The first crossing of the Antarctic Circle

A Voyage Towards the South Pole, and Round the World. Performed in His Majesty's Ships the Resolution and Adventure, In the Years 1772, 1773, 1774, and 1775 ... In which is included, Captain Furneaux's Narrative of his Proceedings in the Adventure during the Separation of the Ships.

London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1777.

Price: $5,500.00


About the item

Second edition. Engraved frontispiece portrait of Captain Cook, 48 engraved plates (including 25 folding), 14 engraved maps (including 6 folding) and 1 folding letterpress table, after drawings made by W. Hodges during the voyage. xl, 378; [8], 396 pp. 2 vols. 4to. The first crossing of the Antarctic Circle. Contemporary marbled calf, rebacked to style. Front hinge of volume 1 starting, minor wear to edges and corners, margins of a few plates trimmed close as usual, occasional foxing but a clean and attractive set overall. Hill 358; Spence 314; Holmes 24; Mendelssohn I, p. 377; PMM 223.

Item #316491

The account of Cook's first voyage was edited by John Hawkesworth and his third was entrusted to John King. As such, this second voyage was the only work which Cook had total control over and is the only one to appear in Printing and the Mind of Man: "The world was given for the first time an essentially complete knowledge of the Pacific Ocean and Australia, and Cook proved once and for all that there was no great southern continent, as had always been believed. He also suggested the existence of Antarctic land in the southern ice ring, a fact which was not proved until the explorations of the 19th century."

Hill explains in greater detail: "The men of this expedition became the first to cross the Antarctic Circle. Further visits were made to New Zealand, and on two great sweeps Cook made an astonishing series of discoveries and rediscoveries including Easter Island, the Marquesas, Tahiti and the Society Islands, Niue, the Tonga Islands, the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, [and] Norfolk Island ... 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 in addition to the aforementioned discoveries."