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Details of the books about Captain Cook published in the eighteenth century immediately after his voyages

1771
Cook's First Voyage ended in July 1771, and the first account of it appeared in September. It was a thin quarto edition of just 130 pages. The title was:
A Journal of a Voyage round the World... Undertaken in Pursuit of Natural Knowledge, at the Desire of the Royal Society, containing All the various Occurrences of the Voyage.
No author was given, resulting in much speculation. It is often attributed to James Magra, one of the crew.

1773
Two years later the first official account appeared. The title was:
An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the order of his present Majesty for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere, And successively performed by commodore Byron, Captain Wallis, Captain Carteret, and Captain Cook, in the Dolphin, the Swallow, and the Endeavour: drawn up from the Journals which were kept by the several Commanders, And from the Papers of Joseph Banks, Esq;
by John Hawkesworth, LL.D.

The narrative of Cook's voyage is contained in the second and third of the three quarto volumes. It's title was:
An Account of a Voyage round the World, in the years MDCCLXVIII, MDCCLXIX, MDCCLXX, and MDCCLXXI by Lieutenant James Cook, Commander of his Majesty's Bark the Endeavour.

An unofficial account of the voyage also published that year was:
A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in his Majesty's Ship, The Endeavour. Faithfully transcribed from the Papers of the late Sydney Parkinson, Draughtsman to Joseph Banks, Esquire on his late Expediion, with Dr. Solander, round the World...
This book was edited by Stansfield Parkinson, the brother of Sydney who had died whilst the Endeavour was still at sea.

1775
Cook's Second Voyage ended in July 1775, and the first account of it appeared before the end of the year. The title was:
Journal of the Resolution's Voyage... by which the Non-Existence of an undiscovered Continent, between the Equator and the 50th Degree of Southern Latitude, is demonstratively proved. Also a Journal of the Adventure's Voyage... interspersed with Historical and Geographical Descriptions of the Islands and Countries discovered in the course of their respective Voyages.
No author was given but it appears to have been produced from the journal of John Marra, one of the crew. The editor was probably David Henry, who ran the Gentleman's Magazine.

1776
A Second Voyage round the World... 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.
Another anonymous book with many false accounts of the voyage.

1777
Two years after the end of the voyage, the first official account appeared. The title was:
A Voyage towards the South Pole, and Round the World. Performed in His Majesty's Ships the Resolution and Adventure, In the Years 1772, 1773, 1774, and 1775. Written by James Cook, Commander of the Resolution. In which is included, Captain Furneaux's Narrative of his Proceedings during the Separation of the Ships.
The book was published in two volumes, and were edited by Dr John Douglas, Canon of Windsor and St. Paul's.

An unofficial account of the voyage also published that year was:
A Voyage round the World, in His Britannic Majesty's Sloop, Resolution, commanded by Capt. James Cook, during the Years 1772, 3, 4, and 5. By George Forster, F.R.S. Member of the Royal Academy of Madrid, and of the Society for promoting Natural Knowledge at Berlin.
This book, in two volumes, was written by Georg Forster, the son of Johann, both of whom had travelled with Cook as scientific advisors. The father had been forbidden from publishing anything before till after the official volumes had appeared. But that did not apply to the son. This book appeared six weeks before the offical account.

The Original Astronomical Observations, made in the course of A Voyage towards the South Pole, and Round the World... By William Wales, F.R.S. Master of the Royal Mathematical School in Christ's Hospital; and Mr. William Bayly, Late Assistant at the Royal Observatory.
Wales had travelled with Cook on the Resolution, and Bayly had travelled with Furneaux on the Adventure. Bayly accompanied Cook on his Third voyage in 1776, so this book was edited by Wales.

1778
The first book in J.R. Forster's name was:
Observations made during a Voyage Round the World, on Physical Geography, Natural History, and Rthic Philosophy. Especially on 1. The Earth and its Strata, 2. Water and the Ocean, 3. The Atmosphere, 4. The Changes of the Globe, 5. Organic Bodies, and 6. The Human Species. By John Reinold Forster, LL.D. F.R.S. and S.A. And a Member of several Learned Academies in Europe.

1781
Cook's Third Voyage ended in October 1780, and the first account of it appeared the following year. The title was:
Journal of Captain Cook's last Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, on Discovery; performed in the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, illustrated with Cuts, and a Chart, shewing the Tracts of the Ships employed in this Expedition. Faithfully Narrated from the original MS.
This anonymous book was written by John Rickman.

A German publication the same year was:
Heinrich Zimmermanns von Wissloch in der Pfalz, Reise um die Welt, mit Captain Cook.
A mere 100 pages long. A French translation appeared the following year, but an English translation did not occur until 1926.

1782
An authentic Narrative of a Voyage performed by Captain Cook and Captain Clerke, in His Majesty's ships Resolution and Discovery... including A faithful Account of all their Discoveries, and the unfortunate Death of Captain Cook.
These two volumes were written by William Ellis.

The original Astronomical Observations made in the course of a Voyage to the Northern Pacific Ocean, for the discovery of a North East or North West Passage: wherein the North West Coast of America and North East Coast of Asia were explored... By Captain James Cooke, F.R.S. Commander of the Resolution, and Lieutenant James King; and Mr. William Bayly, Late assistant at the Royal Observatory.

1783
A Journal of Captain Cook's last Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, and in quest of a North-West Passage, between Asia & America... Faithfully narrated from the original MS. of Mr. John Ledyard.

1784
Four years after the end of the voyage, the first official account appeared. The title was:
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 Northen 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. In Three Volumes. Vol. I and II written by James Cook, F.R.S. Vol. III by Captain James King, LL.D. and F.R.S.
These volumes were edited by Dr John Douglas, Canon of Windsor and St. Paul's.

1786
A Narrative of the Death of Captain James Cook. To which are added some Particulars, concerning his Life and Character. And Observations respecting the Introduction of the Venereal Disease into the Sandwich Islands.
The author was David Samwell.

1788
Astronomical Observations, made in the Voyages which were Undertaken By Order of His Present Majesty, for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere... From the Journals which were kept by the several Commanders, And from the Papers of Mr. Charles Green.
William Wales accompanied Cook on his Second Voyage, but this book also covers the First Voyage.

Updated: 30 November 1996

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Michael, the official account of Captain Cook's third voyage was published in 1784, first in London and then in Dublin. It came in three volumes, so your set is incomplete. Whether it is of interest to collectors will depend upon its condition, and whether all of the engravings are present, as unfortunately these are sometimes removed and sold separately.
By Cliff Thornton on 1/14/2015 2:27:27 PM Like:0 DisLike:0
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I have found copies of volumes II and III of the "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; . . ." Published in Dublin in 1784. Are they of interest?
By Michael Maguire on 1/13/2015 4:44:13 PM Like:0 DisLike:0

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