COOK, James. A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, undertaken, by the Command of His Majesty, for making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere, to determine the position and extent of the west side of North America, its distance from Asia, and the practicability of a northern passage to Europe; 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.
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Three volumes. Volumes I and II written by Captain James Cook, Volume III by Captain James King. Portrait frontispiece of Cook. Dublin: Printed for H. Chamberlaine [and 26 others], 1784. Large post octavo. pp. (1) xcviii, 421 (2) [xvi], 549 (3) [xii], 559. Contemporary full sprinkled calf, flat spines with contrasting red and olive green morocco labels. Armorial bookplate of Marcus McCausland on front endpapers, signature of Conolly McCausland, Walworth on titles. All edges green. Minor wear to spine ends. A remarkably fine fresh copy.
The First Dublin Edition of the official account of Cook's third voyage. Captain James Cook (1728-1779) was an eighteenth century explorer and navigator whose achievements in mapping the Pacific, New Zealand and Australia radically changed western perceptions of world geography. As one of the very few men in the eighteenth century navy to rise through the ranks, he was particularly sympathetic to the needs of ordinary sailors. Cook's third voyage was to find the North-West Passage that was believed to link the Atlantic and
Pacific oceans and to return Omai to Tahiti. Officers of the crew included William Bligh, James Burney, James Colnett, George Dixon, John Ledyard, Nathaniel Portlock and George Vancouver.
In July 1776 the expedition set sail again on the Resolution, with another Whitby ship, the Discovery and discovered Christmas Island and the Hawaiian Islands. Cook charted the American west coast with astounding accuracy from California through to the Bering Strait before he was stopped by pack ice.
He returned to Hawaii for the winter and was killed in a brief fracas with Hawaiians over the stealing of a cutter, Cook was slain on the beach at Kealakekua by the Polynesians. Clerke assumed leadership of the expedition, and made a final attempt to pass through the Bering Strait. He died of tuberculosis on 22 August 1779 and John Gore, a veteran of Cooks first voyage, took command of Resolution and of the expedition. James King replaced Gore in command of Discovery.
The expedition returned home, reaching England in October 1780. After their arrival in England, King completed Cook's account of the voyage. David Samwell, who sailed with Cook on Resolution, wrote of him: He was a modest man, and rather bashful; of an agreeable lively conversation, sensible and intelligent. In temper he was somewhat hasty, but of a disposition the most friendly, benevolent and humane. His person was above six feet high: and, though a good looking man, he was plain both in dress and appearance. His face was full of expression: his nose extremely well shaped: his eyes which were small and of a brown cast, were quick and piercing; his eyebrows prominent, which gave his countenance altogether an air of austerity. The voyage resulted in what Cook judged his most valuable discovery - the Hawaiian islands. The first London edition sold out in three days.
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