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A Voyage round the World
London: for J. Nourse; and T. Davies,, 1772. Performed by Order of His Most Christian Majesty, In the Years 1766, 1767, 1768, and 1769. By Lewis de Bougainville, Colonel of Foot, and Commodore of the Expedition, in the Frigate La Boudeuse, and the Store-ship L'Etoile. Translated from the French by John Reinhold Forster, F.A.S. Quarto (262 × 210 mm). Contemporary half calf, skilfully rebacked to style with red morocco spine label laid down, marbled boards. Folding plate, 5 folding engraved maps. Contemporary armorial bookplate and modern collector's label to front pastedown. Sides rubbed, tiny amount of marginal worm to lower outer corner, mostly a single hole; pp. 25-28 of Introduction misbound between pp. 474-5; some very faint waterstaining to some margins of maps, else a very good copy. First edition in English of the account of the first official French circumnavigation. In 1766 Bougainville had been ordered to return to the Falkland Islands to formally deliver the French settlement to Spain, and afterwards to continue into the Pacific and around the world. He was in Buenos Aires when the order of the expulsion of the Jesuits of Paraguay arrived, which he describes in detail. He entered the Pacific in 1768 and landed on Tahiti, claiming it for France, unaware of the visit of Samuel Wallis nine months earlier. On Tahiti it was discovered that the botanist's valet was a woman, Jeanne Barre; she stayed with the expedition and became the first woman on record to have circumnavigated the globe. Bougainville continued due west through Samoa and the New Hebrides, eventually making the first recorded European encounter with the Great Barrier Reef. Turning north 100 miles from the coast of Queensland, he passed through New Guinea to the Solomon Islands, thence to the Moluccas where the Dutch allowed him to refit. Bougainville then proceeded to Djakarta, then to Mauritius and home to St Malo. Only seven of the original 200 crew died on the voyage. The book is notable for the influential description of Tahiti, which Bougainville christened New Cythera after the abode of Aphrodite. His account of the islanders echoed Rousseau's concept of the noble savage and inspired Diderot to write his denunciation of European contact with indigenous peoples. According to Hill, "the actual translator was Georg Forster, while his father Johann contributed the preface, dedication, and the numerous footnotes".
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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