7 - 8 April 2004
[MASLEN, T.J.]. The Friend of Australia; or, a plan for exploring the interior and for carrying on a survey of the whole continent of Australia. By a Retired Officer of the Hon. East India Company's Service. London: Bradbury & Evans for Hurst, Chance, & Co., 1830.
8° (222 x 140mm). 16pp. publisher's advertisements dated January 1830 tipped in at front. 5 hand-coloured lithographic plates, 4 double-page, one folding, folding uncoloured lithographic map of Australia, all printed by Charles Hullmandel after Maslen. (Occasional light spotting to text.) Original green cloth, paper label to spine lettered 'The Friend/of/Australia./Plates./[horizontal filet]/Price 16s.' (joints slightly split, spine slightly faded).
FIRST EDITION, first issue - a fine unsophisticated copy of this 'fascinating book, scarce and sought-after' (Wantrup). Only one copy is listed as having sold at auction in the past twenty five years. 'The supreme monument to the speculative geography of the 1820s and 1830s is... [a] very scarce volume written in 1827 and published anonymously in London in 1830... Maslen's work is an extensive octavo volume of over 400 page, illustrated with five quaint hand-coloured aquatint plates [sic., actually lithographs] illustrating the conduct of his proposed exploring expedition, a plan for the design of proposed townships and a new flag for New South Wales. Perhaps the glory of the work is Maslen's large folding map of the Australian continent as he would have liked it to be, with a vast inland sea and a 'Great River' whose delta enters the sea on the north coast' (Wantrup pp.192-193). Abbey Travel II, 574; Ferguson I,1379; Wantrup 117a.
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