Souvenirs d'un aveugle. Voyage autour du monde…
Souvenirs d'un aveugle. Voyage autour du monde…

Souvenirs d'un aveugle. Voyage autour du monde…

Paris: Hortet et Ozanne, 1839.

Four volumes, octavo, with 60 lithograph plates (six folding); later binding of quarter dark green morocco.

The new version, with new title

A fine set of the substantially changed version of Arago's classic account of the French circumnavigation in the Uranie under the command of Louis de Freycinet, 'often incorrectly described as a later edition of Arago's Promenade… it is actually a different, more elaborate work…' (Hill). Arago was the official artist on the expedition, which spent considerable time in Hawaii as well as New South Wales and Western Australia; the plates here, all after Arago's own drawings made during the voyage, are especially interesting for western Australia, New South Wales, Hawaii and the islands of Micronesia.

A fine set of the substantially changed version of Arago's classic account of the French circumnavigation in the Uranie under the command of Louis de Freycinet, 'often incorrectly described as a later edition of Arago's Promenade… it is actually a different, more elaborate work…' (Hill). Arago was the official artist on the expedition, which spent considerable time in Hawaii as well as New South Wales and Western Australia; the plates here, all after Arago's own drawings made during the voyage, are especially interesting for western Australia, New South Wales, Hawaii and the islands of Micronesia.

The eccentricity of both illustrations and narrative in Arago's account made it very popular, and it was of course within the budget of the normal reader (whereas the official narrative in its long series of volumes cost about a hundred times more).

Much of the fourth volume deals with the expedition's visit to New South Wales, and there are nine fine lithographs of Aborigines, including detailed studies of hunting, rituals and bush dwellings. The visit to western Australia is dealt with in the first volume, with further illustrations. The major part of the third volume deals with Hawaii and is also extensively illustrated. The Hawaiian visit was made at a time crucial to the history of the islands, and some of the portraits and depictions of native customs are of considerable importance.

By the time this version of his book reached the public, the remarkable Arago had lost his sight: hence the new title used for the work of Souvenirs d'un aveugle. In his moving opening note Arago observes that 'n'avoir rien vu, c'est n'avoir rien à regretter. On ne perd réellement qu'après avoir possédé… et j'ai tant perdu!'.

Ferguson, 2689a; Forbes, 'Hawaiian National Bibliography', 1134; Hill, 30.

Price (AUD): $5,250.00  other currencies     Ref: #2808749

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