COOK, Captain James (1728-1779) and Captain James KING (1750-1784)
A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean ... for making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere ... performed under the Direction of Captains Cook, Clerke, and Gore, in His Majesty's Ships the Resolution and Discovery; in the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780.
London: W. & A. Strahan for G. Nicol and T. Cadell, 1784. 4 volumes. (Text: 3 vols., quarto [11 3/16 x 9 inches]; Atlas: 1 vol., large folio [23 1/2 x 17 inches]). Text: 1p. publisher's advertisements at end of vol.III. 1 folding letterpress table, 24 engraved maps, coastal profiles and charts (14 folding), extra-illustrated with a duplicate folding engraved "Chart of the NW Coast of America and NE Coast of Asia" which is also present in the atlas. Atlas vol.: 63 engraved plates, plans and maps (one double-page, one folding), uncut.
Text: contemporary tree calf, expertly rebacked to style, the flat spines divided into six compartments by double fillets enclosing a neo-classical roll, red/brown morocco lettering-piece in the second compartment, green morocco label with onlaid disc of red/brown morocco with volume number, the remaining compartments elaborately tooled in gilt with stylised foliage cornerpieces around various large centrally-place tools; Atlas: expertly bound to style in half calf over marbled paper-covered boards, the flat spine elaborately tooled in gilt uniform to the text.
A fine set of the first edition of the official account of Cook's third and last voyage: a cornerstone among travel and voyage literature on the exploration of Hawaii and the northwest coast of America, Canada and Alaska. This copy particularly desirable with the plates in the atlas uncut.
"The famous accounts of Captain Cook's three voyages form the basis for any collection of Pacific books. In three great voyages Cook did more to clarify the geographical knowledge of the southern hemisphere than all his predecessors had done together. He was really the first scientific navigator and his voyages made great contributions to many fields of knowledge" (Hill). "Cook's third voyage was organized to seek the Northwest Passage and to return [the islander] Omai to Tahiti. Officers of the crew included William Bligh, James Burney, James Colnett, and George Vancouver. John Webber was appointed artist to the expedition. After calling at Kerguelen Island, Tasmania, New Zealand, and the Cook, Tonga, and Society Islands, the expedition sailed north and discovered Christmas Island and the Hawaiian Islands, which Cook named the Sandwich Islands. Cook charted the American west coast from Northern California through the Bering Strait as far north as latitude 70 degrees 44 minutes before he was stopped by pack ice. He returned to Hawaii for the winter and was killed in an unhappy skirmish with the natives over a boat. Charles Clarke took command and after he died six months later, the ships returned to England under John Gore. Despite hostilities with the United States and France, the scientific nature of this expedition caused the various governments to exempt these vessels from capture. The voyage resulted in what Cook judged his most valuable discovery - the Hawaiian Islands" (Hill).
Beddie 1543; Forbes Hawaiian National Bibliography, 85; Hill (2004) 361; Lada-Mocarski 37; cf.Printing and the Mind of Man 223; Sabin 16250.