Curiosities of Savage Life. James GREENWOOD.
Curiosities of Savage Life.

Curiosities of Savage Life.

London: S.O. Beeton, 1863.

Octavo, with a chromolithograph frontispiece and one other plate, woodcuts throughout, 8-pp. advertisements bound in at rear; good in the original highly-gilt pictorial cloth, some flecking.

First edition of this extraordinary compendium, illustrated by Harden S. Melville, artist on the Fly expedition in the Great Barrier Reef and Northern Australia in 1841. The work includes Melville's own description of the local tribesman Neinmal, who was taken on board the Fly at Port Essington, as well as his depiction of "Surf Swimming off the coast of Hawaii".

First edition of this extraordinary compendium, illustrated by Harden S. Melville, artist on the Fly expedition in the Great Barrier Reef and Northern Australia in 1841. The work includes Melville's own description of the local tribesman Neinmal, who was taken on board the Fly at Port Essington, as well as his depiction of "Surf Swimming off the coast of Hawaii".

References to Australia and the Pacific are found throughout, including descriptions of 'the ceremony of "Kebarrah" among the Bushmen of Australia', 'Australian Kuri dance' and other corroborees, 'a Port Essington swell', or 'the affecting narrative of Jacky-Jacky' (the story of the only survivor of the Kennedy expedition).

Most of the book derives from serious works by authors such as George Angas and Thomas Mitchell, although Greenwood cannot resist making his own asides. Indeed, it quickly becomes apparent that the author sees little reason to differentiate between any of the people he is describing, preferring the remarkably silly conceit of following one archetypal 'Savage' from cradle to death.

This is an example of the scarce "First Series" referred to by Ferguson only in passing in his note to a "Second Series" (10073c) and apparently known to him only from the Dixson Library copy.

Price (AUD): $1,250.00  other currencies Ref: #3611693

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