London: Printed for G.G. and J. Robinson, and J. Edwards, 1798. First edition. Three quarto volumes (11 3/4 x 9 3/8 inches; 299 x 239 mm) plus folio atlas volume (22 x 16 3/4 inches; 560 x 430 mm), collating: , xxix, [1, blank], [2, ads], [4, contents], [2, list of plates], 432; , 504; , 505, [3, errata] pp. Eighteen engraved plates, one of which is a map in the text. Ten folding maps and six plates of profiles in the atlas volume. Complete with half-titles and errata.
Text volumes bound in contemporary brown polished calf with double gilt borders. Spines stamped in blind and lettered in gilt. Gilt board edges and dentelles. Marbled endpapers. All edges marbled. Blue silk place markers. Atlas bound to match in contemporary half calf over marbled boards. Outer hinges as well as heads and tails of spines of text volumes professionally repaired. Some light flaking to calf at outer hinges. Plates with some light foxing and toning. Small marginal repair to leaf Pp of volume III and small corner torn to one plate of volume III, no loss of text or engraving. Atlas with some ink staining to top edge of front board. Some foxing and toning to plates of atlas, mainly to the edges. Overall, an excellent set; tall, clean and complete.
"Vancouver, who had served on Cook's third voyage, was made commander of an expedition whose express purpose was to reclaim wherever possible British rights to the Northwest Coast of America. Vancouver sailed to the Pacific via Australia, where he discovered and charted King George Sound and Cape Hood, passed Van Deiman's Land, and visited New Zealand, Hawaii and the Northwest Coast. During the course of three seasons, he surveyed Alaska and the Northwest Coast, investigated the Strait of Juan de Fuca, discovered the strait of Georgia, and circumnavigated Vancouver Island.. He visited San Francisco, Monterey, and other Spanish settlements in Alta California.” (Graff)
"His voyage is important not only for the magnificent charts and splendid views that accompanied it, but also for the valuable and extensive amount of information that it provided on the Spanish settlements, the Indian tribes, and the physical features of the countries that he visited. It is one of the 'classics' of late eighteenth-century geographical literature." (Howell)
"Of all modern exploring voyages to the Pacific those of Cook, La Perouse and Vancouver were the most important." (Howes)
Cowan, p. 655. Graff 4456. Hill I, p. 303. Howes V23. Sabin 98443. (Item #1779)