Item #5000402 Vie du Capitaine Cook, traduite de l'anglois du docteur Kippis, Membre de la Société Royale de Londres. COOK: LIFE, Andrew KIPPIS.

Vie du Capitaine Cook, traduite de l'anglois…
Vie du Capitaine Cook, traduite de l'anglois du docteur Kippis, Membre de la Société Royale de Londres.

Paris: Hôtel de Thou, 1789.

Two volumes, octavo; a fine copy in contemporary French sprinkled calf, flat spines gilt in compartments, double labels.

The first French edition of Kippis' life of Cook

A most attractive copy of this French version of Kippis' Life, published the year after the London original, with a significant introduction by the translator Jean Castera taking the form of a "Lettre du traducteur… à Monsieur Garat".

A most attractive copy of this French version of Kippis' Life, published the year after the London original, with a significant introduction by the translator Jean Castera taking the form of a "Lettre du traducteur… à Monsieur Garat".

Kippis' book was the first biography of Cook. Using Admiralty sources as well as documents belonging to Joseph Banks, Kippis attempted a rounded account of Cook's public life: his early career on the St. Lawrence River, his surveying, and particularly his three Pacific voyages, are discussed at length. The long account of Cook's death was sourced directly from Samwell, whose account (exceptionally rare) had appeared in print two years earlier, with Kippis' help: "I procured its publication, that, if any objections should be made to it, I might be able to notice them in my own work. As the narrative hath continued for more than two years unimpeached and uncontradicted, I esteem myself fully authorised to insert it in this place, as containing the most complete and authentic account of the melancholy catastrophe, which, at Owhyee, befell our illustrious navigator and Commander…". As Holmes notes, this text is "the frankest and most reliable of all contemporary accounts". The appendix here contains a prose translation of Helen Maria Williams's ode to Tahiti, "The Morai".

Beddie, 38; Kroepelien, 652.

Price (AUD): $2,800.00

US$1,874.44   Other currencies

Ref: #5000402