London: J. Debrett, 1787.
Octavo, title + 86 pp., in later nineteenth-century half black roan.
The sixth edition: the first to include the attack on Lord Sydney and Botany Bay
A withering political satire containing one of the earliest printed treatments of Lord Sydney's plan to found a penal colony in New South Wales.
A withering political satire containing one of the earliest printed treatments of Lord Sydney's plan to found a penal colony in New South Wales.This ironic (and sometimes biting) commentary on the political state of Britain by Sir Nathaniel Wraxall includes a savage attack of six pages on Lord Sydney and the First Fleet set for Botany Bay. Wraxall was a contemporary of Lord Sydney, and the two men locked horns on a number of issues including the contentious scheme for a penal colony in New South Wales.This edition, the sixth "with additions", as well as the seventh edition that followed shortly afterwards, are the only two versions to contain the long passage on pages 77-83, which is in fact one of the earliest printed references to transportation to Botany Bay.Overall, Wraxall is scathing in his opinion of sending felons to the 'extreme verge of Nature' and likens the scheme to the fabled land of Lilliput by Swift. Lord Sydney comes under heavy fire; indeed Wraxall condemns him as downright incompetent in handling the most basic issues. Regarding the departure of the First Fleet, he writes 'was it not permitted to consult either reason, or naval experience, or humanity, in the time, chosen for their embarkation? Must the month of February be selected from the twelve, for the season of their departure? Does Lord Sydney recollect the fatal issue of Anson's, and of Pizarro's squadrons…If Lord Anson's experience and admonitions were insufficient: if Cook's more recent information were vain, even Robinson Crusoe would have taught him better.'
Price (AUD): $475.00 other currencies Ref: #4107102