The Resolution Journal of Johann Reinhold Forster 1772-1775

  • $100.00
    Unit price per 

Author: Forster, John Reinhold (1729 –1798)

Year: 1982

Publisher: Hakluyt Society

Place: London


4 Volumes: xvii+182 pages with frontispiece, 5 plates (some folding) and 1 folding map: viii+183-370 pages with 8 plates and 5 maps; vii+371-553 pages with 9 plates and 5 maps; vii+555-831 pages with 9 plates, 6 maps, appendixes and index. Octavo (8 3/4" x 5 1/2") issued in blue cloth with gilt lettering to spine and gilt sailing ship to front cover. Edited by Michaelk E Hoare. Second Series, volumes 152-155 and 139. First edition.

Overshadowed for nearly two hundred years in European scholarship by the literary and scientific achievements and reputation of his eldest son George Forster, the author of this journal, J R Forster, Principal naturalist on James Cook's second voyage, was nevertheless recognized by many contemporaries as one of the 'universal geniuses' of the late eighteenth century. Despite Forster's diverse, prodigious and sometimes brilliant output, the constant circumstances of his career and personality were such that his work was dogged by debilitating disputes and vendettas, with the result that those many longer, more epoch-making and polished works, which would have established him as the leading pioneering comparative anthropologist, linguist, geographer and zoologist of the Pacific, and a most competent student in those disciplines of Africa, North America and Europe (especially Russia) have remained only as obscure and seldom-used manuscripts. After Forster's death in 1798 his books and manuscripts - 'there has never been ... a private library in Germany to compare with it...' wrote the royal Librarian in Berlin - were sold to the royal Library of the King of Prussia (later the Prussian State Library). Among the numerous Forster 'treasurers' deposited in Berlin as his six volume journal in the Resolution. As the journal o a highly literate landsman-at-sea it offers many new typically unrestrained insights into the day-to-day relationships, life and thinking and theory-testing on this, the most scientific and epic of Cook's three voyages. It is also the fundament upon which George Forster wrote his classic travelogue A Voyage round the World (1777), that humane influence - in many translations - upon science and belles-lettres. It is, too, the key to the science and anthropology of this voyage, the central document to understanding the naturalists' day-to-day work and finds. Set alongside the journals of Cook and his other principals - which it often surpasses intellectually and empirically - anthropologists, ethnolinguists, geographers, geologists, botanists, zoologists (especially ornithologists) and medical and literary historians, as well as students of James Cook and the eighteenth century mind, will find much new observation and theory. For the two Forsters fashioned forces to influence Alexander von Humboldt and foretell Charles Darwin.


Jackets with light edge wear, spine ends rubbed else very good in like jacket.

We Also Recommend