Modern Geography. A Description of the Empires, Kingdoms, States, and Colonies; with the Oceans, Seas, and Isles; in all parts of the World: including the most Recent Discoveries, and Political Alterations. John PINKERTON.
Modern Geography. A Description of the Empires, Kingdoms, States, and Colonies; with the Oceans, Seas, and Isles; in all parts of the World: including the most Recent Discoveries, and Political Alterations.
Modern Geography. A Description of the Empires, Kingdoms, States, and Colonies; with the Oceans, Seas, and Isles; in all parts of the World: including the most Recent Discoveries, and Political Alterations.
Modern Geography. A Description of the Empires, Kingdoms, States, and Colonies; with the Oceans, Seas, and Isles; in all parts of the World: including the most Recent Discoveries, and Political Alterations.

Modern Geography…
Modern Geography. A Description of the Empires, Kingdoms, States, and Colonies; with the Oceans, Seas, and Isles; in all parts of the World: including the most Recent Discoveries, and Political Alterations.

London: Cadell, Davies, Longman and Rees, 1811.

Two volumes, quarto, 45 maps (including one double-page and two folding), double-hemisphere double-page world map as frontispiece, very good; nineteenth-century full calf, gilt.

A handsome set, and an important work with much on Australasia and Polynesia.

A handsome set, and an important work with much on Australasia and Polynesia.

This thorough introduction to geography is designed, as Pinkerton comments in his preface, to "shew the progress of geography, in every part of the world, to the beginning of the nineteenth century." There is an introduction with interesting details of telescopes and other astronomical instruments, which includes a good account of the vicissitudes of measuring longitude.

The "Australasia" section of this book occurs in volume II, and includes Pinkerton's influential delineation of this region (designed, in part, to resist some contemporary German scholars who tended to conflate Australia with Polynesia). This section includes New Holland (pp. 464-467), Papua New Guinea (pp. 478-483), New Britain and the Solomons (pp. 484-485), New Caledonia and the New Hebrides (pp. 485-486), New Zealand (pp. 487-491), and Van Diemen's Land (pp. 491-492).

Here, Pinkerton also gives an interesting account of conditions in New Holland, with a note that he believes the land mass to be a continent, and not a group of islands. His comments on early discovery include a digression on the "ancient" map in the Harleian collection of the British Museum, which purports to show a land mass similar to Australia (that is, the now famous image of 'Java la Grande' on the Harleian or Dauphin map, BM 5413). As if concerned with the amount of space he devotes to discussing New Holland, Pinkerton concludes the section with the comment: "If this account should seem rather too extensive, let it be considered that it describes a new continent, a real Terra Australis, now little known, but which in the years 1900, or 2000, may be found to present such great and singular topics, that a learned and precise pen may dedicate a large volume of geography to this one portion of the globe."

The same volume also has a good overview of "Polynesia, or small Isles in the Pacific" with sections on Pelew, Guam, the Carolines, the Marquesas, and the Friendly Isles, as well as two good sections on the Sandwich Islands (pp. 499-501) and the Society Isles (pp. 504-511).

There were several editions of this work, this is the third published in 1811. Pinkerton followed up the success of the work with his perhaps better known General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels in all parts of the World (17 volumes, 1808-1814).

Forbes, 'Hawaiian National Bibliography', 341.

Price (AUD): $2,250.00  other currencies Ref: #4106637