Captain James Cook - Voyage To The Pacific Ocean [third Voyage] - 4 Vols/1785-88
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Captain James Cook - Voyage To The Pacific Ocean [third Voyage] - 4 Vols/1785-88:
James Cook and James King: A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean; Undertaken by Command of his Majesty, for making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere: Performed under the Direction of Captains Cook, Clerke, and Gore, in the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780. Being a copious, comprehensive, and satisfactory Abridgement of the Voyage written by Captain James Cook, F.R.S. and Captain James King, LL.D. and F.R.S. Illustrated with Cuts. In Four Volumes. London: Printed for John Fielding [and] Scatcherd & Whitaker, 1785-88. Four volumes, 8vo (22 cm), in uniform full tree calf; viii, [v]-xii, 370 p.; [iii]-xii, 359 p.; [iii]-xii, 400 p.; [iii]-xii, 310,  p.; with an index, 24-page list of subscribers and 49 engraved plates, one of which is folding. ESTC T204464 and N45487.
Mixed imprints, but a complete and uniform set. The first, third and fourth volumes have the imprint of John Fielding and the years 1785 (vol. I) and 1786; the second volume bears the imprint of Scatcherd & Whitaker and C. Stalker, 1788. Despite this, the text is complete and continuous and the books are uniform in their size and bindings. Bound without the half-titles. ESTC doesn't call for a folding chart in this 1785 8vo edition (the second), but in any case there is none present. There are, however, 49 handsome copper-engraved plates, including the large folding plate illustrating the "Death of Capt. James Cook, F.R.S. at Owhyhee… Drawn by D.P. Dodd & others who where[sic] on the Spot." Bindings show some bumping and wear to the corners and spine ends, rubbing and sunning to the spines with chips to several spine labels; cracking to the hinges but all the boards are secure; vol. I title-page trimmed close at the top, clipping the first letter; closed tears to one text leaf (S1) in vol. II; light toning to the contents with a few stray small spots, otherwise the text and plates are quite clean and fresh, with almost none of the foxing often found. Duplicates of vol. IV's contents pages have been inexplicably bound in at the end of the text. A solid, handsome set.
The dramatic account of Captain Cook's third and final voyage which took him to Tahiti, to the west coast of North America as far north as the Bering Strait in search of the Northwest Passage, and most famously to the first European encounter with the Hawaiian Islands, an encounter which ended in Cook's death and apotheosis. The artist on the expedition was John Webber and the crew included William Bligh and George Vancouver. This "Abridgement of the Voyage" is essentially the official account shorn of much its arcane nautical-ese and navigational details, hence the preferred version for many readers; it cracks along like an adventure.
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