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Nouveau Voyage à la Mer du Sud , commencé sous les ordres de M. Marion... On a joint à ce voyage un Extrait de celui de M. de Surville dans les mêmes Parages
Paris: Barrois l'aîné, 1783. Octavo, with seven plates (including two maps, one folding); contemporary French mottled calf, slightly rubbed but a handsome copy, flat spine gilt in compartments. The French visit New Zealand and Tasmania. A lovely copy of this rare book, important for both New Zealand and Tasmania: it gives the first narrative of two significant voyages to the Pacific, including the first and second French visits to New Zealand and the first French visit to Tasmania. 'An exceedingly rare item… [it is] seldom available…' (Davidson). Edited by the Abbé Rochon, the main part of the book gives the only original printed account of the expedition of Marion-Dufresne, commanded by Crozet after his captain's death. This was the only form in which the voyage was published; it did not appear in English until H. Ling Roth's translation of 1891 ({i Crozet's Voyage to Tasmania, New Zealand… in 1771-1772}). The expedition originally set out as a deliberate sequel to Bougainville's, including the plan of returning Autourou, brought to France by Bougainville, to his Tahitian homeland; however he died on the voyage. Their other instructions were to search for "Terra Australis": they actually discovered the Crozet Islands, visited Tasmania, exploring and mapping some of its southern coast and making the first French contact with the Tasmanian Aborigines. They then made a lengthy stay in New Zealand, where after the massacre at the Bay of Islands (when the commander and about twenty other members of the voyage were killed by Maoris) Crozet took over the command. Unaware of Cook's priority, the French laid claim to both Tasmania and New Zealand. 'Crozet's narrative, apart from the drama of its story, has much careful observation on Maori life and custom and, with the reports of Cook and his officers, was virtually the only source material available for 40 years…' ({i New Zealand National Bibliography}). The book also includes as a postscript the first printed account of the earlier voyage of Jean-François de Surville, in which de Surville's ship reached the New Zealand coast and in fact just missed meeting Cook in the {i Endeavour.} At that point de Surville and Cook were the first European visitors to New Zealand since Tasman's charting of part of the coastline in 1642. The only other early account of the de Surville voyage was published some time later (Monneron, {i Voyage des Indes au Perou}, Paris, 1791). Much has been made recently of de Surville's voyage since the publication by Geoffrey Blainey of his {i Sea of Dangers: Captain Cook and his rivals }which emphasised the part played by chance in Cook rather than de Surville having discovered the east coast of Australia. Cook was told of de Surville's voyage only on the journey home when he met Crozet at the Cape. The engravings that illustrate the work include four fine portraits of Maoris as well as a folding map of De Surville's discoveries and small maps of Marion-Dufresne's discoveries both in New Zealand and Tasmania.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-10-10           Check availability:      Biblio    

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