A Voyage Round the World (2-Volume Set) by Georg Forster

By Georg Forster

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Sample text

Neither adjudication goes far toward grasping Polynesian notions of hierarchy and reciprocity; but the contrast between the judgments does indicate, at least, that these Europeans’ engagements with indigenous political forms were rich and ambiguous. The Reception and Influence of the Voyage After A Voyage Round the World was published in London in March of 1777, it was reviewed favorably in most journals, criticized in some, praised in comparison to Cook’s competing account, which came out in May, abridged, pirated, printed in excerpt—in short, everything but sold.

My father received a part of captain Cook’s journal, and drew up several sheets as a specimen; however, as it was soon after thought more expedient to separate the two journals, this plan was not prosecuted. The Right Hon. the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, being desirous of ornamenting the account of the late discoveries with a number of plates, engraved after the drawing of the artist who went on the voyage, generously granted the whole expence of the engraving† in equal shares to captain Cook and my father.

However, as I had been appointed his assistant in the course of this expedition, I thought it incumbent upon me, at least to attempt to write such a narrative. Every consideration prompted me to undertake the task, which it was no longer in his power to perform. 5 I was bound by no agreement whatsoever, and that to which my father had signed, did not make him answerable for my actions, nor in the most distant manner preclude his giving me assistance. Therefore in every important circumstance, I had leave to consult his journals, and have been enabled to draw up my narrative with the most scrupulous attention to historical truth.

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