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1769 Cook Map of the Society Islands

Carte des Isles de la Societe decouvertes parle Lieut. J. Cook. 1769. - Main View

1769 Cook Map of the Society Islands



Carte des Isles de la Societe decouvertes parle Lieut. J. Cook. 1769.
  1769 (dated)     12 x 17.25 in (30.48 x 43.815 cm)


This is a fine example of the first published map of the Society Islands, composed by James Cook on his first voyage. Consists of the islands of Maurua, Tubai, Bolabola, Otaha, Ulietéa and Huaheine. This group was identified by Cook in 1769, when he wrote in his journal, 'So call'd by the Natives and it was not thought advisable to give them any other names but these three together with Huaheine, Tubai, and Maurua as they lay contiguous to one another I have named Society Isles .' Offers considerable detail on each of the island, attempting to show reefs, mountains, valley, topographical features and, occasionally, depth soundings. Engraved by Bernard for the 1774 French edition of John Hawkesworth's Account of the Voyages…, in which this was contained as Plate 1 in Volume III.


Captain James Cook (7 November 1728 - 14 February 1779) is a seminal figure in the history of cartography for which we can offer only a cursory treatment here. Cook began sailing as a teenager in the British Merchant Navy before joining the Royal Navy in 1755. He was posted in America for a time where he worked Samuel Holland, William Bligh, and others in the mapping of the St. Lawrence River and Newfoundland. In 1766 Cook was commissioned to explore the Pacific and given a Captaincy with command of the Endeavour. What followed were three historic voyages of discovery, the highlights of which include the first European contact with eastern Australia, the discovery of the Hawaiian Islands (among many other Polynesian groups), the first circumnavigation of New Zealand, some of the first sightings of Antarctica, the first accurate mapping of the Pacific Northwest, and ultimately his own untimely death at the hands of angry Hawaiians in 1779. The influence of Cook work on the mapping and exploration of the Pacific cannot be understated. More by this mapmaker...

John Hawkesworth (c. 1715 - November 16, 1773) was an English born writer and editor born London. Hawkesworth, who is said to have been self educated, succeeded Samuel Johnson as the parliamentary debate compiler for "Gentleman's Magazine". He was a deeply religious and moral map who brilliant defense of morality earned him an LL. D degree from the Archbishop of Canterbury. Hawkesworth went on to publish a series of scholarly books and essays including a 12 volume edition of Jonathan Swift's work. In 1772 Hawkesworth was commissioned by the Admiralty to compile and edit James Cook's journals. The resultant work An Account of the Voyages undertaken ... for making discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere was one of the first ethnographic account of the South Seas and was widely published in England and abroad. Though highly influential, Hawkesworth's work received heavy criticism from scholars who claim that he liberally altered much of the text in the name of morality. Learn More...


Relation des voyages entrepris par ordre de sa Majesté Britannique actuellement régnante pour faire des découvertes dans l'hémisphère méridional, et successivement exécutés par le commodore Byron, le capitaine Carteret, le capitaine Wallis et le capitaine Cook dans les vaisseaux 'le Dauphin ', 'le Swallow' and 'l'Endeavour'. (1774 first Saillant and Nyon French edition)    


Very good conditon. Original folds. Light transference.