FRANCIS GARNIER (1839-1873) AND DOUDART DE LAGRÉE (1823-1868)
Voyage d'exploration en Indo-Chine effectué pendant les années 1866, 1867 et 1868 par une Commission Française. Paris: Hachette, 1873. 3 volumes (2 vols. text and atlas of plates), 4° (338 x 255 mm) and 2° (495 x 380 mm). Text: frontispiece portrait, one plate of medals, 12 maps and charts, of which 10 are coloured, numerous text illustrations, mostly wood engravings; atlas: 12 maps, 9 plans, one aerial view, and 48 plates on 40 sheets, mostly lithographed, some tinted, others chromolithographs, the maps after Doudart de Lagreé, Garnier and L. Delaporte, the views and narrative scenes after L. Delaporte. (Some spotting in text, atlas with occasional light marginal spotting, lists of tables pencilled.) Brown morocco, panelled sides, spines gilt (repairs at spine caps and some corners, lightly sunned, sides of atlas lightly scuffed), modern morocco backed cloth boxes.
FIRST EDITION OF ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFULLY ILLUSTRATED BOOKS ON VIETNAM. Garnier formed the idea of exploring the Mekong, an area then largely unknown to European geographers. He suggested the project to Marquis de Chasseloup-Laubat, but Garnier was thought too young to be in command, and the chief authority was given to Captain Doudart de Lagrée. He and Garnier travelled through Cambodia, Laos and Yunnan from 1866-1868, traversing nearly 5400 miles, of which 3600 in country unknown to European geography. Garnier surveyed the area with care, fixing the positions by astronomical observations. Garnier volunteered to lead a detachment to Talifu, the capital of Sultan Suleiman, leader of the Yunnan rebels, and successfully carried out the adventurous enterprise. When Doudart de Lagrée died en route Garnier led the party down the Yangtze River to the Chinese coast. Garnier returned to France to defend Paris against the Prussians in 1870-71. In a later expedition, in November 1873, Garnier took Hanoi, and died later in the year in battle with the Black Flags. Cordier Sinica 329.