An Account of the Voyages Undertaken by the Order of His Present Majesty for Making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere: Volume 1

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A bestseller in its day, this three-volume work vividly recounts significant voyages made by Britain's leading navigators. A prominent figure in London cultural life, John Hawkesworth (c.1720-73) was commissioned by the Admiralty to compile, from the captains' journals, the official record of voyages which included James Cook's first journey to the South Pacific. Reissued here is the Dublin edition based on the first printing of 1773; a second edition appeared later in the year. Critical opinion was fierce, however, with Hawkesworth accused of impiety, manipulating the original texts and promoting the sexual freedoms of Pacific islanders. Devastated by these attacks, he died the same year. Later taken aboard the Beagle with Darwin, the work still speaks to scholars and students of nautical exploration. Volume 1 includes accounts of voyages by John Byron, Philip Carteret and Samuel Wallis - notably the latter's discovery of Tahiti.