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Journals of Two Expeditions of Discovery
London,: T. and W. Boone, 1841.. Two volumes, octavo, with 22 plates (six handcoloured), and two large loose folding maps, illustrations in the text; endpapers renewed, related newspaper clippings circa 1900 pasted to last blank of second volume; a most attractive set in the publisher's decorated purple cloth. A fascinating account of coastal and inland exploration of the north-west coast of Western Australia and the Kimberley region. Captain Grey's account is both informative and accessible, featuring a rich selection of plates including stunning images of Wandjina paintings from the north-western Kimberley. Furthermore, the work is esteemed for its scientific appendices: on birds by John Gould; on mammals, reptiles, amphibians by John Edward Gray; and insects by Adam White.The two-volume set contains the accounts of both expeditions led by Grey, the first along the West Australian coast and the second in the north-west. Although beset by natural disasters, diminished provisions, exhaustion, shipwreck and numerous attacks by local Aboriginal tribes, Grey and his men made important discoveries in this vast and poorly charted wilderness.Despite turbulent relations with Aboriginal tribes Grey was fascinated by the art and cultures he encountered. In this respect his Journals of Two Expeditions of Discovery form a valuable record of early contact in Western Australia and the Kimberley. Grey was intrigued by the ghostly rock paintings he discovered and became the first white man to see a Wandjina painting at a site on the Glenelg River in the Kimberley. He wrote 'looking over some bushes, at the sandstone rocks which were above us, I suddenly saw from one of them a most extraordinary large figure peering down upon me. Upon examination, this proved to be a drawing at the entrance to cave, which, on entering, I found to contain, besides, many remarkable paintings'. Realising the significance of the discovery, he went to considerable lengths to sketch, measure and describe the figures, which are printed here as four arresting lithographic plates.The first volume of this set conforms to the first issue points noted in Australian Rare Books while the second volume includes additional publisher's advertisements indicating a later issue.Australian Rare Books, 131; Ferguson, 3228.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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