7 - 8 April 2004
LISLET GEOFFROY, Jean Baptiste (1755-1856). Memoir and Notice explanatory of A Chart of Madagascar and the North-Eastern Archipelago of Mauritius. London: John Murray, 1819.
3 parts in one volume, 4° (262 x 210mm). Folding Chart of the Archipelago or islands north east of the Island of Madagascar, engraved under the direction of A. Arrowsmith after Lislet Geoffroy, title, dedication, three part-titles, text in French and English, table of situations. (Light offsetting to chart and title, chart with minor tear at right edge, a few leaves lightly browned.) Contemporary navy straight-grained gilt-tooled morocco (extremities lightly rubbed). Provenance: ?Robert Saunders Dundas, 2nd Viscount Melville (1771-1851), presentation inscription, 'To the Right Honorable Lord Melville with Governor Farquhar's Complements' (armorial bookplate).
A FINE PRESENTATION COPY of Arrowsmith's re working of Lislet Geoffroy's chart of Madagascar. The French hydrographer's chart was revised at the instruction of Governor Robert Townsend Farquhar, and dedicated to The Earl Bathurst, Secretary of State. At a time when the French colony was relinquished to British rule, Madagascar played an important part of the route for British trade with India. One of the most prominent scientists in the islands during the Revolution, Geofferoy was born in Bourbon, the son of a French engineer and a Malagasy chieftain's daughter. He lived in Mauritius from 1771, where Tromelin taught him engineering and mathematics.
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