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Narrative of the Surveying Voyage of H.M.S. Fly, commanded by Captain F.P. Blackwood, R.N. in Torres Strait, New Guinea, and other islands of the Eastern Archipelago...
London: T. & W. Boone, 1847. Two volumes, octavo, two folding maps and 19 plates, three line-engraved views, and four natural history plates, textual illustrations, with various publisher's advertisements including for Leichhardt & Stokes; a very attractive set in the original and unfaded blue-grey blind-stamped cloth. First edition: a very good copy, its original binding in fine condition, of this important surveying voyage of coastal Australia. Jukes' account is particularly important for his description of the Queensland coast, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Torres Strait, and includes an impressively detailed map of the north-east coast from Endeavour River north to New Guinea.The Fly, Captain Blackwood, sailed from Falmouth on 11 April 1842 with the cutter Bramble. Jukes sailed as naturalist to the expedition, and with his captain's consent wrote the official narrative. The survey of Torres Strait and of the Great Barrier Reef, as well as the various New Guinea explorations, were all of great importance. The proper scientific understanding of the Barrier Reef could not begin until the completion of the survey, which Jukes charted for the first time in detail. Jukes' own close examination of the Reef was also significant, and his chapter on the subject 'is an invaluable record. His observations strongly supported Darwin's theory of the formation of coral reefs... ' (Davidson). Indeed, Jukes' interest in coral formation is neatly summarised by the account's terrific opening line, 'I landed for the first time in my life on a coral island.'Ingleton notes: 'the Admiralty decided in 1841 to have the Great Barrier Reefs explored and to have the gaps surveyed in order that some means might be devised for marking the most eligible of these openings, in order that they could be recognised in due time and passed through in comparative safety... The expedition was noteworthy for being the first to be despatched to Australia on a purely surveying mission... ' (Charting a Continent, pp. 61-66).Twelve of the plates are notably fine aquatints by Harden S. Melville, who published his own illustrated work on the voyage (Sketches in Australia and the Adjacent Islands, 1849). Some very light spotting but a fine copy.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House]
Last Found On: 2016-11-25           Check availability:      Direct From Bookseller    


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