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Petits Voyages Pittoresques dans l'Asie, l'Afrique, l'Amerique, la Polynesie et les Terres Australes... par M. le Baron de M****
Paris: Chex Saintin, 1813. Two volumes, square duodecimo, with a total of 32 plates including the frontispieces, a little modest foxing, gentle water staining of the preliminaries of the second volume, yet a very good set in recent marbled boards. A fine copy of a rare work: as the title suggests this book showcases the native peoples of exotic and relatively recently discovered lands. It includes one section, with accompanying plate, dedicated to the Australian Aborigines. The work is known for the interest and diversity of its subjects, with sections, to name a few, on Java, Siam, the Iroquois, and the Hottentots. There are also many peoples from the Pacific noticed, including the inhabitants of Kamchatka (I, 20-28); the Moluccas (II, 38-43); Tahiti (II, 57-65); and California (II, 97-99). There is a particularly good section on New Holland (I, 29-37), which takes notice of the discoveries of Captain Cook on the east coast, and the newer colony at Botany Bay. Mention is made of the kangaroo and the platypus, but of course, most of the brief article relates to the Aborigines, with observations on some of their customs, and mention of the Baudin voyage, particularly the role of the artist on the voyage, François Peron. Interestingly, there are lengthy appendices to both volumes, which take the form of "Anecdotes Intéressantes", and which are designed to complement the regional chapters. These appendices include everything from anecdotes regarding expeditions in northern Africa, through to stories of the tribes of Louisiana. Of particular note is the brief account of the massacre of the French explorer and contemporary of Captain Cook, Marion de Fresne, by Maori in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-07-29           Check availability:      Biblio    

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