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A Chronological History of the Discoveries in the South Sea or Pacific Ocean
London: Printed by Luke Hansard... and Sold by G. and A. Nicol, booksellers to His Majesty, 1803-, 1817. some browning and staining but in generally good internal condition,. Five volumes, quarto, with 28 engraved maps (18 of them folding), 13 plates (one folding) and six text woodcuts; in half calf with marbled boards; a very good sound set. First edition of 'the most important general history of early South Sea discoveries containing practically everything of importance on the subject' (Hill); Burney's great compilation 'must always form the basis of historical research for early voyages and discoveries throughout the Pacific' (Hocken). The collection covers more than 250 years of Pacific exploration prior to that of Cook, including Spanish, Dutch, French and English voyages, with a general 'History of the Buccaneers of America', and concludes with Bougainville's voyage to Tahiti.Burney, who sailed with Cook as lieutenant during the last two voyages, received encouragement from Sir Joseph Banks (to whom the work is dedicated) and enjoyed free access both to Banks's magnificent library of books and manuscripts, and to Dalrymple's collection of scarcer Spanish books. Whenever possible, he relied on manuscript accounts, generally comparing them with printed narratives for purposes of style. The collection contains much that is nowhere else accessible, and will always remain one of the chief authorities for the history of the geographical exploration and discovery of the Pacific.Burney himself explains (in volume 5) that 'the termination of this present work is adapted to the commencement of voyages in another collection [i.e. that of Hawkesworth], which with the addition of M. de Bougainville's voyage round the world, follow as an immediate sequel, without any chasm being left, to the Discoveries here related...'. This is therefore the essential precursor to the series of voyage publications, starting with Wallis, Carteret, and Cook, that began the new age of discovery.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2016-01-11           Check availability:      Biblio    

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