STOKES, John Lort (1812-1885). Discoveries in Australia; with an account of the coasts and rivers explored and surveyed during the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle, in the years 1837...-43... also a narrative of Captain Owen Stanley's visits to the islands of the Arafura Sea. London: G. Norman for T. & W. Boone, 1846.
2 volumes, 8° (222 x 140mm). 1p. errata in vol.I, a total of 22pp. of publisher's advertisements bound at the beginning and end of each volume, 2 small slips advertising other works bound in. 8 folding engraved maps and charts only (6 of the maps unbound within pocket at front of vol.II, one of these with lengths of coastline highlighted by hand in red), 26 plates comprising 12 lithographs, 14 engravings. (Lacking the map of the Arafura Sea, about four plates spotted.) Original blue cloth, covers blocked in blind, spines blocked in gilt and blind (rebacked, old spines laid down, inner hinges repaired).
FIRST EDITION, IN A FIRST ISSUE BINDING, of a work that 'is essential to a collection relating to coastal voyages' (Wantrup). Stokes served on the Beagle for 18 years from 1825. Having completed the famous circumnavigation described by Darwin, the Beagle was sent under Commander J.C. Wickham 'to survey Australian waters, arriving in December 1837. During the survey of the Timor Sea in 1839 Stokes was several times entrusted with the closer examination of what is now the Northern Territory coast. He was the first to discover and name the Victoria River and Port Darwin, commemorating his old shipmate.... in March 1841 [Stokes] succeeded Wickham in command of Beagle. Between June and August of that year he surveyed part of the Gulf of Carpentaria... He named the Flinders and Albert Rivers, and between them the Plains of Promise... Many of the hydrographic maps prepared by Wickham and Stokes during their North Australian cruises, and later while Stokes was examining Bass Strait in 1842, were still in use during World War II.' (Australian Dictionary of Biography II, p.489). Ferguson IV,4406; Wantrup 89a. (2)