An Account of the Voyages Undertaken by the Order of his Present Majesty for Making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere and successively performed by Commodore Byron, Captain Wallis, Captain Carteret and Captain Cook, in the Dolphin, the Swallow and the Endeavour... A Voyage towards the South Pole, and Round the World performed in His Majesty's Ships the Resolution and Adventure in the years 1772, 1773, 1774 and 1775..; A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean...

COOK Capt. James &; HAWKESWORTH John (1773-1784.)

£37500.00  [First Edition]

First editions throughout. 8 text volumes (all 4to) & folio atlas. Modern full diced calf, gilt tiling to spines; designed to match the atlas binding (which is contemporary). 1st voyage: 29 charts & 23 plates. 2nd voyage: portrait frontis., 63 charts & plates. 3rd voyage: 87 maps & plates.

Cook (1728-1779) was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and despatched by the Admiralty at the insistence of the Royal Society to observe the 1769 transit of Venus across the face of the sun and to seek out the much-discussed southern continent. Accompanying Cook were Joseph Banks (from the Royal Society), the Swedish naturalist Dr. Daniel Carl Solander and the artist Sydney Parkinson. Sailing via Madeira and Tierra del Fuego they reached Tahiti in April 1769 where the transit was successfully recorded in June of that year. From Tahiti Cook sailed to the South Pacific in search of the new continent, first striking the Society Islands before reaching New Zealand, whose coast he surveyed. From thence Cook proceeded to New Holland surveying the whole East Coast, before returning home via Batavia, proving once and for all that New Guinea was not a part of Australia, a fact first shown by Torres in 1607. He finally reached England in 1771, anchoring off the Downs on 12th June, having lost one third of his crew.

In July of the following year Cook, now promoted to the rank of Commander, set out once more for the southern Pacific in the Resolution with the Adventure. This voyage was particularly important since Cook made the first crossing of the Antarctic Circle and finally determined once and for all that the Southern Continent did not exist. In addition Cook secured the medal of the Royal Society by successfully eradicating scurvy through diet and better hygiene. Only three shipboard deaths (all resulting from accidents) were recorded on this voyage - a dramatic reduction from the one third who died on his first voyage.

Cook's third voyage began in July 1776 and concentrated on the North Pacific, resulting in the discovery of Hawaii, which Cook considered to be his greatest feat. In addition the theory of a Northern passage connecting the Pacific to the Atlantic was also disproved. With him travelled George Vancouver who later charted the North West Coast of America and also the artist John Webber who provided Europe with many images of the Pacific. Cook however was killed on 14th February, 1779 in a shoreline skirmish on Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii (illustrated in the plate included in this set). Captain King then took over command of the expedition, which returned to England in 1780. Beddie, 648, 1216, 1543.

Stock Code: 221269

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