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A Voyage round the World
London,: J. Nourse and T. Davies,, 1772.. Quarto, with five folding maps and a folding plate of canoes, some mild offsetting, the maps neatly refolded; a very good copy in recent polished tan calf, Greek key border to both boards, spine richly gilt, red morocco label. First English edition of the first French circumnavigation, translated and with an introduction by Johann Reinhold Forster (according to the preface, although the translation at least is now thought to have been the work of Forster's son Georg). Forster senior calls the voyage 'a work written by a learned, intelligent, and judicious traveller, which abounds with remarkable events and curious observations...', and says that he has edited 'and partially vindicated the British nation where we thought the author had been unjustly partial'.Bougainville sailed from Nantes in November 1766 to the Falkland Islands. They picked up a supply ship, the Etoile, and both ships passed through the Strait of Magellan in January 1768, spent time looking for the mythical "Davis Land", said to be off the Chilean coast, and then started on a direct route across the Pacific. Bougainville discovered the Tuamotus, and in April sighted and thought he had discovered Tahiti, not knowing that Wallis had been there the previous year. He visited Samoa, sailed through Melanesia, sighted the Great Barrier Reef, and passed through the Solomons, and New Britain, to Batavia.It was in fact only the Great Barrier Reef that prevented Bougainville landing on Australian soil. He had specifically set out to reach "New Holland" by running west from Quiros' "Espiritu Santo", but turned away from the obvious barrier presented by the Reef. Had he made it, 'he would have come to the Australian coast near Cooktown, and would, likely enough, have been wrecked where Cook was wrecked two years later...' (Wood).Borba de Moraes, p. 115; Davidson, 'A Book Collector's Notes', pp. 96-7; Hill, p. 32; Kroepelien, 113; O'Reilly-Reitman, 285.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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