PARKINSON, Sydney (1745?-1771)
A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in His Majesty's Ship the Endeavour
London: Printed for Stanfield Parkinson, 1773. Quarto. (12 5/8 x 10 5/8 inches). xxiii,212,pp. Engraved portrait frontispiece of Parkinson by James Newton, 26 engraved plates (1 plate after Alexander Buchan, 2 plates after S.H. Grimm and 24 after Parkinson).
Contemporary marbled boards with vellum corners, rebacked in calf, retaining original red morocco lettering piece
Large-paper copy of Parkinson's important illustrated account of Cook's first voyage:
"Parkinson was engaged by Sir Joseph Banks to accompany him and Captain Cook in the Endeavour to the South Seas, as natural history draughtsman ... After exploring Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, and the Great Barrier Reef, the expedition reached Batavia. On leaving for the Cape of Good Hope, Parkinson succumbed to fever and dysentery and was buried at sea. Banks spoke highly of his 'unbounded industry' in making for him a much larger collection of drawings than he had anticipated. His observations, too, were valuable, and the vocabularies of South Sea languages given in his journals are of great interest. Upon Banks' return to England, Stanfield Parkinson, Sydney's brother, claimed all the drawings made by his brother in his spare hours, as well as journals and collections, under a will made before Sydney Parkinson left England. Following the dispute, his writings were lent to Stanfield Parkinson, who transcribed them and prepared them for publication, but an injunction was obtained ... to restrain him from publishing until after the appearance of ... Hawkesworth's official account" (Hill).
Parkinson's drawings stand as one of the chief visual sources for the voyage: he produced a large number of magnificent botanical, natural history and ethnographical drawings of Tierra del Fuego, Tahiti, New Zealand, and Australia. At the time, these drawings offered Europe its first view of life in the South Pacific. The work contains extensive descriptions of Australia and New Zealand, and is the first work to properly identify the kangaroo by name. A major journal for Cook's first voyage.
Beddie 712; Hill 1308; Holmes 7; Sabin 58787; Davidson, A Book Collector's Notes, pp. 54-6; NMM I:564; O'Reilly & Reitman 371; Kroepelien 944; Cox I, p.58.