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Voyage in search of La Pérouse, performed by order of the Constituent Assembly, during the years 1791, 1792, 1793, and 1794, and drawn up by M. Labillardiere
London: John Stockdale, 1800. Thick quarto, complete with frontispiece, large folding map (small tear near the hinge), and 44 engraved plates, an untrimmed copy, pages a little browned at the edges; in an attractive binding of modern half calf, double spine labels, gilt, bookplate. The attractive English quarto edition of this important voyage. The first, best and most complete English edition of Labillardière's account of the 1791 expedition in search of La Pérouse, issued simultaneously with a smaller octavo version.Labillardière's was the first published narrative of the extensive voyage, commanded by D'Entrecasteaux, in which Australia was circumnavigated twice, and the islands surrounding investigated for traces of La Pérouse. His account is especially interesting for its descriptions and illustrations of Tasmania, Tonga, New Caledonia, and New Guinea, and includes fine views based on drawings by the official artist Piron.The introduction to this English edition raises the question 'Whether, as has hitherto generally happened, the advantages of civilisation may not, in the progress of events, be transferred from the Europeans, who have but too little prized them, to those remote countries which they have been so diligently exploring? If so, the period may arrive, when New Zealand may produce her Lockes, and Newtons, her Montesquieus; and when great nations in the immense region of New Holland, may send their navigators, philosophers, and antiquaries, to contemplate the ruins of ancient London, and Paris, and to trace the languid remains of the arts and sciences in this quarter of the globe. Who can tell, whether the rudiments of some great empire may not already exist at Botany Bay?'.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2015-03-24           Check availability:      Biblio    

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