In checking a rare book dealer's catalogue of offerings recently, I fell upon a wonderful riddle in the Library's copy of the 1783 (second) edition of William Wade Ellis’ An authentic narrative of a voyage performed by Captain Cook and Captain Clerke, in His Majesty's ships Resolution and Discovery… — lurking behind an understated catalogue note that our “SR3 copy …. has an acrostic tipped onto front inside cover”.
Those readers who have stumbled across some of my other Behind the Scenes blog posts may have noticed that I enjoy stories with a focus on music, as well as those with a small mystery to solve. Here’s one which combines both these things.
I recieved an enquiry from a researcher in the UK:
As the National Library’s Cook and His Voyages appeal passes the mid-point to its target, I took the chance to explore some fascinating Cook treasures from the Rex Nan Kivell Collection, displayed in the Treasures Gallery. The appeal closes on 31 March 2017.
Captain Cook's apotheosis
Now the genius of Britain forbids us to grieve,
Since Cook, ever honor’d, immortal shall live.