FLINDERS, Matthew (1774-1814). A Voyage to Terra Australis, undertaken for the purpose of completing the discovery of that vast country, and prosecuted in the years 1801, 1802, and 1803, in His Majesty's Ship The Investigator and subsequently in the armed vessel Porpoise and Cumberland schooner. London: W. Bulmer and Co. for G. and W. Nicol, 1814.
2 text volumes, 4o (304 x 233 mm) and atlas folio (695 x 518 mm). 9 engraved plates in the text after W. Westall (foxed and offset onto text); atlas with 16 engraved maps (10 double-page), 2 dougle-page plates of coastal and headland views, and 10 plates of plants after Ferdinand Bauer engraved by Elizabeth Byrne, Pye and Sansom (maps a bit foxed, some offsetting, map 5 with small adhesion along border, second plate of headland views 1-inch short). (Lacks half-titles in text.) Text bound in contemporary diced calf gilt (covers detached, worn); atlas bound in half calf (broken). Provenance: Henry Perkins (bookplate); Jay Gould (1836-1892), American financier (Lyndhurst bookplate).
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF AUSTRALIA, BY THE EXPLORER WHO GAVE IT ITS NAME. J. Wantrup calls Flinder's narrative "the most outstanding book on the coastal exploration of Australia" (Australian Rare Books, p.144). Flinders sailed from England on 18 July 1801, and during the next two years he surveyed the entire coast of Australia from Cape Leeuwin to Bass Strait. He returned to Port Jackson in 1803 having completed the first circumnavigation of Australia, thus establishing it as a continent. Flinders devoted the remainder of his life to the publication of this work, which was formally published one day before his death on 19 July 1814. It is a day-by-day record of the expedition and includes a lengthy introduction detailing earlier South Seas voyages and an appendix by Robert Brown, the botanist accompanying the expedition. Flinders took great pains to insure the accuracy of the work and the charts contained in the atlas were used for navigation for over a century. The Voyage to Terra Australis was of monumental cartographical significance and "is the centerpiece of any collection of books dealing with Australian coastal discovery" (Wantrup, p.144). The three volumes were orginally published in both large-paper (150 copies) and normal (1000 copies) issues. The atlas accompanying the present copy is in the large format, with the plates unfolded. Ferguson 576; Hill, p.106; Ingelton 6487; Nissen BBI 637; Stafleu & Cowan 1806; Wantrup, pp.138-144. (3)