Voyages et Avantures de Jaques Massé. Simon TYSSOT DE PATOT.
Voyages et Avantures de Jaques Massé.

Voyages et Avantures de Jaques Massé.

"Bordeaux" [actually Rouen]: "1710" actually between 1714 and 1717.

Duodecimo, woodcut device on title; 19th-century grained morocco, gilt gauffred edges.

An Australian utopia in the Roaring Forties

First edition: an attractive copy of this precursor to Defoe, set on the Australian continent among people obsessed with mining and the problems of irrigation: 'the detailed account of the adventurer's camp in the Austral continent, the building of a raft, and the descriptions of plants and trees, may be compared favourably to similar passages in Robinson Crusoe…' (Atkinson).

First edition: an attractive copy of this precursor to Defoe, set on the Australian continent among people obsessed with mining and the problems of irrigation: 'the detailed account of the adventurer's camp in the Austral continent, the building of a raft, and the descriptions of plants and trees, may be compared favourably to similar passages in Robinson Crusoe…' (Atkinson).

The author Tyssot de Patot was a remarkable figure, an English-born Huguenot and self-taught philosopher with a background in mathematics who, at the impressive age of 72, suddenly scandalized his Dutch community and was run out of town as a dangerous heretic. He wrote two wonderfully inventive imaginary voyages, both well ahead of their time: one was an account of a journey deep underground into a hollow earth, while the present work tells the story of a veteran sailor called Jacques Massé who shipwrecks in the far southern reaches of the Indian Ocean, not far from what is now Kerguelen Island. Delighted with the new world he discovers, Massé denounces his European heritage, only to be betrayed and have to flee to the coast, where he is besieged for 12 years before being finally rescued by a Portuguese ship.

The work was a modest bestseller of the era, and the question of editions has been thoroughly investigated by Aubrey Rosenberg, no small task given that all four major editions are dated 1710 on the title-page. Rosenberg argues that this edition, 'A' in his list, with an armillary sphere device on the title with its base pointing to the left, was probably published between 1714 and 1717, and is the true first edition of the work.

Provenance: This copy from the British Museum, with the stamp on verso of title and the 1831 duplicate release stamp; also the crowned cipher "C.G." on spine.

Atkinson, 'The Extraordinary Voyage in French Literature', p. 70 and passim; Rosenberg, 'Tyssot de Patot and his work', The Hague, 1972.

Condition Report: A fine copy.

Price (AUD): $3,850.00

US$2,892.29   Other currencies

Ref: #3211648

Condition Report