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Captain Cook's Voyages Round the World

Date: 1843
Overall: 4 x 221 x 144 mm, 0.15 kg
Medium: Ink on paper, cloth covered boards
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Book
Object No: 00005990

User Terms

    This book, titled 'Captain Cook's Voyages Round the World' was published in London in 1843. Although its author is unknown, the text is a colourful collection of scenes from the life of one of the most renowned navigators - Captain James Cook. This edition was a promotional book designed to advertise a 1843 edition of Cook's voyages and contains just eight specimen pages of text and twelve pages of plates of illustrations/engravings.

    SignificanceA collection of scenes from the life of Cook intended to promote the 1843 edition of Cook's voyages (Beddie145).
    It's an indication of the power of the Cook myth that as late as the 1840's editions of the voyages were still being
    published, albeit now in a much less glamorous way. This 'salesman's dummy' is a promotion for a book and a fascinating insight into how Cook was marketed.
    HistoryTravel literature, including voyage narratives were a popular form of writing throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Captain James Cook and his three voyages has remained a source of inspiration and discussion for centuries after his death.
    This 'salesman's dummy' edition is a reduced version of the complete book but relies heavily on illustrations to appeal to potential buyers. The opening paragraph reads:
    "Voyages may be considered as one of the great sources of useful and interesting knowledge. They offer an ample field for the attention of our readers, and afford a rich of pleasure to those who delight in spending their leisure hours in rational enjoyment".

    James Cook (1728-1779) was born in Yorkshire, England, son of a Scottish labourer and his Yorkshire wife. After an apprenticeship on a Baltic trade ship, in 1755 he joined the British Navy, serving as a Ship's Master in the Seven Years War in Canada and Newfoundland. Cook gained notice through his remarkable survey and chart making abilities and was appointed Surveyor of Newfoundland (1763-1767).

    In 1768, he was promoted to Lieutenant and given command of HMS ENDEAVOUR expedition to observe a Transit of Venus and prove or disprove the existence of a southern continent. On this first voyage of exploration (1769-1771), Cook's list of achievements included surveying New Zealand and the eastern coast of Australia.

    In 1772, Cook was made commander of another expedition to the Pacific region to scour the southern latitudes and finally lay to rest the mystery of the Great South Land. Cook captained HMS RESOLUTION with Tobias Furneaux in HMS ADVENTURE, in his second voyage (1772-1775). The ships circumnavigated the globe in the high southern latitudes finally disproving the existence of a southern continent. The expedition visited several Pacific Island groups and brought a Tahitian, O'Mai, back to England.

    Cook, now Post-Captain, commenced his third and final voyage with HMS RESOLUTION and HMS DISCOVERY in 1776, searching for a Northwest Passage and returning O'Mai to Tahiti. After exploring the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) and the Alaskan coastline, the expedition returned to Hawaii in November 1778. Here Cook was killed in a confrontation with the Hawaiians. The expedition returned to England in October 1780 and James Cook was widely mourned as the greatest navigator of his age.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Captain Cook's Voyages Round the World


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