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Observations upon the Marine Barometer, made during the Examination of the Coasts of New Holland and New South Wales, in the years 1801, 1802, and 1803. By Matthew Flinders, Esq., Commander of his Majesty's Ship Investigator. In a Letter to the Right Hon. Sir Joseph Banks, Bart. K. B. P. R. S., etc. Read March 27, 1806. Extracted from "Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London for the Year 1806", Part II., Pp. 239-268.
London, W. Bulmer and Co., 1806. - No wrappers, however bound with the title page to the volume (Part II, 1806). Marbled paper spine. 4to. A very clean, fine copy.***First printing of Flinders' essential report about the marine barometer, from a letter to Joseph Banks! Also one of the very first (the first-) scientific publications using the name 'Australia' to describe the actual continent. - 'In 1805 Flinders wrote a paper on the Marine Barometer, based upon observations made during his Australian voyages. The instrument employed was one which had been used by Cook; Flinders always kept it in his cabin. He was the first to discover, and this essay was the first attempt to show, the connection between the rise and fall of the barometer and the direction of the wind. Careful observation showed him that where his facts were collected the mercury of the barometer rose some time before a change from landbreeze to seabreeze, and fell before the change from seabreeze to landbreeze. Consequently a change of wind might generally be predicted from the barometer. The importance of these observations was at once recognised by men connected with navigation. As the 'Edinburgh Review' wrote, dealing with Flinders' paper when presented before the Royal Society on March 27th, 1806: 'It is very easy for us, speculating in our closet upon the theory of winds and their connection with the temperature, to talk of drawing a general inference on this subject with confidence. But when the philosopher chances to be a seaman on a very dangerous coast, it will be admitted that the strength of this confidence is put to a test somewhat more severe; and we find nevertheless that Captain Flinders staked the safety of his ship and the existence of himself and his crew on the truth of the above proposition.' Nowadays, indeed, the principal use of a barometer to a navigator aboard ship is to enable him to anticipate changes of wind. Not only is Flinders to be regarded as a discoverer whose researches completed the world's knowledge of the last extensive region of the habitable globe remaining in his time to be revealed; not only as one whose work was marked by an unrivalled exactitude and fineness of observation; but also as one who did very much to advance the science of navigation in directions calculated to make seafaring safer, more certain, with better means and methods at disposal.' (Scott). - Written to Joseph Banks on August 19th, 1805 on Isle de France (Mauritius), this is a highly interesting paper by Flinders, who was then held captive by the French. On his return journey from Australia, not knowing that France and England were then at war with each other, he put in at French-controlled Mauritius for repairs in December 1803. He was considered to be a spy and was not allowed to return to England until 1810. - E. Scott, The Life of Captain Matthew Flinders R. N., 414/415. Davidson 120 ff., Du Rietz 440, Hill 614, Henze II, 236 ff. (all except for Scott referring to Flinders' travel account only). Book# jc0008 [Attributes: First Edition; Soft Cover]
      [Bookseller: Antiquariat Ralf Eigl]
Last Found On: 2014-04-01           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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