Item #310845 The Life of Captain James Cook. Captain James Cook, Andrew Kippis.
The Life of Captain James Cook
The Life of Captain James Cook


The Life of Captain James Cook.

London: Printed for G. Nicol and G. G. J. and J. Robinson, 1788.

First edition. Frontispiece portrait. xvi, 527, [1] pp. 1 vols. 4to. FIRST BIOGRAPHY OF COOK. Contemporary speckled calf boards with later morocco spine. Light foxing and offsetting to frontispiece, some toning and scattered foxing, but a clean copy overall Hill 935; Sabin 37954; Beddie 32; Holmes 69; Kroepelien, 647; Lada-Mocarski 40; Howes K179, "aa."; Forbes 149. Provenance: John Thornhill (armorial bookplate); The Beaufoy Library (bookplate). Item #310845

The first edition of this highly influential first English biography of Cook by the Anglican clergyman Kippis, one of the leading biographers of his day. In addition to describing the three great voyages in depth, Kippis also deals with Cook's earlier experiences, including his duties aboard the Mercury during the siege of Quebec, and his Newfoundland and Labrador surveys. Most of Samwell's narrative of Cook's death is included as well.
While Kippis did not appear to be entirely insensitive to the long-term effects of European contact with Pacific peoples, he championed Cook's humanitarian, cultural and intellectual mission in the circumnavigation of the globe. In a study of European exploration of the Pacific, Lynne Withey concluded that this volume by Kippis became a prominent justification for the involvement of Europeans in the Pacific islands for years after Cook's death (Withey 406-407).
The second appendix includes "The Moral, an Ode," by the British poet, novelist, and religious dissenter Helen Maria Williams, an old family friend of Kippis.

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