[SCOTT-WARING, John (1747-1819)]
An Epistle from Oberea, Queen of Otaheite, to Joseph Banks, Esq. translated by T.Q.Z. Esq. professor of the Otaheite language in Dublin, and all the languages of the undiscovered islands in the South Sea; an enriched with historical and explanatory notes
London: Printed for John Almon, 1774. Quarto. (10 1/8 x 7 7/8 inches). 15pp.
Modern straight-grained morocco and cloth, gilt, spine richly gilt
"The third edition" of this popular lyrical satire at the expense of the eminent British naturalist, Sir Joseph Banks and his supposed dalliance with the Queen of Tahiti during Captain James Cook's first voyage.
The description of Queen Oberea of Tahiti in Hawkesworth's account of Captain James Cook's first voyage ensured that she became an object of fascination for the British. The apparent fact that Joseph Banks, the young, wealthy, and handsome young botanist aboard the `Endeavour', and Queen Oberea had been lovers only added to this fascination. One of the results of this interest is the present work: written in imitation of Ovid, the poem pokes fun at Banks and his purportedly amorous shore leave on Tahiti. The poem masquerades as an affectionate letter from Queen Oberea of Tahiti, who recollects her encounters with Banks. In the text, which incorporates notes from Hawkesworth's account of Cook's first voyage, Banks is cast as Ulysses and the Queen as Calypso. The true author of the work has been identified as Major John Scott-Waring of the East India Company. The first edition of this poem was published in 1773 and a second letter from the Tahitian Queen appeared in 1774.
Beddie 3915; cf. Holmes 11 (the first edition); Kropelien 1166; O'Reilly-Reitman 9791.