The Life of Captain James Cook.

Basil: J.J. Tourneisen, 1788.

Two volumes in one, small octavo; a good copy in half calf over speckled boards.

First continental edition

The first continental edition: a Basle reprint of Kippis' biography of Cook, published the same year as the original. The catalogue of the Kroepelien collection points out that this is the first work to have eight chapters rather than seven (as in the London and Dublin editions of the same year), as one chapter is here split in half. This strongly suggests that this was the source of the later continental editions, which all followed this structure.

The first continental edition: a Basle reprint of Kippis' biography of Cook, published the same year as the original. The catalogue of the Kroepelien collection points out that this is the first work to have eight chapters rather than seven (as in the London and Dublin editions of the same year), as one chapter is here split in half. This strongly suggests that this was the source of the later continental editions, which all followed this structure.

Kippis' biography, based on Admiralty documents and sources, as well as information from Cook's widow and Sir Joseph Banks, was the standard life of the navigator for the next century. The account of Cook's death is sourced directly from Samwell, whose account (today exceptionally rare) had appeared in print two years earlier. The proposed settlement of Botany Bay is mentioned as a result of the voyages: 'If it be wisely and prudently begun and constructed, who can tell what beneficial consequences may spring from it, in future ages?'.

As with all editions of Kippis, this work includes "The Morai, An Ode" by Helen Maria Williams.

Provenance: Despite its modern binding this copy has an interesting provenance with a clipped manuscript note "Skottowe of Ayton Nr Gisboro Yorkshire". Thomas Skottowe was Cook's first employer and subsequent patron.

Beddie, 33; Davidson, 'A Book Collector's Notes', p. 67; Forbes, 'Hawaiian National Bibliography', 150; Holmes, 70; Kroepelien, 649; O'Reilly-Reitman, 457.

Price (AUD): $2,650.00

US$1,708.37   Other currencies

Ref: #5000611