[Plates to Cook's Second Voyage, 1772 to 1775,]
(item no. 13)
In addition to these navigational accomplishments and the accompanying expansion of geographical knowledge, the expedition also recorded a vast amount of information regarding the Pacific islands and peoples, proved the value of the chronometer as an instrument for calculating longitude, and improved techniques for preventing scurvy.
The first printed account of Cook's second voyage was Marra's Journal, originally published anonymously and surreptitiously eighteen months before Cook's own account. The author was one of the gunner's mates in the Resolution whom Cook had picked up in Batavia during the first voyage. A Dublin edition appeared the following year and a French translation was printed in Amsterdam in 1777.
According to Sir Maurice Holmes, "This is a curious compilation. Marra . . . was incapable of writing a consecutive account of anything. His contribution was therefore limited to factual extracts from his journal, the great bulk of the work being supplied by an editor, who padded the book with geographical descriptions extracted from accounts of Cook's first voyage and other even less relevant material."
This French edition is a loose translation of the London 1775 edition of Marra's Journal. It includes a map but not the five plates which accompanied the first English edition.
The engravings in this bound collection are based on original drawings and paintings by William Hodges, the official artist on the second voyage. Also included is a complete set of the charts from the official published edition of Cook's account of the voyage. All of the plates are dated February 1, 1777.
The first botanical work to be published from Cook's second voyage, this work contains a large number of new generic and specific names of plants found in Australasia and Polynesia. It also served as the foundation for knowledge of vegetation in New Zealand, Polynesian, and the Antarctic. Johann Reinhold Forster supervised the project, his son Johann Georg Adam Forster drew the plates, and Anders Sparrman described the plants. The work was issued in both quarto and folio editions in London in 1776.
This unofficial version of the second voyage, which appeared before Cook's official account, was allegedly written by a Cambridge University student. Based on the journal of one of the officers, it was severely criticized for sensationalism and falsehoods in the Monthly Review. The reviewer provided a list of fifteen alleged incidents described in the book, prefaced with the statement that "the passages contained in the following selection are, on the authority of Capt. Cook, all pronounced to be false." The book was suppressed, as all logs and journals from the expedition were to have been delivered to the Admiralty. While never reprinted, the unsold printed sheets were reissued with a new title page in 1781.
This version of the second voyage preceded Cook's official account by two months. As with other unofficial accounts, its authorship and its veracity were contested by contemporaries. The naturalists Johann Reinhold Forster and his son Johann Georg Adam Forster joined the voyage when Joseph Banks and his associates declined to participate. The elder Forster was originally granted permission to contribute to the official record but the offer was withdrawn by the Admiralty due to a dispute over compensation. Nevertheless, he produced this account which was issued under his son's name. The son, however, stated that he wrote the text himself while consulting his father's journal. William Wales, an astronomer on the second voyage, contested this assertion and other statements about the voyage. Contemporary opinion, as expressed in the published reviews and magazines of the day, were evenly divided on the merits of the dispute.
Cook's official account of the second voyage was published in two volumes and contained sixty-three engravings, including portraits, maps, charts, and views. In addition to Cook's journals, Captain Tobias Furneaux's narrative of events when the Adventure was separted from the Resolution were included. Its immediate popularity exceeded even that of Hawkesworth's account of the first voyage. This was the first of four English editions to be published in 1777. Four additional editions in English were printed between 1778 and 1784. Translations were also published in Dutch, French, Italian, German, Swedish, and Russian by the end of the eighteenth century.
In the year before its publication Cook commented, "It will want those flourishes which Dr. Hawkesworth gave the other, but it will be illustrated and ornamented with about sixty copper plates, which, I am of opinion, will exceed everything that has been done in a work of this kind . . . As to the journal, it must speak for itself. I can only say that it is my own narrative, and as it was written during the voyage."
The eighth English language edition of Cook's account was printed in Dublin in 1784. In his introduction, Cook writes that the primary purpose of the voyage was "to put an end to all diversity of opinion about a matter so curious and important ... whether the unexplored part of the Southern Hemisphere be only an immense mass of water, or contain another continent, as speculative geography seemed to suggest."
In his description of the inhabitants of the South Sea island of Mallicollo, Cook notes that the women have pierced noses "in which they wear a piece of white stone, about an inch and a half long." The printer inserted a small illustration in the line of text to assist the reader in visualizing the shape of the ornament.
Dr. Sparrman was a Swedish zoologist who joined the Resolution at the Cape of Good Hope in 1772. The first part of the second volume was issued nineteen years after the first volume and patient readers had to wait an additional sixteen years for the second and final part of volume two to be published in 1818. The 1802 publication was issued with one chart, six engravings based on illustrations from earlier Cook publications, and a small specimen of tapa cloth from Tahiti. German, Swedish, English, Dutch, and French editions were published within four years of the first volume.
This abridged edition of the first and second voyages, adapted from the quarto editions published by the Admiralty, was intended for young people as well as adults. The preface advises that "those who are entrusted with the care of young people of both sexes, cannot give them a better opportunity of employing their leisure hours, than by placing these voyages of discovery in their hands. The other [i.e.: companion] volume has already been introduced to several reputable schools, both public and private."
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© 1999 by the Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.