7 - 8 April 2004
SPARRMAN, Anders (1747-1820). A Voyage to the Cape of Good Hope, towards the Antarctic Polar Circle and round the world: but chiefly into the country of the Hottentots and Caffres, from the year 1772, to 1776... Translated from the Swedish original. London: for G.G.J. & J.Robinson, 1785.
2 volumes, 4° (295 x 230mm). Engraved folding map, 10 engraved plates. (Small blank section of outer margin of Bb1 torn away, some light unobtrusive spotting to both text and plates.) Original boards, title labels to backstrip 'Sparrman's Voyage. Vol. I. [II.]', uncut (expertly rebacked to style, original labels laid down, corners bumped). Provenance: John Cracroft (b.1748, Hackthorn Hall, Lincolnshire, armorial bookplate).
FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH OF SPARRMAN'S ACCOUNT OF COOK'S SECOND VOYAGE, HERE IN THE VERY RARE ORIGINAL BOARDS. The work includes accounts of his travels inland from the settlement at the Cape of Good Hope and as assistant naturalist to Johann Forster aboard Captain James Cook's Resolution from September 1772 to March 1775. Sparrman's account includes a number of details of Cook's second voyage which are not mentioned elsewhere, but the majority of the narrative concerns South Africa: 'The author relates many incidents illustrating the hospitality of the Dutch farmers and their dense ignorance of matters outside their own country, and he makes allusions to the cruelty of the treatment of the slaves by the lower classes of the colonists. He frequently draws attention to the inaccuracies to be met with in [Peter] Kolbe[n]'s account of the Cape, [first published in 1719,] and throws considerable doubt on the veracity of many of his statements.' (Mendelssohn). Beddie 1276; Conrad p.14; Mendelssohn II,p.414; Renard 1516; Rosove 316.A1 ('Scarce'); Spence 1146. (2)
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