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The Parsons Collection: rare Pacific voyage books from the collection of David Parsons - Part 2 2006

 
Horwitz 2002 US
Parsons Part 2
Horwitz 2002 Australia
Parsons Part 1

The Parsons Collection: rare Pacific voyage books from the collection of David Parsons - Part 2
Published by Hordern House in 2006 (ISBN 1 875567 47 X).
I thought I would find nothing of interest in the second part of this catalogue. After all, the first part covered "Dampier to Cook" [see Cook's Log, page 9, vol. 29, no. 1 (2006)], so what could I find in one that covered "La Perouse to Wilkes"?

The answer was several items associated with the people who had sailed with Cook.

First I found "Geschichte und Beschreibung des Broadbaums... " by George Forster. A study of the breadfruit it was published in Kassel in 1784, and was unknown to me. It shows how much this naturalist continued to use the knowledge gained on Cook's Second Voyage.

Next came "A Voyage to the South Atlantic and round Cape Horn into the Pacific Ocean... " by Captain James Colnett. An account of his voyage in the Rattler, it was published in 1798. Colnett had been a midshipman on the Resolution on Cook's Second Voyage.

Then "A Voyage round the world, but more particularly to the north-west coast of America... " by Captain George Dixon. Two copies of this account of the voyage in the Queen Charlotte to Hawaii by the armourer on the Discovery on Cook's Third Voyage are listed. Both were published in 1789.

"Catalogue of the Leverian Museum... " held in 1806. Sir Ashton Lever had collected over 26,000 items, including many brought back on the voyages of Captain Cook, and opened his museum to the public. Alas maintenance costs exceeded income and he was forced to sell everything by lottery. The winner, James Parkinson, also failed to make it pay and held an auction of 6840 lots that ran for 57 days. This item is marked up with many of the prices paid, including the purchases of Edward Donovan who owned this copy. The catalogue for the additional sale of 354 lots is not included.

"A Voyage round the world; but more particularly to the north-west coast of America... " by Captain Nathaniel Portlock. Formerly master's mate on the Discovery and then the Resolution he sailed in the King George with Dixon, stopping twice at Hawaii. The full voyage account and an abridgement, both published in 1789, are included.

"A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean... " by Captain George Vancouver, who had sailed on Cook's Second and Third Voyages. The 1798 publication is accompanied by a translation into Swedish (published in 1800) by Anders Sparrman, who travelled with the Forsters on much of the Second Voyage.

As with the first volume of this catalogue of the Parsons Collection every item is illustrated, with many items in colour.

Reviewer: Ian Boreham

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 43, volume 30, number 1 (2007).

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