CHARLES DE BROSSES (1709-1777).
Histoire des Navigations aux Terres Australes. Paris: Chez Durand, 1756. 2 volumes, 4° (253 x 200mm). 7 folding engraved maps, 6 by Robert de Vaugondy including the world map centred on the Pacific, one hand-coloured, by Delisle after Philippe Buache, woodcut head- and tail-pieces. (Marginal browning to vol. II preliminaries and a few leaves.) Contemporary French mottled calf, boards with borders of triple blind rules, spines gilt in compartments, gilt morocco lettering-pieces in 2, others decorated with fleurons (some rubbing and scuffing, mottling causing superficial flaking, splitting on joints). Provenance: W. Hermann (early signatures on titles and front free endpapers).
FIRST EDITION OF A COLLECTION OF VOYAGES TO THE GREAT SOUTHERN CONTINENT compiled by the noted historian and contributor to Diderot's Encyclopédie, and on which John Callandar based much of his 3-volume compendium of voyages in 1766. This thorough collection is one of the outstanding works on the early voyages of exploration to Australasia, 1502-1764, during which navigators touched on the supposed southern continent of Magellanica. In three parts -- Magellanie, Australasie and Polynesie -- it covers the voyages of Vespuci, Magellan, Drake, Sarmiento, Hawkins, Quiros, Noort, Spilbergen, Nodal, Schouten, Dampier, Roggeveen, Anson and others. The hand-coloured folding map is of Bouvet de Lozier's 1739 voyage to Magellanica in search of the mystical Gonneville's Island, supposedly discovered in the early sixteenth century, and charted by him as Cape Circumcisium (now Bouvet's Island), and is not present in all copies. The map is a polar projection from the South Pole to the Tropic of Capricorn, and it was Bouvet's experiences in the ice of the Southern Ocean which later proved of service to Cook on his second voyage. Brosses' goal in publishing this history of voyages was to stimulate French discovery and colonization in the South Seas, and included the proposition that France should settle Australia as a penal colony. Spence 190; Hill 190; Sabin 8388; Cox I, p. 18; II, p. 295; Kropelien 132. (2)