Descobrimento da Australia pelos Portuguezes em 1601. Richard H. MAJOR.

Descobrimento da Australia pelos Portuguezes em 1601...

Lisbon: Melchiades & Co., 1863.

Large octavo pamphlet, 24 pp. with an additional map sheet, an excellent partially uncut copy.

Controversial study of the Dieppe maps

A controversial treatise claiming the primary discovery of the Australian continent as a Portuguese achievement. This theory derives from the author's belief in the secret Portuguese mapping of various parts of the Australian coast as revealed in the Dieppe maps. The author, Richard Major, enjoyed privileged access to rare manuscript and cartographic materials as an employee of the British Museum and secretary of the Hakluyt Society. He had a fluent command of Spanish which allowed him to study and interpret first-hand archaic and difficult material beyond the grasp of his contemporaries. The theory was, unsurprisingly, popular with the Portuguese. In 1861 Major was honoured by Pedro V of Portugal and made a knight of the Tower and the Sword.

A controversial treatise claiming the primary discovery of the Australian continent as a Portuguese achievement. This theory derives from the author's belief in the secret Portuguese mapping of various parts of the Australian coast as revealed in the Dieppe maps. The author, Richard Major, enjoyed privileged access to rare manuscript and cartographic materials as an employee of the British Museum and secretary of the Hakluyt Society. He had a fluent command of Spanish which allowed him to study and interpret first-hand archaic and difficult material beyond the grasp of his contemporaries. The theory was, unsurprisingly, popular with the Portuguese. In 1861 Major was honoured by Pedro V of Portugal and made a knight of the Tower and the Sword.
Although many of Major's beliefs are now not widely held (and his interpretation of the Dieppe maps has been vigorously challenged), his publications reinvigorated interest in the early voyages and stimulated debate upon in the maritime discovery of Australia before Cook.
This is one of two Lisbon printings of the same year, (the other being published by the Typographia da Academia, see Ferguson 12200). Some confusion has arisen over the alternate title printed on the wrappers of this edition that reads Prioridade do Descobrimento da Australia pelos Portuguezes. Ferguson record the Dixson library copy, another has since been acquired by the National Library.

Ferguson 12201

Price (AUD): $2,285.00  other currencies     Ref: #4403128