The Life of Captain James Cook.

London: G. Nicol, 1788.

Quarto, with engraved frontispiece portrait of Cook; a good copy, complete with the half-title, and quite large with good margins, in contemporary calf, well rebacked preserving original spine with dark red label.

First edition of the great life of Captain Cook

The much reprinted early Life of Captain Cook: this is an excellent copy of the first edition. Using Admiralty sources as well as documents belonging to Joseph Banks, Kippis attempts 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 22-page account of Cook's death is sourced directly from Samwell, whose account (today exceptionally rare) had appeared in print two years earlier, with Kippis's 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 much reprinted early Life of Captain Cook: this is an excellent copy of the first edition. Using Admiralty sources as well as documents belonging to Joseph Banks, Kippis attempts 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 22-page account of Cook's death is sourced directly from Samwell, whose account (today exceptionally rare) had appeared in print two years earlier, with Kippis's 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".

Beddie, 32; Hill, 935; Holmes, 69; Kroepelien, 647; Lada-Mocarski, 40; O'Reilly-Reitman, 455.

Condition Report: The portrait a little spotted.

Price (AUD): $3,250.00

US$2,235.76   Other currencies

Ref: #5000615

Condition Report