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DÈcouvertes des FranÁois, en 1768 & 1769
Paris,: Imprimerie Royale,, 1790.. Quarto, with 12 folding charts; an excellent copy in contemporary quarter blue calf. First edition of the great work on the French discovery of the Solomon Islands, by the leading light in the early history of French exploration in the South Seas.The work is known for its series of attractive maps used by Fleurieu to illustrate his theories - most of which were ultimately proved correct - and which were based on actual discoveries rather than the conjectures of the past. As the Hill catalogue notes, 'When d'Entrecasteaux returned from his fruitless search for La PÈrouse, he confirmed that Fleurieu's theories appeared to be generally correct.'Fleurieu's work was a direct result of the voyage of the First Fleet to New South Wales: Phillip's Voyage of Governor Phillip to Botany Bay, first published in 1789, had included the journal of Lt. Shortland on his return voyage in the Alexander transport from Botany Bay to England, during which he coasted along a group of large islands which he named "New Georgia".Fleurieu, writing in a period of intense international rivalry over Pacific discoveries, denies any English discovery and promotes those of Louis de Bougainville and Jean de Surville. He draws on unpublished manuscripts as well as the printed narratives of Cook, Bougainville, Carteret, Phillip, Mendaça, Quiros and others.There are also interesting comments on the La PÈrouse voyage. Fleurieu announces the receipt of journals from as far afield as Botany Bay, and in discussing the Great Ocean Chart (a fragment of which is published here), says publication is to be delayed until his later discoveries can be inserted.Beddie, 1300-01; Hill, 610; James Ford Bell, F103; Kroepelien, 436.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-07-26           Check availability:      Biblio    

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