Narrative of the Voyage of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, commanded by the late Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. &c. during the years 1846-1850…. John MACGILLIVRAY.
Narrative of the Voyage of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, commanded by the late Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. &c. during the years 1846-1850…

Narrative of the Voyage of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, commanded by the late Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. &c. during the years 1846-1850…
Narrative of the Voyage of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, commanded by the late Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. &c. during the years 1846-1850…

London: T. & W. Boone, 1852.

Two volumes, octavo, with 13 lithograph plates and a folding chart; a good, clean copy in the original green-blue cloth.

The surveying voyage of HMS Rattlesnake

First edition: the last and most difficult to find of the great exploration journals published by Boone during the heroic age of Australian exploration.

First edition: the last and most difficult to find of the great exploration journals published by Boone during the heroic age of Australian exploration.
McGillivray's book details the surveying voyage of HMS Rattlesnake as well as providing an important narrative of the tragic Kennedy expedition. The Rattlesnake carried out one of the important series of hydrographical voyages undertaken by the Admiralty in the late 1840s to chart the Australian Barrier Reef and north coast and the southern coast of New Guinea. The voyage continued the work that began with Lort Stokes on the Beagle and was continued by Blackwood on the Fly and Bramble. The complement on board the Rattlesnake was distinguished by the presence of the naturalist T.H. Huxley, and the marine artist Sir Oswald Brierly. The thirteen lithograph plates include eight views or portraits, six of which are attributed to Huxley while the other two may be after drawings by Brierly; the other five plates depict natural history subjects including two that illustrate shells. The large folding chart shows "Torres Strait, and S.E. coasts of New Guinea and the Louisiade Archipelago".
Describing a voyage important in its own right, MacGillivray's account is also of great value for its reprinting of William Carron's extremely rare account of the tragic Kennedy expedition. It was the Rattlesnake which transported Kennedy and his large party to their point of departure on the Queensland coast, at Rockingham Bay: they were to travel north and explore the Cape York Peninsula on their way to the northern tip of Cape York, then to cross over to Cape York's west coast and eventually meet up with Leichhardt. Both Leichhardt and Kennedy would die in the attempt.
MacGillivray devotes half of the second volume here to reprinting William Carron's account of the Kennedy expedition, with the statements of Jackey-Jackey, Dr Vallack, and extracts from Simpson's log. Carron was one of the members of the expedition left behind at Weymouth Bay as Kennedy headed north, and his account of the tragic venture was the first to be published, in 1849. It was a rare book even then, and is today virtually impossible to find: MacGillivray writing in England for publication in 1852 noted that the 'pamphlet printed in Sydney [is] scarcely procurable in this country'.

Ferguson 11972; Wantrup, 145 (noting 14 plates in error); not recorded by Abbey "Travel in Aquatint and Lithography".

Price (AUD): $11,850.00  other currencies     Ref: #4504254

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