A Voyage Round the World, performed in the Years 1785, 1786, 1787 and 1788, by the Boussole and Astrolabe, under the command of J.F.G. de la Perouse. Jean Francois Galaup de LA PEROUSE.
A Voyage Round the World, performed in the Years 1785, 1786, 1787 and 1788, by the Boussole and Astrolabe, under the command of J.F.G. de la Perouse.
A Voyage Round the World, performed in the Years 1785, 1786, 1787 and 1788, by the Boussole and Astrolabe, under the command of J.F.G. de la Perouse.

A Voyage Round the World…
A Voyage Round the World, performed in the Years 1785, 1786, 1787 and 1788, by the Boussole and Astrolabe, under the command of J.F.G. de la Perouse.

London: G.G. and J. Robinson, 1798-1799.

Total of three volumes, comprising two quarto text volumes with an engraved portrait frontispiece, and a folio atlas with portrait, engraved title and 69 maps and plates; recent black half morocco with gilt lettering and ornament.

Best English edition

The best English edition: the official account of one of the finest narratives of maritime exploration ever written. The tragedy of the disappearance of the entire La Pérouse expedition overshadows the importance of this great Pacific voyage, and of this narrative compiled from surviving papers. Abridged translations had appeared in 1798, but this was the first complete translation of the French original, and the first English publication of the complete set of images of the expedition. Most of the engraved plates are by Heath, engraver of some of the plates for Cook's third voyage. The translator modestly announces: 'The book now laid before the world is one of the most magnificent in its conception, and recent in its execution'.

The best English edition: the official account of one of the finest narratives of maritime exploration ever written. The tragedy of the disappearance of the entire La Pérouse expedition overshadows the importance of this great Pacific voyage, and of this narrative compiled from surviving papers. Abridged translations had appeared in 1798, but this was the first complete translation of the French original, and the first English publication of the complete set of images of the expedition. Most of the engraved plates are by Heath, engraver of some of the plates for Cook's third voyage. The translator modestly announces: 'The book now laid before the world is one of the most magnificent in its conception, and recent in its execution'.

The disappearance of the entire La Pérouse expedition overshadows what was in reality a great Pacific voyage. While primarily a voyage of exploration and discovery, the possibilities of the fur trade and of French expansion into the Pacific and Asia were evidently investigated in depth.

The most significant results of the voyage are the charts of the imperfectly known Asiatic side of the Pacific. En route to Kamschatka, La Pérouse was the first to safely navigate and chart the Japan Sea and the strait between the island of Sakahlin and the northernmost island of Japan, which bears his name. At Kamschatka he received instructions to proceed to Australia to assess the extent of British plans in New South Wales. Travelling via Samoa where he discovered Savaii, Manono and Apolima islands in December 1787, and through the Tongan group, he arrived at Botany Bay in January 1788, just hours after Governor Phillip had arrived with the First Fleet. La Pérouse's habit of forwarding records whenever opportunity offered ensured their survival. The first portion was forwarded by sea from Macao; the second (Macao to Kamschatka) went overland with De Lesseps, and the final despatches from Botany Bay.

Provenance: Kings Inn library, Dublin (with a few old stamps and a cursive title-page notation).

Davidson, 'A Book Collector's Notes', pp.100-101; Ferguson, 288; Forbes, 'Hawaiian National Bibliography', 311; Hill, 975 ('extremely rare'); McLaren, 'Lapérouse in the Pacific', 10.

Price (AUD): $22,000.00  other currencies Ref: #3712657

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