Voyage autour du Monde [and] Journal d'un Voyage. Louis Antoine de BOUGAINVILLE, James MAGRA.
Voyage autour du Monde [and] Journal d'un Voyage.
Voyage autour du Monde [and] Journal d'un Voyage.

Voyage autour du Monde [and] Journal d'un Voyage.

Neuchatel: de l'Imprimerie de la Société Typographique, 1772-1773.

Three volumes, octavo; contemporary French tortoiseshell calf, flat spines gilt in compartments with floral decoration, double labels.

The two earliest works on Tahiti

The two earliest works on Tahiti brought together to form a complete work: the first French account of Cook's first voyage and the revised edition of Bougainville's narrative: a beautiful set in original French bindings. The two works in three volumes were published as a coherent set, and the three volumes here have clearly always formed a set. These are the second editions of two major books that had first appeared as separate publications in quarto size (Bougainville in French and Magra in English) just two years earlier. The two works are also significant as jointly providing one of the earliest continental sources for early knowledge of the eastern coast of Australia: the Magra text is obviously the more important in that respect, but it is often forgotten that Bougainville reached the Great Barrier Reef, and would probably have come ashore at Cooktown had the reef not prevented him.

The two earliest works on Tahiti brought together to form a complete work: the first French account of Cook's first voyage and the revised edition of Bougainville's narrative: a beautiful set in original French bindings. The two works in three volumes were published as a coherent set, and the three volumes here have clearly always formed a set. These are the second editions of two major books that had first appeared as separate publications in quarto size (Bougainville in French and Magra in English) just two years earlier. The two works are also significant as jointly providing one of the earliest continental sources for early knowledge of the eastern coast of Australia: the Magra text is obviously the more important in that respect, but it is often forgotten that Bougainville reached the Great Barrier Reef, and would probably have come ashore at Cooktown had the reef not prevented him.
The first two volumes (Voyage autour du Monde, par la Fregate du Roi La Boudeuse, et la Flute l'Etoile, en 1766, 1767, 1768 & 1769) contain the revised and augmented version of Bougainville's narrative of his circumnavigation, which had been published in its quarto format in 1771. Often considered to be the "best" edition, this second version adds a 'Discours préliminaire' on discoveries in the Pacific since Magellan which takes Cook's First Voyage (1768-71) into account.
The Magra account, though the title reads "supplement", is complete in itself (Supplement au Voyage de M. De Bougainville, ou Journal d'un Voyage Autour du Monde, fait par MM. Banks & Solander, Anglois, en 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771. Traduit de l'Anglois, par M. de Freville). This is the second French edition of the earliest published account of Cook's first voyage, and was printed only a year after the first Paris edition. This French edition contains in addition to the Cook voyage narrative a French-Tahitian vocabulary, and adds an extensive 'Lettre de M. de Commerson à M. de La Lande. De l'île de Bourbon, le 18 avril 1771' about Madagascar, and a piece by "M. le B. de G." on the North West Passage (1771), as well as Condamine's "Observations" on Tahiti.
As Du Rietz points out in the Kroepelien catalogue, while there were two issues of this publication, one (as here) describing itself as the supplement to Bougainville's account, there is no evident priority between the two which should rather be seen as simultaneous issues.
Magra's narrative of the Endeavour voyage, published first in London in 1771, was the first of a series of so-called "surreptitious accounts" of Cook's various voyages to appear in print, published anonymously some two months after the return of Endeavour and nearly two years before Hawkesworth's official account.

Provenance: Private collection (Japan).

Beddie, 700; Kroepelien, 112/117; O'Reilly-Reitman, 290 & 364.

Price (AUD): $7,250.00  other currencies     Ref: #3712564

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