Sir John Barrow (1764-1848)
A Voyage to Cochinchina, in the years 1792 and 1793: containing a general view of...this flourishing kingdom; and also of such European settlements as were visited on the voyage...to which is annexed an account of a journey, made in the years 1801 and 1802, to the residence of the the chief of the Booshuana nation, being the remotest point in the interior of Southern Africa to which Europeans have hitherto penetrated. London: Strahan & Preston for T. Cadell and T. Davies, 1806. 4 (26.5 x 21.2cm.) 19 hand-coloured aquatint plates (one folding) after S. Daniell and W. Alexander, two folding engraved maps, hand-coloured in outline. (Neat repair to inner blank margin of plate bound at front, some offsetting to maps.) Contemporary calf gilt (rebacked, corners repaired, inner hinges strengthened.)
FIRST EDITION. Barrow accompanied Lord Macartney as official interpreter to the mission, having learnt Chinese from a former pupil, Thomas Staunton. 'The embassy was a magnificent failure, arriving at Peking with gifts which included all the wonders of Western civilization - artillery, telescopes, a coach-and-four, a balloon and pilot - Macartney was treated with hospitable disgust before being dismissed with polite contempt. According to the Chinese Emperor, the presence of a British Ambassador was "not in harmony with the regulations of the Celestial Empire, we also feel very much that it is of no advantage to your country"'. (F. Fleming. Barrow's Boys. 1998, p.4). The 'African' portion of Barrow's work includes an account of 'the journey to Lattakoo, undertaken by Messrs. Daniell, Truter, Somerville, Scholz, and the author' and is based on 'a manuscript in Dutch written by Mr. Truter': Mendelssohn I, p.89; Abbey Travel 514.