A Journal of a Voyage round the world, in His Majesty's Ship the Dolphin… By a Midshipman on Board the said Ship. BYRON, Charles CLERKE, attributed.

A Journal of a Voyage round the world…
A Journal of a Voyage round the world, in His Majesty's Ship the Dolphin… By a Midshipman on Board the said Ship.

London: A. Manson, P. Denham, W. Robertson, and F. Nicholson n.d., circa 1784.

Small octavo, 93 pp., early owner's names on endpapers; an excellent copy in contemporary sprinkled calf,

"By a midshipman on board"

An uncommon edition of the Byron voyage in excellent original condition. The earliest accounts of the Byron voyage were printed in 1767, when their tales of the Patagonian giants became the rage of London, this 1784 edition would have been issued to capitalise on interest in Cook's voyages.

An uncommon edition of the Byron voyage in excellent original condition. The earliest accounts of the Byron voyage were printed in 1767, when their tales of the Patagonian giants became the rage of London, this 1784 edition would have been issued to capitalise on interest in Cook's voyages.

Byron's voyage to the Pacific was the first major English voyage in the region since Anson, and would become the first part of Hawkesworth's famous compendium of South Sea voyages. This anonymous account, traditionally ascribed to Charles Clerke, a midshipman on the Dolphin under Byron, became the basis for a dozen or more European editions and translations over the next twenty years. Clerke later served with Captain Cook on all three of his voyages, succeeding him as commander of the third voyage but shortly after dying of tuberculosis at Petropavlovsk in August 1779.

This is one of the so-called "Midshipman" editions, with the title noting "by a Midshipman on board" (most editions promoted the anonymous author to "officer"). The first midshipman title appears to be the one published by M. Cooper in London in 1767. Another edition was printed for A. Millar and J. Hodges in 1784: the pagination of the Millar/Hodges copy corresponds exactly with this edition, which is the strongest evidence of the date of publication.

In any version the Midshipman editions are rare: no copy is noted, for example, in major Pacific catalogues including those of Kroepelien, Hill, and Parsons. A handful of copies is known in Australian and international institutions, but this edition is very uncommonly offered for sale.

Hill, 311 (second "officer" edition); O'Reilly-Reitman, 241 (second "officer" edition).

Price (AUD): $5,500.00  other currencies     Ref: #3712545

Condition Report