PARKINSON'S JOURNAL OF COOK'S FIRST VOYAGE TO THE SOUTH SEAS—A BEAUTIFUL LARGE FIRST EDITION COPY, WITH NUMEROUS COPPER-ENGRAVED PLATES
(COOK, James) PARKINSON, Sydney. 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 the Solander, round the World. Embellished with Views and Designs, delineated by the Author, and engraved by capital Artists. London: for Stanfield Parkinson, the Editor, 1773. Large quarto (10-1/2 by 13-1/2 inches), contemporary marbled boards sympathetically rebacked in tan calf, raised bands, red morocco spine label. $20,500.
First edition, first issue, of Parkinson's richly illustrated account of Cook's first expedition, a substantial large-paper edition with a frontispiece portrait, map of New Zealand, and 26 copper engraved plates from this landmark Pacific voyage. A fine, wide-margined copy in contemporary marbled boards.
"An account of the first expedition under the command of Captain Cook," during which its young artist Sydney Parkinson became the first professional artist to set foot in Australia. "Parkinson made numerous drawings of botanical and other subjects, as well as landscape and portraits of native chiefs," making this one of the most handsome of the unofficial accounts of Cook's famous world voyage. The first work to identify the kangaroo by name, Parkinson's Journal also contains extensive accounts of New Zealand and Australia. "After exploring Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, and the Great Barrier Reef… Parkinson succumbed to fever and dysentery and was buried at sea… Upon [the ship's] return to England, Stanfield Parkinson, Sydney's brother, claimed all the drawings made by his brother in his spare hours, as well as journals and collections, under a will made before Sydney Parkinson left England. Following the dispute, his writings were lent to Stanfield Parkinson, who transcribed them and prepared them for publication, but an injunction was obtained in chancery to restrain him from publishing until after the appearance of Dr. John Hawkesworth's official account of the voyage. Hawkesworth also retaliated by excluding mention of Parkinson's name from his compilation… and Parkinson's name did not appear on any of the plates taken from his drawings" (Hill 1308). "The famous preface, although signed by Stanfield Parkinson, was penned by a ghost-writer, William Kenrick." First issue, without Fothergill's reply and extra preliminary half-sheet. Mitchell Library 712. Hill 1308. Cox I, 58. Holmes 7. Howgego, 255. Kroepelien 944. Sabin 58787. See Streeter 2406. Bookplate of businessman and explorer Steve Fossett. The first person to fly solo nonstop around the world in a balloon, his bookplate depicts a hot air balloon.
Text and plates clean and fine, minor rubbing to corners only. A fine, wide-margined copy in nicely rebacked contemporary marbled boards.