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Narrative of Voyages to Explore the Shores of Africa, Arabia, and Madagascar; Performed in H. M. Ships Leven and Barracouta, Under the Direction of Captain W. F. W. Owen, R.N. By Command of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.
Richard Bentley, London 1833 - London: Richard Bentley, 1833. First Edition. Octavo, 2 vols. xxiii, 434; viii, 420 pp. With five lithographed plates, four large folding engraved charts and five wood-engraved illustrations in text. Period brown gilt tooled half calf with brown patterned cloth boards and brown gilt morocco labels. Plates mildly foxed, otherwise a very good set. "In 1822 [Owen] was appointed by the Admiralty to command an expedition to survey the coast of East Africa. Remarkably, because no particular European nation had until that time felt a necessity for accurate charts, none existed. The survey team, with their flagship HMS Leven and support vessel Barracouta, started out in January 1822 and worked their way eastwards from Cape Town, then along the coast of Mozambique and the western coast of Madagascar. Owen's charts remained in use for nearly a century and his remarks were still being reproduced in the Africa Pilot as late as 1893" (Howgego 1800-1850, O11). This voyage "is chiefly known for [its] highly accurate surveys, many of which formed the basis of the charts that were used well into the twentieth century" (Christies). "Owen was appointed in 1821 to the sloop Leven, in which, with the brig Barracouta also under his command, he was instructed to survey the east coast of Africa from the boundary of Cape Colony to Cape Gardafui. The squadron arrived at Simonstown in July 1822, and returned there from their last surveying season in September 1825, having surveyed some 20,000 miles of coast, depicted in almost 300 charts" (Oxford DNB); "The journals of Captain Owen and his officers., contain a large amount of varied information respecting many portions of Africa in the first quarter of the nineteenth century" (Mendelssohn II, p. 133); NMMC 221. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
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