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Voyage autour du Monde, par la frégate du roi La Boudeuse, et la flûte l'Etoile; en 1766, 1767, 1768 & 1769
Paris: chez Saillant & Nyon, 1771. Half-title lightly stained, one or two spots and repairs, but an extremely good copy.. Quarto, with twenty engraved charts, mostly folding, and three plates of boats; in a well-preserved contemporary French binding of cat's-paw mottled calf, spine gilt in compartments between raised bands, brown leather label. The first French circumnavigation and the beginning of French exploration of the golden age, and of French involvement in the Pacific. This is the first edition of Bougainville's narrative account of his great voyage; its publication created enormous interest in Europe and was largely responsible for building up the romantic vision of a South Sea paradise where Rousseau's noble savage lived in a state of blissful innocence.Bougainville's expedition passed through the Strait of Magellan in January 1768. After some time looking for the mythical "Davis Land", said to be off the Chilean coast, they started on a direct route across the Pacific. They discovered the Tuamotus, sighted Tahiti in April, then visited Samoa, sailed through Melanesia, sighted the Great Barrier Reef, and passed through the Solomons and New Britain, to Batavia.Bougainville, not knowing of Wallis's stop there a year earlier, thought that he had discovered Tahiti, and his lengthy account of the island group is an interesting counterpart to Wallis's account. The vocabulary of three hundred words that he prints is the first such vocabulary of any Polynesian language to appear.It was only the Great Barrier Reef that prevented Bougainville landing on Australian soil. He had specifically set out to reach "New Holland" by running west from Quiros's "Espiritu Santo", but turned away from the obvious barrier presented by the reef. Had he made it, 'he would have come to the Australian coast near Cooktown, and would, likely enough, have been wrecked where Cook was wrecked two years later?' (Wood).
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2017-06-22           Check availability:      IOBABooks    


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