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Very rare first account of the death of Captain Cook

[COOK, James (subject)].
Nachrichten von dem Leben und den Seereisen des berühmten Capitain Cook.
Reval [= Tallinn, Estonia] & Leipzig, Albrecht und Compagnie, 1780.
With: (2) Briefe aus England historisch-statistisch und artistischen Inhalts. 1s Heft.
Reval [= Tallinn, Estonia] & Leipzig, Albrecht und Compagnie, 1780.
2 works in 1 volume. 8vo. With a woodcut ship on the title-page of ad 2 and woodcut headpieces in both works. Contemporary half calf, brown sprinkled paper sides, brown morocco spine label with title in gold. 48; [14], [2 blank] pp.
€ 148,500
Extremely rare German account of Captain Cooks death, published in Tallinn in Estonia, "undoubtedly the first account of Cook's death to be published in book form" (Beddie), together with a letter concerning the 1775 Spanish voyage to the west coast of North America by Bodega y Quadra (1744-1794), also in German, with many references to Cook. The first work opens with a short poem on the death of the English navigator and hydrographer James Cook (1728-1779), who died during a scuffle with the Hawaiian natives on 14 February 1779, after his relations with them had deteriorated. It is followed by a foreword and "a short account of Cook's life, his voyages and his death, with many inaccuracies on his early career" (Beddie), also in German. Much of the information in this small booklet comes from a letter, Auszug des Briefes von Kensington den 4ten Febr. 1780 die Nachrichten von Kapitain Cook betressend.
This letter "includes paraphrases of passages in Captain Charles Clerke's letter to the Admirality, written at Kamchatka on June 8, 1779, announcing the death of Cook at Hawaii" (Forbes). Beyond the books importance as the first published account of Cook's death, it also includes many passing references to the Hawaiian Islands. It ends with a laudatory poem on Cook's death, "An elegy on the death of the late Captain Cook", followed by a German translation.
In addition to the present edition in the original German, Albrecht published a French translation more or less simultaneously: Précis de la vie & des voyages du Capitaine Cook. Écrit de Kensington ce 4 février 1780. The author of this account of Cook's death is uncertain, though it has been attributed to Georg Forster (1754-1794) or Johann Reinhold Forster (1729-1798), German natural scientists who accompanied Cook on his second voyage.
The second work in this volume, by the same publisher in matching format in the same year, is a letter concerning the 1775 voyage to the west coast of North America by the Spanish voyager Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra. It contains many references to the voyages of Cook and is even rarer than the Nachrichten.
Both works on Cook and the Pacific are rare, the Briefe (with only 1 copy in WorldCat) even rarer than the Nachrichten. We have found only one other copy of either in auction record (in fact the two works bound together).
Binding slightly rubbed, especially around the spine and along the extremities. Some leaves slightly browned, some occasional stains, slightly dust-soiled, a small wormhole in the outer margin of pp. 15-26, but overall an extremely rare work in good condition. Ad 1: Beddie 241; Forbes 18; Howgego C176; VD18 11228342; WorldCat (12 copies in 4 entries); cf. Du Rietz 1060 (French & German eds.); not in Hill. Ad 2: WorldCat (1 copy); not in VD18.
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Australia, new zealand & pacific  >  Cartography & Exploration | Pacific Islands
Book history, education, learning & printing  >  Bibliography & Biography
Cartography & exploration  >  Australia, New Zealand & Pacific | Voyages & Travel