: #4505241