Parkinson's Journal from Cook's First Voyage

    Sydney Parkinson. [Capt. James Cook]. 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, Esq. on His Late Expedition, with Dr. Solander, round the World. Embellished with Views and Designs, Delineated by the Author, and Engraved by Capital Artists. London: Printed for Stanfield Parkinson, 1773.

    First edition. Quarto. xxiii, [1], 212, [2, errata] pages. Complete with the engraved frontispiece and 27 engraved plates, one of which is the map of the Coast of New Zealand, all after Sydney Parkinson.

    Contemporary marbled boards, expertly rebacked with chocolate morocco spine, recornered in morocco, gilt-lettered leather label on spine. Front hinge starting. Offsetting from a few of the plates. Rear endpaper creased. Shallow folds/creases to some pages. Darkening to very top right corner of front endpaper (offsetting from the corner of front cover). Minor worming along bottom edge of the first 31 leaves. Otherwise a clean, excellent Large Paper copy and quite rare thus.

    Sydney Parkinson was employed by Banks on Cook's first voyage as natural history draughtsman. "He made numerous drawings of botanical and other subjects, including landscapes and portraits of chiefs...Banks spoke highly of his 'unbound industry' in making for him a much larger collection of drawings than he anticipated. His observations, too, were valuable, and the vocabularies of South Sea languages given in his journal are of great interest" (Hill).

    Although it actually preceded Hawkesworth's official Account of the Voyages, the publication of Parkinson's Journal was stopped by an injunction in Chancery, and the book was suppressed after only a few copies had appeared. After Hawkesworth's Account was published, Parkinson's book was re-issued (1784) with an additional 142 pages and a world map. Parkinson died of dysentery at Batavia on the way home from the South Seas voyage; his journal was edited by his brother, Stanfield Parkinson.

    Hill, pp. 223-4. Sabin 58787.

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    Auction Dates
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