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Lot 19

“Indispensable Supplement to Cook”—Beaglehole

19. [COOK’S SECOND VOYAGE]. FORSTER, Johann Georg Adam. A Voyage Round the World, in His Britannic Majesty’s Sloop, Resolution, Commanded by Captain James Cook, during the Years 1772, 3, 4, and 5. London: B. White, J. Robson, P. Elmsly, and G. Robinson, 1777. xviii, [2], 602, [2, errata leaf] pp., 1 copper-engraved folding map (Chart of the Southern Hemisphere According to the Latest Discoveries: With the Tracks of the Resolution, Capn Cook; and the Adventure, Capn Furneaux; from 1772, to 1775) + [4], 607 [1, blank] pp. 2 vols., 4to, contemporary full polished calf, marbled endpapers (very skillfully rebacked with new period-style extra-gilt-decorated spine with gilt-lettered red and green leather spine labels, raised bands). Binding lightly scuffed and worn, Vol. I upper hinge starting. Interiors fine. Map crisp and excellent. A very good set.

     First edition, with mispaginations as called for in Rosove but without cancel leaves in Vol. I. Bagnall 2012. Beaglehole II, p. cxlviii-clii (“indispensable supplement to Cook”). Beddie 1247. Cox I, pp. 6061. Davidson, pp. 61-62. Hill I, p. 108. Hill II:625. Hocken, pp. 16-17. Holmes 23. Kroepelien 450. Meadows 274. National Maritime Museum: Voyages 478. O’Reilly-Reitman 382. Rosove 132.A1: “Scarce.” Sabin 25130. Spence 464.

     Forster’s alternative account of Cook's second voyage was published some six weeks before the official account. The author and his father, Johann Reinhold, sailed as naturalists on Cook's second voyage aboard the Resolution. Cook made the first crossing of the Antarctic Circle on this voyage, discovered the South Sandwich Islands and dispelled the idea of a Great Southern Continent. Although originally it was supposedly intended that the senior Forster would write the official account of the voyage, a dispute arose over payment, and this unofficial account written by them both was issued under the son's name only and in advance of the official account printed by Strahan and Cadell the same year.

     Although this is an important and necessary addition to Cook's account, it was, nevertheless, criticized on grounds of authorship and its failure to acknowledge material derived from Cook's journal. Beaglehole, however, charitably remarks, “Whatever may be thought of the Forsters, and their relations with their fellow human beings, it must be admitted that this is a remarkable performance for a young man of twenty-two.... [T]here is more than one passage that, no doubt not in the front rank of English satirical or descriptive writing, yet has a force and charm beyond the reach of a great number of English professional writers of the time” (I, pp. cxlix-cl). Both volumes contain examples of indigenous music. (2 vols.) ($4,000-8,000)

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