COOK, JAMES. 1728-1779.
COMPLETE SET OF COOK'S VOYAGES.
1. [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. , xxxvi, , 139, , 364-676; xv, , 410; , 411-799 pp. 54 engraved charts, views and other engravings, mostly folding and some very large. Contemporary speckled calf, rebacked. Scattered toning and spotting, a very few repaired edge tears, Straits of Magellan chart laid down, 3P gathering (vol 3) margin trimmed, endpapers renewed, wear to covers.
2. [SECOND VOYAGE.] COOK, JAMES. A Voyage Towards the South Pole, and Round the World. London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1777. 2 volumes. [iii]-xl, 378; , 368, , 369-396 pp. 64 engraved plates, maps and charts, many folding or double-page, including frontispiece author portrait; folding letterpress table. Contemporary polished calf, rebacked to style. Scattered toning, spotting & offsetting; chart of southern hemisphere and a few other folding plates with some separation at folds, hinges reinforced, boards rubbed.
3. [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, 1785. 3 text volumes plus atlas. , xcvi, 421; , 548; , 556 pp. Text volumes with 24 engraved charts (13 folding). Atlas with 2 large folding charts and 61 engraved plates. Text volumes in contemporary calf neatly rebacked with original spines laid down. Atlas in modern half calf over marbled boards Text volumes with foxing and spotting at ends and to occasional gatherings, vol 2 upper cover detached, bindings rubbed; atlas vol with some occasional marginal spotting, and about half the plates with some marginal worming; the images clean and fine impressions.
Complete set of the official accounts of Cook's three voyages; being first editions of the first two voyages and a second edition of the third voyage. 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.