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A Voyage Round the World, in the Years MDCCXL, I, II, III, IV . By George Anson, Esq; Now Lord Anson, Commander in Chief of a Squadron of His Majesty's Ships, sent upon an Expedition to the South-Seas...
London: John and Paul Knapton, for the author, 1749. Two volumes, quarto, text and plates bound separately; with a total of 43 folding engraved plates and maps (including the frontispiece world map described below); some foxing and offsetting, a very good set in full contemporary calf (boards worn at extremities) spines renewed in period style retaining original labels. The lure of Spanish gold. One of the most popular and enduring seafaring books of all time, Anson's {i Voyage }recounts the capture of the Manila galleon laden with Spanish gold plundered from the New World. Richard Walter's compilation account of the Anson voyage, prepared under the careful eye of its commander, was one of the most widely disseminated naval narratives of the eighteenth century. Having taken the Manila galleon, Anson was likened to Sir Francis Drake and was certainly as vivid a figure in the popular imagination: hence the first edition of 1748 was rapidly reprinted in various formats to appease a ready market. This fifth quarto edition of 1749 features the same suite of 42 engraved maps and views included in the first edition published the previous year. Additionally, it contains an impressive frontispiece world map showing the track of the {i Centurion} that is not present in the first edition but is found in subsequent editions. Anson's voyage was 'appallingly costly in men and ships, did not result in new discoveries, and some of the geographical information gathered from the Spanish was often more confusing than helpful' (Dunmore). Nonetheless, by harassing the Spanish in the South Pacific and returning with ample gold, the loss of six ships and over half the crew became insignificant: 'The casualties were forgotten as the public celebrated a rare triumph in a drab and interminable war..., and in 1748 the long-awaited authorised account appeared under the name of Richard Walter, chaplain on the Centurion, and became a best-seller. Walter's volume has formed the basis of all accounts of Anson's voyage from the mid-eighteenth century to the present. The book, more fully illustrated than any similar work up to that time, was both a stirring story of adventure at sea and an exhortation to further Pacific enterprise' (Glyn Williams{i , The Prize of all the Oceans. The triumph and tragedy of Anson's voyage}, 1999, pp. xvii-xviii).
      [Bookseller: Hordern House]
Last Found On: 2014-10-10           Check availability:      Direct From Bookseller    


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