BARROW, Sir John (1764-1848). A Voyage to Cochinchina, in the years 1792 and 1793. London: Strahan & Preston for T. Cadell and T. Davies, 1806.
4° (267 x 208mm). 19 hand-coloured aquatint plates, one folding, after S. Daniell and W. Alexander, by T. Medland, two folding engraved maps, one hand-coloured, one with route marked by hand in red. (Tears to outer margin of text leaf O4, neat repair fold of folding plate, sone browning, offsetting or spotting to about 8 plates.) Contemporary calf-backed marbled boards with vellum corners (rebacked, original spine laid down, covers scuffed and discoloured, later endpapers). Provenance: Presentation copy with paper slip, inscribed 'From the Author', on front pastedown).
FIRST EDITION. Barrow accompanied Lord Macartney as official interpreter to the mission, having learnt Chinese from a former pupil, Thomas Staunton. 'The embassy was a magnificent failure, arriving at Peking with gifts which included all the wonders of Western civilization - artillery, telescopes, a coach-and-four, a balloon and pilot - Macartney was treated with hospitable disgust before being dismissed with polite contempt. According to the Chinese Emperor, the presence of a British Ambassador was "not in harmony with the regulations of the Celestial Empire, we also feel very much that it is of no advantage to your country"'. (F. Fleming. Barrow's Boys. 1998, p.4). The 'African' portion of Barrow's work includes an account of 'the journey to Lattakoo, undertaken by Messrs. Daniell, Truter, Somerville, Scholz, and the author' and is based on 'a manuscript in Dutch written by Mr. Truter' (Mendelssohn). Cordier Sinica IV, 2390; Abbey Travel II. 514; Mendelssohn I, p.89; Tooley 86.