21 September 2005
GEORGE KEATE (1729-1797)
An Account of the Pelew Islands, situated in the western part of the Pacific Ocean. Composed from the journals and communications of Captain Henry Wilson, and some of his officers, who, in August 1783, were there shipwrecked, in the Antelope, a packet belonging to the Honourable East India Company. London: G. Nicol, 1788. 4° (302 x 238mm). Stipple engraved portrait frontispiece, 14 plates (including 3 further stipple-engraved portraits) and 2 engraved maps and charts (1 folding). (The folding map with old creases and light soiliing.) Contemporary speckled half calf, the flat spine divided into six compartments by gilt fillets, red morocco lettering-piece in the second compartment (extremities bumped, some splitting to joints).
A FINE UNSOPHISTICATED COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION. Following the shipwreck on a reef near one of the Palau (Pelew) Islands, the entire crew managed to get ashore. They 'were well treated by the natives and eventually managed to build a small vessel from the wreck, in which they reached Macao. They took Prince Lee Boo, one of King Abba Thulle's sons, with them to England, where he made a good impression.': Hill (2004) 907.
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