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

By Georg Forster

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14 Whether I have succeeded or failed in the attempt, remains to be decided; but the rectitude of the intention cannot, I trust, be misconstrued. I have sometimes obeyed the powerful dictates of my heart, and given voice to my feelings; for, as I do not pretend to be free from the weaknesses common to my fellow creatures, it was necessary for every reader to know the colour of the glass through which I looked. Of this at least I am certain, that a gloomy livid tinge hath never clouded my sight.

Another narrative of this circumnavigation, is said to have been written by captain James Cook of His Majesty’s Royal Navy, under whose command it was performed. 7 At first sight it may seem superfluous to offer two relations of this voyage to the world; but when we consider them as narratives of interesting facts, it must be allowed that the latter will be placed in a stronger light, by being related by different persons. Our occupations when in harbour were widely different; whilst captain Cook was employed in victualling or refitting the ship, I went in quest of the manifold objects which Nature had scattered throughout the land.

Johann Reinhold Forster was anxious to have the book rapidly translated; he failed to negotiate a French edition but did reach an agreement with Spener in Berlin; George began the translation, assisted by the literary rogue and creator of the Baron Münchhausen stories, R. E. Raspe, before the English text was finished, though the first volume did not appear in German until 1778, and the second only in 1780. 14 We take up the question of the book’s reception in the last section of this introduction.

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