Item #4308557 Narrative of the Surveying Voyage of H.M.S. Fly, commanded by Captain F.P. Blackwood, R.N. in Torres Strait, New Guinea, and other islands of the Eastern Archipelago, during the years 1842-1846…. J. Beete JUKES.

Narrative of the Surveying Voyage of H.M.S. Fly…
Narrative of the Surveying Voyage of H.M.S. Fly, commanded by Captain F.P. Blackwood, R.N. in Torres Strait, New Guinea, and other islands of the Eastern Archipelago, during the years 1842-1846…

London: T. & W. Boone, 1847.

Two volumes, octavo, with many engravings (full-page and textual), and a folding map at the end of each volume; a fine copy, complete with all advertisement leaves including a half-sheet advertisement for Leichhardt in vol. I and another for Dutton's "South Australia" in vol. II, in the original and unfaded blue-grey blind-stamped cloth.

The voyage of HMS Fly

First edition: a fine copy, in original condition, of this important surveying voyage of coastal Australia. Jukes' account is particularly important for his description of the Queensland coast, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Torres Strait, and includes an impressively detailed map of the north-east coast from Endeavour River north to New Guinea.

First edition: a fine copy, in original condition, of this important surveying voyage of coastal Australia. Jukes' account is particularly important for his description of the Queensland coast, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Torres Strait, and includes an impressively detailed map of the north-east coast from Endeavour River north to New Guinea.

The Fly, Captain Blackwood, sailed from Falmouth on 11 April 1842 with the cutter Bramble. Jukes sailed as naturalist to the expedition, and with his captain's consent wrote the official narrative. The survey of Torres Strait and of the Great Barrier Reef, as well as the various New Guinea explorations, were all of great importance. The proper scientific understanding of the Barrier Reef could not begin until the completion of the survey, which Jukes charted for the first time in detail. Jukes' own close examination of the reef was also significant, and his chapter on the subject 'is an invaluable record. His observations strongly supported Darwin's theory of the formation of coral reefs…' (Davidson). Indeed, Jukes' interest in coral formation is neatly summarised by the account's terrific opening line, 'I landed for the first time in my life on a coral island.'

Ingleton notes: 'the Admiralty decided in 1841 to have the Great Barrier Reefs explored and to have the gaps surveyed in order that some means might be devised for marking the most eligible of these openings, in order that they could be recognised in due time and passed through in comparative safety… The expedition was noteworthy for being the first to be despatched to Australia on a purely surveying mission…' (Charting a Continent, pp. 61-66).

Twelve of the plates are notably fine aquatints by Harden S. Melville, who published his own illustrated work on the voyage (Sketches in Australia and the Adjacent Islands, 1849).

Davidson, 'A Book Collector's Notes', pp.129-30; Ferguson, 4549; Hill, 901; Wantrup, 92a.

Price (AUD): $11,000.00

US$7,139.38   Other currencies

Ref: #4308557