COOK, JAMES. 1728-1779.
COMPLETE SET OF COOK'S VOYAGES.
[FIRST VOYAGE.] HAWKESWORTH, JOHN. An Account of the Voyages Undertaken by the Order of His Present Majesty for Making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere. London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1773. 3 volumes. , xlviii, 456; xiv, 410; 396 pp. 52 engraved plates, maps and charts, many folding or double-page. Second edition.
[SECOND VOYAGE.] COOK, JAMES. A Voyage Towards the South Pole, and Round the World. London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1779. 2 volumes. xl, 378; viii, 396 pp. 64 engraved plates, maps and charts, many folding or double-page, folding letterpress table. Third edition.
[THIRD VOYAGE.] COOK, JAMES, AND JAMES KING. A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean. Undertaken, by the Command of His Majesty, for Making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere. London: W. and A. Strahan, 1784. 3 text volumes, plus atlas. , xcvi, 422; [xii], 550; [xii], 560 pp. Text with 25 engraved plates, maps and charts, many folding or double-page, folding letterpress table; atlas with 62 engraved plates, maps and charts, one folding, one double-page. First edition.
Together, 8 volumes plus atlas. 4to (290 x 220 mm) and folio (550 x 410 mm). Text in uniform 19th century tree calf gilt, spines gilt with maritime devices; atlas in 19th century half morocco. Some ink marginalia, plates captioned in manuscript, some toned or with light offsetting or spotting, a few stub-tears and very occasional trimming, first and last few leaves of each volume lightly toned, bindings very lightly rubbed, atlas somewhat more so.
A handsome set of the official accounts of Cook's three voyages. It is virtually impossible to overstate the importance of these voyages, or to summarize them. The original purpose of Cook's renowned first voyage was simply to observe the transit of Venus. This was accomplished at Tahiti but six months were then spent on the coast of New Zealand, which was circumnavigated and charted for the first time, as was the east coast of Australia. Cook named New South Wales and naturalists on his expedition named Botany Bay. The second voyage disproved the myth of the existence of a further southern continent and made the first crossing of the Antarctic Circle. Numerous further explorations were undertaken and discoveries made including the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, and South Georgia. Knowledge of the South Pacific was given a firm basis for the first time and the maps made then remain valid today. The final voyage was directed principally towards the search for a Northwest Passage from the Pacific, culminating in Cook's death in the Hawaiian Islands. Hill 783, 358, 361; Holmes 5, 24, 47; Sabin 30934, 16245, 16250.
Provenance: property of an East Coast collector.