27 September 2006
SYDNEY PARKINSON (1745-1771)
A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in his Majesty's Ship, The Endeavour, edited by Stanfield Parkinson. London: Stanfield Parkinson, 1773. 4° (336 x 250mm). Frontispiece portrait of Sydney Parkinson and 27 engraved plates, 26 after drawings by the author, errata leaf at end. (Some offsetting mainly from plates, occasional light spotting and browning, spot of glue with paper fibres stuck to plate IV.) Contemporary half calf over marbled boards, modern pigskin spine (a little rubbed, rebacked, spine, upper joint and hinges splitting). Provenance: Edwin T. Cato (bookplate on upper pastedown).
FIRST EDITION OF A CONTROVERSIAL PUBLICATION by the young natural history artist who sailed on James Cook's first circumnavigation, 1768-1771, and who died on the homeward voyage. His brother Stanfield battled against Sir Joseph Banks, the Admiralty and Sir John Hawkesworth to publish this journal and a selection of Sydney's outstanding drawings which he finally received back from Banks. The Preface by William Kendrick recounts the publishing difficulties. As completed by his brother, Parkinson's journal remains the finest personal account of Cook's first voyage and gives a more intimate portrait of the newly discovered islands, people and languages than either Hawkesworth's account or Banks's own journal. Hill 1308; Beddie 712.
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