Sydney PARKINSON (1745-1771)
A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, In His Majesty's Ship The Endeavour... To which is now added, remarks on the preface, by the late John Fothergill... and an appendix containing an account of the voyages of Commodore Byron [etc.] London: for Charles Dilly and James Phillips, 1784. Large 4° (347 x 270mm.). Engraved portrait frontispiece, 2 engraved maps (1 double-page), 26 engraved plates after Parkinson (1 handcoloured). (Lacking the four separately numbered pages including a transcript of a letter from Parkinson dated 16 October 1770, light browning to about four plates.) Contemporary calf, covers with double-fillet border, spine in six compartments with raised bands, lettered in the second, the others with repeat decoration of a centrally-placed simple flower-head tool, marbled endpapers and edges (neat repairs to joints and head and foot of spine).
THE SECOND EDITION, 'WHICH IS CONSIDERED THE BEST... ALTHOUGH LESS RARE THAN THE FIRST' (Hill). 'Parkinson was engaged by Sir Joseph Banks to accompany him and Captain Cook in the Endeavour to the South Seas, as natural history draughtman. He made numerous drawings of botanical and other subjects, including landscapes and portraits of native chiefs. After exploring Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, and the Great Barrier Reef, the expedition reached Batavia. On leaving for the Cape of Good Hope, Parkinson succumbed to fever and dysentery and was buried at sea. Banks spoke highly of his "unbounded 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. Upon Banks' 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... to restrain him from publishing until after the appearance of Dr. John Hawkesworth's official account... [The present work] is a reissue of the 1773 [first] edition. Dr. Fothergill, a friend of the Parkinsons, bought the remainder of that edition and enlarged it with his remarks and a four-page supplement [not present in this copy] which sought to justify in some way Stanfield Parkinson's dispute with Jospeh Banks... The appendix, containing other voyages, almost doubled the size of this edition' (Hill pp.224-225). Hill p.224; cf. Hocken p.12; Mitchell 713.