VANCOUVER, George (1757-1798). A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, and Round the World; in which the coast of North-west America has been carefully examined and accurately surveyed ... and performed in the years 1790, 1791, 1792, 1793, 1794, and 1795. London: Printed for G.G. and J. Robinson and J. Edwards, 1798.
3 text volumes, 4o (302 x 234 mm) and atlas folio (547 x 430 mm). Half-titles in text volumes. 34 engraved plates and maps, comprising: 18 engraved plates after W. Alexander by J. Landseer, J. Fittler et al in text volumes; atlas with 16 engraved maps and charts, 10 folding. (Some spotting and offsetting from plates to text, mostly to the sheet edges, other occasional spotting.) Text volumes bound in contemporary blind-decorated calf, edges gilt (rebacked); atlas in matching half calf, marbled boards (slightly rubbed). Provenance: Richard Henry Tidswell (armorial bookplate).
FIRST EDITION OF ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT GEOGRAPHICAL SURVEYS EVER UNDERTAKEN. Vancouver's Voyage ranks among the most important in exploration literature. Vancouver had served on Captain Cook's second and third voyages and was made commander of a large-scale expedition to reestablish British rights. The Nootka Convention established that the expedition would examine and chart the coast south to 60o in search of a passage to the Atlantic. "This voyage became one of the most important ever made in the interests of geographical knowledge" (Hill). Beginning from England in 1791 and sailing round Australia, Vancouver discovered King George's Sound and Cape Hood. In three seasons, Vancouver surveyed the coast of California, visited San Francisco and San Diego, met with the Spanish at Nootka, investigated the Strait of Juan de Fuca, discovered the Strait of Georgia, circumnavigated Vancouver Island and disproved the existence of a passage between the Pacific and Hudson's Bay. Vancouver died en route. The present work was published by his brother John with the assistance of Captain Peter Puget. "This is one of the most important voyages for the history and the cartography of the northwest coast in general and of Alaska in particular" (Lada-Mocarski). Hill pp.303-4; Howes V23; Lada-Mocarski 55; Lande 1495; NMM 142; Sabin 98443; Staton & Tremaine/TPL 688; Wagner, vol I, pp.239-50. (4)