London: G. Nicol and G.G.J. and J. Robinson, 1788. Near Fine. First Edition. 4to., [11.25x9.25in]; xvi, 527 pp., advertisement, engraved frontispiece of Cook, appendices; Finely bound in quarter calf over marbled paper boards with five ribbed spine, gilt lettering on red and green title labels and gilt ornamentation, top edge gilt with others trimmed stained yellow, wide margins; Some shelf and surface wear to edges, corners and covers, some wear and scrapes to spine leather, occasional light foxing and offset of portrait to title page. [Beddie 31, Hill 935]. Item #13509
Captain James Cook (1728-1779) is considered one of the greatest of British explorers in the 18th Century. His three voyages of exploration to the South Pacific, Antarctica and the Pacific Northwest, between 1768 to 1779, were significant in navigation, discovery and first contacts with natives in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaiian and Polynesian islands.
From Hill, "Kippis's book, the first English biography of Cook, was intended to give a well-balanced account of his life from birth to death, including his family and early years, and the capacities in which he was engaged prior to the famous voyages. Cook discharged several important duties while aboard the Mercury, on the St. Lawrence River, during the siege of Quebec. The Newfoundland and Labrador surveys are discussed, and the three voyages are dealt with in great narrative detail. Kippis includes most of Samwell's narrative of Cook's death, and gives accounts of various tributes to Cook." Kippis is also wrote the Biographia Britannica about the lives of important British persons and the complete text of the Cook biography was included in that issue. Also included in the appendix 2 is a poem of The Morai, and Ode by Helen Maria Williams on the discoveries in the South Pacific and Tahiti.