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A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the South Sea Islands;
London: Published for the Author, by J. Snow & J.R. Leifchild,, 1837,. with Remarks upon the Natural History of the Islands, Origin, Languages, Traditions, and Usages of the Inhabitants. Octavo (219 × 130 mm) Contemporary half calf on red pebble-grained cloth, rebacked, green and black labels, marbled edges and endpapers. Baxter "oil printed" colour frontispiece of a tattooed chief of Rarotonga, engraved title-page vignette, folding map of Polynesia, 5 plates, numerous illustrations to the text. Slightly rubbed, rebacked as noted, some browning, particularly to the plates, but overall very good. First Edition, Second Thousand. "Rev. Williams was the ablest missionary to the Polynesian people, and his book was the most often printed and widely read of all the contemporary accounts" (Hill). The London Missionary Society sent Williams to the Society Islands in 1816, and he travelled widely in the region, visiting the Cook Islands, and discovering Rarotonga in the Hervey Islands. In 1834 he returned to England for 4 years, commissioning the printing of his Rarotongan translation of the New Testament, and raising some £4,000 to purchase and fit out the brig Camden, the first official LMS missionary vessel. "On his first missionary voyage in the Camden, on 20 November 1839 he landed with two companions at Dillons Bay on Eromanga in the southern New Hebrides. While walking inland the party was attacked by a party of islanders. James Harris was killed on the spot; the rest of the party fled to the ship's boats, but Williams was clubbed to death in the shallows. It was believed that their bodies were subsequently eaten" (ODNB). In his biography of Williams, The Rev. Dr. John Campbell of the Moorfields Tabernacle considered that, "for the purposes of history, he died in the proper manner, at the proper place, and at the proper time" (The Martyr of Erromanga, p228).
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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