Book Description


Folio (380 x 247mm), pp. [i]-viii. 58 maps numbered I to LVIII, 21 folding including one large world map, all loose as issued. (Some marginal creasing of text ll. and maps, one map with short marginal tears, without the paper band around the text and maps, without the loosely-inserted corrigenda found in some copies.) Original blue buckram portfolio, upper board blocked in gilt with portrait bust of Cook, spine lettered in gilt. (Extremities slightly rubbed and scuffed, some light marking which is heavier on the lower board.) A very good copy. Provenance: Nottingham High School (small inkstamp on pastedown of upper board with manuscript date 4 January 1988, trace of paper label on upper pastedown; sold on their behalf).
Dealer Notes
First edition. This portfolio was produced by the Hakluyt Society to accompany the magisterial edition of Cook’s Journals by John Cawte Beaglehole (1901-1971), which has long been accepted as the standard and authoritative text. The portfolio contains 58 facsimile charts and views, many folding, which were drawn by Cook – one of the most highly regarded hydrographic surveyors of his era – William Bligh, James Burney, Joseph Gilbert, Henry Roberts, and others, during the course of Cook’s three pacific voyages in 1768-1771, 1772-1775, and 1776-1779. They are accompanied by a letterpress fascicule, which includes an annotated list of the maps and a ‘Note on Chart XI’ by Beaglehole.

The final map is a large folding facsimile of ‘A General Chart Exhibiting the Discoveries Made by Captn James Cook in this and his Two Previous Voyages; with the Tracks of the Ships under his Command’, which ‘was begun by Roberts under Cook’s direction on board the Resolution, as he relates in a letter dated 18 May 1784[…]: “Soon after our departure from England, I was instructed by Captain Cook to complete a map of the world as a general chart, from the best materials he was in possession of for that purpose; and before his death this business was in a great measure accomplished: That is, the grand outline of the whole was arranged, leaving only those parts vacant or unfinished, which he expected to fall in with and explore. But on our return home, when the fruits of our voyage were ordered by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to be published, the care of the general chart being consigned to me, I was directed to prepare it from the latest and best authorities; and also to introduce Captain Cook’s three successive tracks … [After enumerating various authorities used in compilation, he adds:] Every other part of the chart … is as originally placed by Captain Cook”’ (p. viii).

Charts & Views Drawn by Cook and his Officers was edited by the distinguished cartographical historian R.A. Skelton (1906-1970), whose stewardship of the British Museum’s Map Room transformed it into a ‘cartographical laboratory-library which was in the end without equal’ (ODNB). Skelton was also the Secretary of the Hakluyt Society from 1946 to 1966 (and a member of its Council until his death), in which capacity his ‘special contribution was in enabling J.C. Beaglehole to complete his classic edition of James Cook’s journals, mobilizing subsidies and helpers, selecting a portfolio of charts […], and adding sections of his own on each of the three voyages’ (op. cit.). A second edition of Charts & Views Drawn by Cook and his Officers was published by the Hakluyt Society in 1969.

Compassing the Vaste Globe of the Earth, Extra 34b; NMM I.593b; Rosove 79-1.A1 (‘Scarce’).
Author COOK, Captain James – Peter Raleigh Ashlin SKELTON (editor)
Date 1955
Publisher Cambridge: printed by Robert MacLehose and Company Limited at the University Press, Glasgow and ‘Published for the Hakluyt Society at the University Press’

Price: £95.00

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