A Voyage to New Holland, &c. In the Year, 1699…. William DAMPIER.

A Voyage to New Holland, &c. In the Year, 1699…
A Voyage to New Holland, &c. In the Year, 1699…

London: James Knapton, 1703.

Octavo, with a folding frontispiece map, four maps and ten plates and tables; publishers advertisements at end; in original eighteenth-panelled calf, spine renewed.

The first deliberate English voyage to Australia

The important and rare first edition of the first deliberate English voyage to Australia, one of very few classic pre-Cook voyages to the continent. Dampier was the first Englishman to visit Australia when he stopped on the west coast in 1688, but he remained only a short time (publishing an account in 1697). In 1699, he set sail again on this voyage to New Holland. His account represented a third volume of adventures, and although the title page refers to the work as volume three, it was in fact published quite separately. The engraved plates - birds, fish and plants - are among the very earliest depictions of Australian natural history.

The important and rare first edition of the first deliberate English voyage to Australia, one of very few classic pre-Cook voyages to the continent. Dampier was the first Englishman to visit Australia when he stopped on the west coast in 1688, but he remained only a short time (publishing an account in 1697). In 1699, he set sail again on this voyage to New Holland. His account represented a third volume of adventures, and although the title page refers to the work as volume three, it was in fact published quite separately. The engraved plates - birds, fish and plants - are among the very earliest depictions of Australian natural history.

'Dampier's 1699 voyage was the second expedition of the English to Australia. He furnished accurate information and surveys, and wrote concerning Australia: "It is not yet determined whether it is an island or a main continent; but I am certain that it joyns neither to Asia, Africa, nor America." His description of the Aborigines of Australia probably inspired Jonathan Swift to write about Gulliver among the Yahoos' (Hill).

Widely regarded as the greatest English explorer and navigator before Cook, Dampier was also a popular and exciting writer. His books went through many editions – indeed he is still in print in one form or another – but copies of the first edition of this voyage to New Holland are now uncommon. As James A. Williamson wrote in his introduction to the 1939 Argonaut Press edition of the Voyage to New Holland, 'Dampier's permanent service to his countrymen was to arouse their interest in the exploration of the Pacific… His third and last book, the Voyage to New Holland, concentrated attention more particularly on the western and southern Pacific. It might have been more aptly described as a voyage to New Britain and a project for Eastern Australia, for there essentially lay the focus of his interest…'.

Hill, 420.

Price (AUD): $9,500.00  other currencies     Ref: #4504930

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