London: Printed for the Royal Society, 1776. ,44pp. Half title. Small quarto. 20th-century three-quarter calf and marbled boards, gilt label. Leaf C4 (signed C3) a cancel, as usual. Occasional minor foxing, ink stain on p.2. Very good, bound with five other works by Pringle (see below). Item #WRCAM36096
One of the most significant of all the printed works relating to Cook's voyages and their importance. This is the extremely rare first appearance in print of Cook's epoch-making account of the successful measures taken against scurvy on his first two voyages. There were several later versions and translations, but the original edition of this milestone publication has long been acknowledged as a major rarity. The paper on scurvy was read to the Royal Society by its president, Sir John Pringle (in the absence of Cook himself, then just beginning his final voyage), as the year's Copley medal award winner, and immediately published in this form. Pringle's long presentation address, quoting directly from Cook and other sources, is followed by Cook's paper and an extract from a letter by Cook to Pringle written from Plymouth Sound in July 1776. The paper subsequently appeared in the official account of the second voyage and in the PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS of the Royal Society. In 1783 a series of six of Pringle's discourses at the annual presentations of the Copley medal was published in one volume. "In Pringle's discourse on preserving the health of mariners he includes the first printing of Captain Cook's important paper entitled: 'The Method taken for preserving the Health of the Crew of His Majesty's Ship the Resolution during her late Voyage round the World.' In this paper, which Cook communicated to Pringle, President of the Royal Society, Cook describes the supplies carried on the voyage and his maintenance of the cleanliness of his ship and crew. It was included by Pringle in his discourse commemorating Cook's receipt of the Copley medal" - Norman sale. The winning of the battle against scurvy was one of the most important achievements in the general field of exploration. It made possible the major voyages that followed. As Robert Hughes so aptly put it in THE FATAL SHORE, "malt juice and pickled cabbage put Europeans in Australia as microchip circuitry would put Americans on the moon." This copy is very appropriately accompanied by five other Royal Society discourses of the period. A DISCOURSE... is here bound chronologically with five other Pringle first editions: 1) A DISCOURSE ON THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF AIR. 1774. 2) A DISCOURSE ON THE TORPEDO. 1775. 3) A DISCOURSE ON THE ATTRACTION OF MOUNTAINS. 1775. 4) A DISCOURSE ON THE INVENTION AND IMPROVEMENTS OF THE REFLECTING TELESCOPE. 1778. 5) A DISCOURSE ON THE THEORY OF GUNNERY. 1778. The Streeter-Norman copy of the DISCOURSE...FOR PRESERVING THE HEALTH OF MARINERS was also bound with these five additional works by Pringle. STREETER SALE 2410. NORMAN SALE 378. GARRISON-MORTON 2156, 3714. BEDDIE 1290. HOLMES 20. KROEPELIEN 1065.