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Reflections on New South Wales, 1788-1839
Sydney: Hordern House, 2001. Quarto, with a portrait, twenty maps and illustrations and eight colour plates; a fine copy in the original green cloth, paper label on front cover. The first publication in English of Freycinet's account of NSW. The only edition in English of Freycinet's comprehensive examination of early New South Wales, one of the most important historical texts to deal with Australian settlement, and especially with the city of Sydney. The original text appeared as chapters 29 to 40 of the 'Historique' section of Freycinet's Voyage autour du monde. It was the late Thomas Cullity, with the help of Katharine Pratt and Jen and Bernice Pasquier, who took on the formidable task of making this sometimes very complex text readily accessible to the English-speaking reader. The only English-language version of this exceptionally important piece, this was published in an edition limited to just 300 copies, with a highly limited de luxe version appearing somewhat later. Reflections on New South Wales provides a unique insight into the first fifty years of the colony's development. 'We have tried to demonstrate how a vast country that only recently was wild and almost empty, had passed from its primitive barbaric state to that degree of brilliant prosperity that makes it today the wonder of Europe' wrote Freycinet, one of the most articulate and exacting explorers ever to visit colonial Australia. His two visits to the colony, in 1802 and 1819, afforded him a unique opportunity to examine in detail the first English settlers and their interaction with the indigenous people, the complexities of the first legal system established in New South Wales, the health and welfare establishments, and the first educational facilities. With a finely-tuned and cultivated eye he observed the towns and their buildings, and recorded in detail the social and literary development of the colonial city. Freycinet's text was compiled from direct observations, ideas or comments by Freycinet himself as well as by his travelling companions in the Uranie voyage - Quoy, the chief surgeon, the naturalist Gaimard, and the artists Arago and Pellion - and from information attributed to conversations and correspondence with the leading citizens in the colony - Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie, John Macarthur, and Judge Barron Field, to name just a few.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-08-13           Check availability:      Biblio    


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