London: Printed for John Almon, 1774. 15pp. Quarto. Modern three quarter straight-grained gilt morocco and cloth, gilt, spine richly gilt. Near fine. Item #WRCAM36699
"The third edition" of this popular lyrical satire at the expense of the eminent British naturalist, Sir Joseph Banks. Written in imitation of Ovid, the poem pokes fun at Banks and his purportedly amorous shore leave on Tahiti (Banks had a considerable reputation as a ladies' man). The poem masquerades as an affectionate letter from Queen Oberea of Tahiti, who recollects her encounters with Banks. In the text, which incorporates notes from Hawkesworth's account of Cook's first voyage, Banks is cast as Ulysses and the Queen as Calypso. The true author of the work has been identified as Major John Scott-Waring of the East India Company. The first edition of this poem was published in 1773 and a second letter from the Tahitian Queen appeared in 1774. An early bit of Cook-inspired satire, and quite funny indeed. BEDDIE 3915. KROEPELIEN 1166. O'REILLY & REITMAN 9791. HOLMES 11 (1st ed).