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A Voyage round the World, performed in the years 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788, by the Boussole and Astrolabe, under the command of J.F.G. de la Pérouse: published by order of the National Assembly, under the superintendence of L.A. Milet-Mureau . Translated from the French
printed by A. Hamilton for G.G. & J. Robinson, J. Edwards and T. Payne, London 1799 - (text: 2 vols., quarto [11 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches]; atlas of plates: 1 vol., folio (18 1/8 x 11 1/2 inches]). Text: 1p. errata at the back of volume II, lacks half-titles; Atlas: engraved allegorical title-page by Heath after J. M. Moreau, engraved portrait frontispiece of La Perouse by Heath, 69 engraved plates and maps (38 plates, 31 maps [including 1 large folding map hand-coloured in outline and 20 double-page]). Without the letterpress list of plates found in some copies. Atlas uncut. Text expertly bound to style in full period russia, the atlas in half russia and period marbled paper covered boards, flat spines tooled and lettered in gilt. The rare first complete edition in English of one "of the finest narratives of maritime exploration ever written" (Howell): an large uncut copy of the atlas complete with the large folding map often wanting. This first edition in English which was the first translation to include the complete text, "is usually considered to be the best one in English, and is now an extremely rare work" (Hill). "La Pérouse's expedition was one of the most important scientific explorations ever undertaken to the Pacific and the west coast of North America . The charge to the expedition [which took place between 1785 and 1788] was to examine such parts of the region as had not been explored by Captain Cook; to seek for an interoceanic passage; to make scientific observations on the various countries, peoples, and products; to obtain reliable information about the fur trade and the extent of Spanish settlements in California; and to promote the inducements for French enterprise in that quarter . La Pérouse and his men did important geographical research . The voyage also included the first foreign scientific group ever to visit Alta California [two of the plates depict a bee-eater and a male and female partridge of California. There are also maps and plans of San Francisco, Monterery, and San Diego] . La Pérouse sent dispatches back to France from Kamchatka and Botany Bay. The two ships then set sail from Botany Bay, in 1788, and were never heard from again" (Hill). It was not until the 1820s that the wrecks of his ships were discovered on a reef in the Santa Cruz group. Amongst the most significant results of the voyage are the series of charts that were produced as a result of the expedition's surveys of Asiatic side of the Pacific; and the ethnographic details of "the peculiarities [La Pérouse] . observed in the natives of the northwest coast of North America" (Sabin). In addition, he was the first westerner to safely navigate and chart the Japan Sea and the strait between the island of Sakhalin and the northernmost island of Japan. En route for Australia in 1788, La Pérouse sailed via Samoa where he discovered the islands of Apolima, Manono and Savaii. This English edition is difficult to find with both the quarto text and the small folio atlas, and particularly difficult to find with the atlas complete with the large folding map following the title which is nearly always lacking and perhaps not issued with all sets. Cowan p.383; Ferguson 288; Hill 975; Howes L93, 'b'; Lada-Mocarski 52; Sabin 38962; TPL 596; Wagner Cartography of the Northwest Coast 837-848, pp.199-201; Zamorano 49. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Donald A. Heald Rare Books (ABAA)]
Last Found On: 2017-12-01           Check availability:      IberLibro    


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