The largest (quarto sized) edition of the 1785 Troisieme Voyage de Cook, complete with 88 plates (although one map is an odd tone). This is the French 1st edition of the account of Cook's third, and last, voyage (he was killed by Hawaiians). It's beautifully illustrated, and this copy is in great condition. Many of the plates are fold-out illustrations and maps. Cook took along an artist, John Webber, to capture the exploration and the printed plates are fantastic and celebrated.
About the Work -
James Cook's third and final voyage (12 July 1776 – 4 October 1780) took the route from Plymouth via Tenerife and Cape Town to New Zealand and the Hawaiian Islands, and along the North American coast to the Bering Strait.
Its ostensible purpose was to return Omai, a young man from Raiatea, to his homeland, but the Admiralty used this as a cover for their plan to send Cook on a voyage to discover the Northwest Passage. HMS Resolution, to be commanded by Cook, and HMS Discovery, commanded by Charles Clerke, were prepared for the voyage which started from Plymouth in 1776.
Omai was returned to his homeland and the ships sailed onwards, encountering the Hawaiian Archipelago, before reaching the Pacific coast of North America. The two charted the west coast of the continent and passed through the Bering Strait when they were stopped by ice from sailing either east or west. The vessels returned to the Pacific and called briefly at the Aleutians before retiring towards Hawaii for the winter.
At Kealakekua Bay, a number of quarrels broke out between the Europeans and Hawaiians culminating in Cook's death in a violent exchange on 14 February 1779. The command of the expedition was assumed by Charles Clerke who tried in vain to find the passage before his own death. Under the command of John Gore the crews returned to a subdued welcome in London in October 1780.
Cook's account of his third and final voyage was completed upon their return by James King. Cook's own journal ended abruptly on 17 January 1779, but those of his crew were handed to the Admiralty for editing before publication. In anticipation of the publication of his journal, Cook had spent much shipboard time rewriting it.
The final publication, in June 1784, amounted to three volumes, 1,617 pages, with 87 plates (the 88th plate is an index plate). Public interest in the account resulted in its selling out within three days, despite the high price of £4 14s 6d.
This edition is the first French edition, after the 1784 British.
Bibliographic Details -
Numerous catalogue numbers in Worldcat, OCLC 7368443, 29523749, 55262196, 948027946.
Brunet lists it on page 766, Volume II, D-K, column two, noting 88 plates.
Ebert's General Bibliographical Dictionary entry 5185, again with 88 plates noted.
Physical Attributes -
Each volume measures approx. 26 x 20 x 4.5 cm. Leather spines and corners, with decorative paper covering the boards. Spines with title and tome in gilt on red morocco labels.
Medallion of Cook and (Brittania?) at printer's mark. Eighty-eight plates.
Notes on plates: Foldout map at plate 37 is a slightly different hue than the others, possible reproduction?
Death of Cook is a stand-alone plate, not numbered. At start of Volume 1.
Plate 26 is after 27. Map plate 32 labelled "34" although there is a plate 34. Plate 43 is between 37 and 38. Plate 51 is mistakenly labelled 52 (there are two 52s). Plate 55 is between 50 and 51. Plate 68 is in V3, after 61. Plate 82 - V1, 104. Pl 83 - V3, 355. Pl 84 - V3, 278. Pl 85 - V4, 275. Pl 86 - V3, 9. Pl 87 - V3, 202. Pl 88 - V4, 520 (Appendix II).
Appendix II is a fold-out plate, so there's 89 plates, but I don't think bibliographers count it.
Pages: V1 - cxxxi, 437, privilege iii. V2 - iv, 422. V3 - iv, 488. V4 - iv, 552, ii - Fautes essentielles a corriger (errata leaf)
Collation: V1 - (none)4, a-q4, r2, A - Iii4. V2 - (none)2, A-Ggg4. V3 - (none)2, A-Ppp4. V4 - (none)2, A-Zzz4, errata leaf.
See pictures. Bindings repaired with new spine and corner leather, older spines overlaid on fresh leather, fresh leather toned to match; well done and difficult to see if you're not looking. Crazing to old spine leather (cracks). Some rubs to boards. Some board edge wear. Dust to edges of text blocks.
Removed stamp at pastedown. "Vol x of 4, VEXY/6/89" at flyleaf all 4. Leather turn-ins ghosted flyleaf. V1 bottom corner flyleaf and 1/2 title dog-eared. Some toning and occasional rust spot throughout, light. "James" written in graphite on v1 title, and cellulose patch, "Removed" stamp, over small hole where they removed library stamp (all 4). Plates list with dots. Occasional tiny candle ember holes. 1.5" tear at crease/gutter of 1st large fold-out map. Some ghosting of plates to facing. v1/293 printing folded over paper crease, two lines of text errored. Ink stain (old) 298/99. V2 with damp-stain bottom gutter 1st 50 leaves, no text (except printer's mark) affected but some prints touched. v2 mark bottom margin 46. 1cm tear fold pl29. Occasional dog-eared corner. 1" tear fore-edge v2 365. V2 moisture mark from bottom edge last 50 leaves, well into text at rear. Pl 37 odd tone, possible facsimile. 1cm tear fore-edge pl69. 2cm chip bottom edge v4 225. v4 273 upper corner not trimmed by binder (folded over), remainder. 1cm tear fore-edge plate 80.
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