21 September 2005
LOUIS ANTOINE, COMTE DE BOUGAINVILLE (1729-1811)
A Voyage round the World. Performed by Order of His Most Christian Majesty, In the years 1766, 1767, 1768, and 1769. Translated from the French by John Reinhold Forster. London: T. Nourse and J. Davies, 1772, 4° (264 x 213mm). 12 engraved maps and charts on 5 folding plates, including the Straits of Magellan, one folding engraved plate with the 3 images of Polynesian pirogues and a canoe, with the Tahitian vocabulary. (Old repair to one leaf.) Contemporary half calf over marbled boards, flat spine ruled in gilt, decorated in blind, lettered in gilt and with gilt cipher in lower compartment (lower hinge slightly rubbed).
FINE COPY OF THE FIRST ENGLISH EDITION translated by John Forster, the Naturalist aboard the Resolution on James Cook's second voyage, 1772-75. France's first official circumnavigation was commanded by Bougainville who saw the strategic advantage in commanding the route to the Pacific around Cape Horn, hence his attempted colonization of the Falkland Islands in 1763 and his new charts of the Straits of Magellan. As well as bringing back news of his discoveries in the Pacific, Bougainville also brought back a Tahitian, Mayoa. It was the decision to return this young man to his home that prompted the French Government to mount another exploratory voyage led by de Fresne in 1771. Hill states that Johann Reinhold's son Georg, also Naturalist aboard the Resolution, may have been the actual translator of this work while Johann contributed the preface, dedication and footnotes. Hill 165; Sabin 6869.
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