The Three Voyages of Captain James Cook Round the World. - Captain James Cook 1821 - Longman, London A handsomely bound seven volume set of all of Cook’s three voyages. Illustrated with twenty five striking aquatint plates, including frontispieces in each volume, large folding map, and a table.

‘The famous accounts of Captain Cook’s three voyages form the basis for any collection of Pacific books. In three great voyages Cook did more to clarify the geographical knowledge of the southern hemisphere than all his predecessors had done together. He was really the first scientific navigator and his voyages made great contributions to many fields of knowledge’. [Hill]

On his first voyage, 25 August 1768 to 12 July 1771, Cook circumnavigated New Zealand and for the first time explored the east coast of Australia, of which he took possession for Great Britain; he also sailed through the straits separating New Guinea and Australia. On the second, and historically most important, voyage (13 July 1772 to 30 July 1775) he began by cruising as far south as possible around the edge of the antarctic ice. He again visited New Zealand and, cruising through the Pacific, discovered, or explored again, many of the islands, in particular New Caledonia, Palmerston and Norfolk Islands, Easter Island, the Marquesas, New Hebrides, Tonga, the South Sandwich Islands and South Georgia. The third voyage (11 July 1776 to 4 October 1780) was undertaken to find the North-West Passage from Europe to the East. After again visiting Tasmania, New Zealand and many Pacific Islands, Cook sailed on to North America, discovering on the way the Cook Islands and the Hawaiian group. He charted the North American coast from Oregon as far north as the Bering Strait, where ice turned him back. On the way back the great explorer was killed [in 1779] in a fight with natives in Hawaii.
  The First Voyage (1768-71) - Primarily of a scientific nature. The Endeavour initially sailed to Tahiti to observe the transit of the planet Venus in order to calculate the earth’s distance from the sun. Another purpose was to determine if an inhabitable continent existed in the mid-latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere. Upon leaving Tahiti, Cook named and charted the Society Islands and then continued south-west to New Zealand. His circumnavigation and exploration of that country also resulted in a detailed survey. Cook proceeded to Australia, where he charted the eastern coast for 2,000 miles, naming the area New South Wales. As a result of these surveys, both Australia and New Zealand were annexed by Great Britain. In addition to these explorations, the Endeavour returned to England without a single death from scurvy among its men, an historic feat at the time. The combination of these accomplishments brought Cook prominence, promotion, and the opportunity to lead further expeditions. [UCLA]

The Second Voyage (1772-75) - [The] second expedition to circumnavigate the globe as far south as possible in search of any southern continents. Cook proved there was no “Terra Australis”, which supposedly lay between New Zealand and South America, but became convinced that there must be land beyond the ice fields. The men of this expedition became the first to cross the Antarctic Circle. Further visits were made to New Zealand, and on two sweeps Cook made a series of discoveries including Easter Island, the Marquesas, the Tonga Islands, the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, and a number of smaller islands. Rounding Cape Horn, on the last part of the voyage, Cook discovered and charted South Georgia, after which he called at Cape Town, St. Helena and Ascension, and the Azores. This voyage produced a vast amount of information concerning the Pacific peoples and islands, proved the value of the chronometer as an aid in finding longitude, and improved techniques for preventing scurvy. [UCLA]

The Third Voyage (1776-77) - Organised to seek the Northwest Passage and to return [the islander] Omai to Tahiti. Officers of the crew included William Bligh and George Vancouver. After calling at New Zealand, and several pacific islands, they sailed north and discovered Christmas Island and the Hawaiian Islands. Cook charted the American west coast from Northern California through the Bering Strait as far north as latitude 70 degrees 44 minutes before he was stopped by pack ice. He returned to Hawaii for the winter and was killed in an unhappy skirmish with the natives. Charles Clarke took command and after he died six months later, the ships returned to England under John Gore. Despite hostilities with the United States and France, the scientific nature of this expedition caused the various governments to exempt these vessels from capture. [UCLA].

Printing and the Mind of Man 223. Hill, Pacific Voyages 783, 358, 361, 362. Spence, Antarctic Miscellany, 314. The 'Taurus' Collection - 150 Collectable Books on the Antarctic, 1.

Eight volumes. pp. [2] xii 398 [2]; [2] vii [1] 368 [2]; [2] vii [1] 372 [2]; [2] viii 304; [2] vii [1] 472 [2]; [2] xii 503 [3]; [2] xi [1] 462 [2].
  Handsomely bound in period full tree calf, re-backed with original gilt spines laid down, gilt tooled borders and dentelles, morocco lettering pieces.   Condition: A near fine set, clean and tight, with minor spotting to endpapers, and short tear to map at stub.   Ref: 102001   Price: HK$ 52,000