Captain James Burney (1750-1821), the son of the musicologist Dr Charles Burney and brother of the novelist Fanny Burney, was a well-travelled sailor, best known for this monumental compilation of voyages of discovery in the Pacific Ocean. After joining the navy in 1764, he sailed on Cook's second voyage between 1772 and 1774, and was also present on the ill-fated third voyage. He retired from the navy in 1784 and turned to writing works on exploration. These volumes, published between 1803 and 1817, and regarded as the standard work on the subject for much of the nineteenth century, contain collected accounts of European voyages of discovery in the Pacific Ocean between 1492 and 1764. Burney provides summaries of Spanish, Dutch and English accounts, which include descriptions of voyages to China, Micronesia and Australia. Volume 5 covers voyages between 1724 and 1764, including Commodore George Aston's circumnavigation.