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An Account of the Pelew Islands , Situated in the Western part of the Pacific Ocean
London: printed for Captain Wilson, 1789. Octavo, with portraits of Captain Wilson and Prince Lee Boo and a folding map; a very good uncut copy in early twentieth-century olive half calf, spine gilt, joints a little rubbed. First octavo edition. Keate's book on the discovery of the Palau islands was one of the most popular eighteenth-century books on the Pacific. In 1783, the Antelope was wrecked on an uncharted reef near Palau; the crew reached shore and were well treated by the natives. From the wreck they built a small boat which they managed to get to Macao, taking with them Prince Lee Boo, son of King Abba Thule (Ibedul). Over the coming weeks Captain Wilson of the Antelope became embroiled in conflicts between Ibedul and chieftans of other islands to in the northern archipelago. Le Boo travelled with them to England, but died soon after of smallpox. This account did much to reinforce the idea of the noble savage, but was also the main source for early knowledge of the Palau islands in Micronesia. It incorporates a life of Lee Boo in 29 pages complete with a poignant description of his death and the monument erected in his honour by the East India Company. The book concludes with a short grammar of the Pelew Islands. Of special interest is the large folding map measuring 560 x 355 mm., detailing the area now known as Micronesia. The map extends from the eastern coast of China, the Philippines, then the Palau archipelago, Guam and the Caroline islands. An engraved notation at the lower margin states that the map was published in London on the first of May 1788, at the request of Captain Wilson.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-07-29           Check availability:      Biblio    


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