The world in paper and ink... Books of Darwin and Captain Cook's journeys to sell

Later this month, Bloomsbury Auctions will be offering a typically impressive selection of texts at their Important Books and Manuscripts auction in London. A full 311 lots will be going under the hammer.

Two of the most intriguing books on offer will relate to very famous and much studied expeditions:

The first is a complete set of works relating to the three voyages undertaken by Captain James Cook, which should make an excellent investment.

This comprises John Hawkesworth's An Account of the Voyages undertaken…for Making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere - the first edition in three volumes.

Collection of books relating to James Cook's exploration
Collection of books relating to James Cook's exploration

There is also A Voyage towards the South Pole, and around the World in first edition, with an engraved portrait and 63 plates and charts, and for the third voyage a work by Cook himself and Captain James King: A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean…for making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere, (first edition in four volumes).

The other work is a first edition copy of the Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of HMS Adventure and Beagle. Written by several authors, the standout name is of course Charles Darwin. The experience on board the Beagle triggered his ideas of evolution by natural selection, and the book gives an intriguing view in presenting Darwin's thinking at the time, before the Origin of the Species was conceived of.

Each lot is expected to sell for £10,000-15,000 (up to $24,300) in Bloomsbury's auction takes place on May 26.

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