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Watercolour of Buckingham House's East Library
The Libraries of George III

George III was a keen bibliophile


A voyage round the world in His Britannic Majesty's sloop, Resolution, commanded by Capt. James Cook during the years 1772–5, vol. I


RCIN 1141410

James Cook’s second voyage cemented his reputation as a navigator. Although the Endeavour voyage of 1769-71 confirmed that New Zealand was an archipelago and charted the east coast of Australia, some members of the Royal Society still believed in the existence of a Terra Australis Incognita, an unknown southern continent. Cook was commanded to find this continent in a new expedition with the ships HMS Resolution and HMS Adventure. After venturing further south than an expedition had done before, crossing the Antarctic Circle three times and making several sweeps of the Pacific Ocean, Cook proved beyond doubt that the fabled landmass did not exist.

This is a copy of the observations made by Georg Adam Forster, a German scientist who accompanied the voyage. The observations made by Forster were invaluable to eighteenth-century understanding of Pacific Islander life, as well as the botany and geography of this mostly unknown region.

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