9 May 2002
Anders Sparrman (1747-1820)
A Voyage to the Cape of Good Hope, towards the Antarctic Polar Circle and round the world... Translated from the Swedish original. London: for G.G.J. & J.Robinson, 1785. 2 volumes, 4° (278 x 215mm). Engraved folding map, 10 engraved plates. (Some spotting.) 19th-century red half morocco, spines gilt (scuffed, spines somewhat faded). Provenance: Elsa Lee Stopple (bookplate); Lee Lawrence Stopple (bookplate).
First edition in English of Sparrman's account of Cook's 2nd voyage including accounts of travels inland from the settlement at the Cape of Good Hope and as assistant naturalist to Johann Forster aboard Captain James Cook's Resolution from September 1772 to March 1775. Sparrman's account includes a number of details of Cook's second voyage which are not mentioned elsewhere, the majority of the narrative concerns South Africa: 'The author relates many incidents illustrating the hospitality of the Dutch farmers and their dense ignorance of matters outside their own country, and he makes allusions to the cruelty of the treatment of the slaves by the lower classes of the colonists. He frequently draws attention to the inaccuracies to be met with in [Peter] Kolbe[n]'s account of the Cape, [first published in 1719,] and throws considerable doubt on the veracity of many of his statements.' (Mendelssohn). Conrad p.14; Mendelssohn II,p.414; Renard 1516; Spence 1146. (2)
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