4to (265 x 215 mm); pp. xxviii, 476, with five maps and one plate, all folding; minor marginal repair on 2L2, not affecting text; near contemporary half-calf, slightly rubbed, but a very good copy; provenance: P.R. Sandwell (collector of works on the Pacific, bookplate on upper pastedown; his sale, Christie’s London, 21 September 2005, lot 21).
US $6850 €6522
First English edition. The first French circumnavigation, undertaken by Bougainville, who had instructions to hand over the Falkland Island, which he had colonised in 1764, to Spain (currently France’s ally), and then to proceed towards China via the Straits of Magellan and the South Sea, investigating the islands or continent lying between the Indies and the western seaboard of America (cf. John Dunmore, French Explorers in the Pacific (Oxford: 1965), I, p. 67). Unaware of Wallis’s visit less than a year before, Bougainville claimed possession of Tahiti, and then reached the New Hebrides archipelago and ‘La Austrialia del Espíritu Santo’, which had been discovered by Quiros in 1606 and was believed to be part of the supposed Southern Continent. The only way to determine this, Bougainville resolved, was to sail westward a further 350 leagues in the hope of sighting the eastern coast of New Holland. ‘This he did, only to be impeded by the Great Barrier Reef and, although several of his crew claimed to have sighted land, this was not confirmed and the ships were headed to the N. Nevertheless, Bougainville concluded that he was close to some extensive land and, in running westwards from Espíritu Santo, he had dared to face the risk of the legendary lee-shore of New Holland and New Guinea, even though prudence, shortage of food and the condition of his vessels would have justified his heading northwards at an earlier date’ (Colin Jack-Hinton, The Search for the Islands of Solomon (Oxford: 1969), p. 256); G.A. Wood, The Discovery of Australia (London: 1922) observes that had Bougainville persevered ‘he would have come to the Australian coast near Cooktown, and would, likely enough, have been wrecked where Cook was wrecked two years later’ (pp. 369-379).
Hill comments that the translator of the text may have been Georg (rather than Johann Reinhold) Forster, and that Johann Reinhold Forster was the author of the preface, dedication, and footnotes. Both father and son accompanied Cook on his second voyage, which set off later in 1772, and presumably a copy of this translation travelled with the expedition; certainly, Cook’s journals refer to Bougainville’s work in this translation. For example, on 17 January 1773, Cook referred to a description of ‘the penguin of the first class’ on p. 64 of A Voyage: ‘[i]t appears by M. Bougainville[’]s account of the Animals of Falkland Islands that this Penguin is there and seems to be very well described under the name of first class of Penguins, P.64’ (Beaglehole (ed.), The Journals of Captain James Cook, II, p. 622). The Critical Review praised its ‘judicious annotation, with the exactness and elegance of the charts’, which rendered this translation ‘superior to the original’ of 1771; however, this opinion may have been written by Forster himself (see Michael Hoare, The Tactless Philosopher. Johann Reinhold Forster (Melbourne: 1976), p. 68).
Duviols p. 474; Hill 165; Kroepelien 113; O’Reilly & Reitman 285; Sabin 6869.
You may also be interested in...
TAVERNIER, Jean Baptiste.
Recüeil de plusieurs relations et traitez singuliers et curieux . . . qui n’ont point esté mis dans ses six premiers voyages. Divisé en cinq paties [sic]. I. Une relation du Japon, et de la cause de la persecution des Chrestiens dans ses isles: avec la carte du païs. II. Relation de ce qui s’est passé dans la negociation des deputez qui ont esté en Perse et aux Indes, tant de la part du roy, que de la Compagnie Françoise, pour l’establissement du commerce. III. Observations sur le commerce des Indes Orientales, et sur les frauds qui s’y peuvent commetre. IV. Relation nouvelle et singuliere du royaume de Tunquin: avec plusieurs figures et la carte du païs. V. Histoire de la conduite des Hollandois en Asie.
First edition, separately published, of the third part of Tavernier’s celebrated collection of voyages. The first two parts, Les six voyages, had appeared in 1676 and were also reissued in 1679.
A journal of transactions and events, during a residence of nearly sixteen years on the coast of Labrador; containing many interesting particulars, both of the country and its inhabitants, not hitherto known. Illustrated with proper charts.
First edition. Cartwright, formerly a major in the British army, made six expeditions to Newfoundland and Labrador between 1770 and 1786. His Journal ‘is, among other things, a detailed seasonal record of the exploitation of coastal resources by one who combined keen entrepreneurial interests with an inextinguishable zest for the chase which made him nature’s nemesis; a finely observed record of natural history and meteorology; and, above all, testimony to a persistent, curious, and resourceful mind. In his relations with the native peoples of Labrador, especially the Inuit, Cartwright displayed an honesty which led to mutual trust. In 1772 he took a family of five Inuit to England, where they created considerable interest, meeting with the king, members of the Royal Society including Joseph Banks, and James Boswell, who reported to a sceptical Samuel Johnson his ability to communicate with them by sign language. The poet Robert Southey, who had met Cartwright in 1791, recorded in his Common-place book: “I read his book in 1793 . . . . This man had strength and perseverance charactered in every muscle . . . . The annals of his campaigns among the foxes and beavers interested me far more than ever did the exploits of Marlbro’ or Frederic; besides, I saw plain truth and the heart in Cartwright’s book – and in what history could I look for this? Coleridge took up a volume one day and was delighted with its strange simplicity”. What has only recently been properly recognized, however, is the interest of Cartwright not only in the Inuit language and its study, but also in making himself a glossarist of 18th-century Newfoundland English; and he was a close student of and perhaps contributor to the work of such scientific contemporaries as Banks, Thomas Pennant, and Daniel Carl Solander’ (Dictionary of Canadian Biography).