Supplément 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. COOK: FIRST VOYAGE, James MAGRA.
Supplément 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.

… Journal d'un Voyage autour du Monde, Fait par MM. Banks & Solander…
Supplément 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.

Paris: Saillant & Nyon, 1772.

Octavo, blind-stamped ex-libris to half title; contemporary French marbled calf, flat spine gilt in compartments, red morocco label.

First French edition

A fine copy of the first French account of Cook's Endeavour voyage, and the first French book on the east coast of Australia. Fréville translates the text now considered to be by Magra, which - published in English in 1771 - was the unauthorised and earliest account of the progress of the Endeavour voyage. This is one of two probably simultaneous issues, this one having the "Supplément" title-page; in this form the publishers intended the book to complement the octavo edition of Bougainville's voyage. The work also includes two interesting additions that did not appear in the original London edition. The 'Lettre de M. de Commerson' is by the famed naturalist from Bougainville's circumnavigation, who remained behind at Mauritius to continue his research. Continuing the parade of famous explorers included in this short work, the letter itself is said to have been conveyed to France by none other than Kerguelen, promoter of the "Terre Australe".

A fine copy of the first French account of Cook's Endeavour voyage, and the first French book on the east coast of Australia. Fréville translates the text now considered to be by Magra, which - published in English in 1771 - was the unauthorised and earliest account of the progress of the Endeavour voyage. This is one of two probably simultaneous issues, this one having the "Supplément" title-page; in this form the publishers intended the book to complement the octavo edition of Bougainville's voyage. The work also includes two interesting additions that did not appear in the original London edition. The 'Lettre de M. de Commerson' is by the famed naturalist from Bougainville's circumnavigation, who remained behind at Mauritius to continue his research. Continuing the parade of famous explorers included in this short work, the letter itself is said to have been conveyed to France by none other than Kerguelen, promoter of the "Terre Australe".
The second supplement is equally important: the 'Lettre de M. le B. de G.' is a learned treatise on the possibility of a northwest passage, written at Königsberg (modern Kaliningrad), and quoting from experts on the region such as Gmelin, Muller, and Engel. Although the identity of this scholar remains hazy, it is surprising that such an interesting - and relatively early - report on the northwest passage has been largely ignored.
Rolf du Rietz in the Kroepelien catalogue further notes that a letter from Sir Joseph Banks to the Académie des Sciences is also quoted in the introduction, said to have first been published in the Journal des Savans. Despite his best efforts to distance himself from Magra's work (including having the false dedication in the London edition removed), it appears that his unwilling association with the work continued on the continent. Indeed, one of the attractive aspects of this copy is not only the fine contemporary French binding, but the spine label which reads 'Voyage de Solander': it was not unusual for Banks to be given top-billing in the excitement of the return of the Endeavour, but there cannot be too many examples that plump for Solander.

Beddie, 697; Kroepelien, 219; O'Reilly-Reitman, 365.

Price (AUD): $5,500.00  other currencies     Ref: #3812970

Condition Report