30 April 2008
SHELVOCKE, George (1675-1742). A Voyage Round the World by the way of the Great South Sea, perform'd in the years 1719 ... 22 in the Speedwell of London, of 24 guns and 100 men. London: J. Senex, W. and J. Innys, and J. Osborn and T. Longman, 1726.
8° (198 x 119mm). Folding engraved map and 4 plates, two folding. (Occasional marginal soiling, spotting affecting a few leaves.) Contemporary panelled calf (joints cracked, spine chipped at head and foot, corners rubbed, top edge soiled).
FIRST EDITION. Shelvocke's book was an expanded version of the journal, 'Voyage to the South Sea to cruise on the Spaniards' which he presented to the lords of the Admiralty in 1724. His privateering activities began on 13 February 1719 when he set sail with a larger ship, the Success (under John Clipperton), but soon separated from her. ODNB records that 'his narrative is best remembered for the solitary albatross shot by Simon Hatley as the Speedwell entered the southern Ocean, an episode absent from the manuscript version but told in the book with such laconic emphasis that it found a passage to Wordsworth's heart, and thence to Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner.' On 25 May 1720 the Speedwell was wrecked perhaps deliberately on Juan Fernandez, the island where Alexander Selkirk had been stranded for four years. Shelvocke and his crew were marooned for five months but managed to rebuild a 20-ton boat out of the wreck. Leaving the island in October, they transferred into their first prize, renamed the Happy Return, and resumed their nefarious voyage, encountering and quarreling with Clipperton several times. Howgego S94; Sabin 80158.
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