A Second Voyage round the world, in the Years MDCCLXXII, LXXIII, LXXIV, LXXV.
By James Cook, Esq. Commander of His Majesty's Bark, the Resolution. Undertaken by Order of the King, and encouraged by a Parliamentary Grant of Four Thousand Pounds. Drawn up from Authentic Papers.
London, Printed for the Editor: Sold by J. Almon, opposite Burlington-House, Picadilly; And Fletcher & Hodson, Cambridge, 1776
Following the return of the Third Voyage with news of Cook's death in 1780 and the subsequent heightened public interest in Cook, the original title-leaf was cancelled and replaced by a rephrased title-page with a new date, now attributing authorship to 'An Officer on Board'. This ploy seems also to have been unsuccessful – the public was interested in the Third Voyage – and, consequently, that second issue is as rare as the first.
Beaglehole remarks that 'it recounts a few incidents, not otherwise known, which do not seem out of key with the voyage as a whole', but goes on to say that 'the rest is so palpably fake, and in the most sensational terms, that it must be regarded as original invention – on the basis, perhaps, of a reading of Marra or conversation with a stray sailor...'. Georg Forster declared that it was the work of a Cambridge undergraduate and subsequent opinion has tended to echo contemporary sentiment. Nevertheless, Renard ventures that the account derives 'from the journal of one of the officers on board', while it has even been suggested that the journal of Lieutenant Pickersgill may have been the source.
ESTC lists just sixteen copies worldwide, of which only three are in the UK (BL (two copies), Suffolk Record Office).
First edition. 4to (30.75 x 25 cm), ,102, [2 (errata)] pp., uncut in original boards, neatly rebacked to style, light brown stain to inner upper quarter of pages through to C1, spotting to last 6 pages, overall a super rarity in very good condition, well preserved in modern blue cloth box, red morocco label.
Beddie 1245; Davidson Collection 83 (second issue); Hill 1545; Holmes 39; Kroepelien 1172; cf. Rosove 214 (annotation); Sabin 16246; not in Spence.
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