London: Printed for G.G.J. and J. Robinson, 1785. Two volumes bound in one. xxviii,368pp. plus frontispiece, two plates, and folding map; viii,350 [i.e., 354],pp. plus seven plates. Quarto. Contemporary calf, elaborately gilt on spine and boards, rebacked, with original spine laid down. Minor rubbing. 19th-century bookplate and modern bookplate on front endpapers. Minor marginal repair to gutter of titlepage, spotting to first few leaves, one small repair to verso of folding map, occasional foxing, including to plates, but mostly internally clean. Very good. Item #WRCAM54746
The scarce first edition in English of Sparrman's account of Cook's second voyage, translated from the original Swedish by Georg Forester. Sparrman, a zoologist from the University of Uppsala, was at the Cape when Cook's second expedition arrived there, and from 1772 to 1775 he accompanied that party on its famous reconnaisance of the South Pacific. He gives an account of this in the first volume. Most of the book is devoted to his experiences in Africa in 1772, 1775 and 1776. "The author relates many incidents illustrating the hospitality of the Dutch farmers and their dense ignorance of matters outside their own country, and he makes allusions to the cruelty of the treatment of the slaves by the lower classes of the colonists. He frequently draws attention to the inaccuracies to be met with in [Peter] Kolbe[n]'s account of the Cape, and throws considerable doubt on the veracity of many of his statements" - Mendelssohn. This copy bears the bookplate of the English politician and banker Abraham Wildey Robarts (1779-1858) a director of the East India Company. An important work of natural history and South African material, as well as an interesting account of the second Cook expedition. HILL 1615. TAXONOMIC LITERATURE 12530. CONRAD, p.14. MENDELSSOHN II, 414. RENARD 1516. ROSOVE 316.A1, "Scarce." SPENCE 1146.