BLIGH, William. A Voyage to the South Sea, undertaken by command of His Majesty, for the purpose of conveying the Bread-fruit Tree to the West Indies, in His Majesty's Ship the Bounty... Including an Account of the Mutiny on Board the said Ship, and the subsequent Voyage of Part of the Crew, in the Ship's Boat, from Tofua, one of the Friendly Islands, to Timor, a Dutch Settlement in the East Indies. London: George Nicol, 1792.
4° (293 x 226 mm). Engraved portrait frontispiece (lightly spotted), one plate and 6 engraved maps and charts, 5 folding (one map with short tear near gutter crossing text, some pale spotting). (Title with tiny hole touching one letter, repaired marginal tear on I4.) Contemporary marbled calf gilt (skillfully rebacked preserving original spine). Provenance: John Peachey, 2nd Baron Selsey (1749–1816) of West Dean, Sussex (signature dated 1793 on title, Westdean Library bookplate); John Arthur Brook of Fanay Hall (1844-1920), amateur ornithologist, known largely for his collection of books on ornithology and natural history (bookplate); Carol G. and William E. Simon (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION OF ONE OF THE MOST REMARKABLE INCIDENTS IN THE WHOLE OF MARITIME HISTORY. Following a request by West Indian merchants to George III, Sir Joseph Banks recommended that the Admiralty fit out the Bounty for a voyage to collect bread-fruit trees from Tahiti for shipment to the West Indies. Banks also recommended Lieutenant Bligh as commander of the voyage on which Fletcher Christian sailed as Master's Mate. Reaching Cape Horn in 1787 and encountering fierce head winds, Bligh retreated across the South Atlantic to round the Cape of Good Hope and sail south to Australia and New Zealand to Tahiti. This is the first official account of the voyage and mutiny, edited from Bligh's journals by James Burney under the supervision of Sir Joseph Banks while Bligh was on his second bread-fruit voyage. The year of publication also marked the court-martial proceedings against fourteen returned mutineers, three of whom were hanged. Ferguson 125; Hill 135; Kroepelien 93; NMM 1:624; Sabin 5910.