Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales with sixty-five plates of nondescript animals, birds, lizards, serpents…. John WHITE.
Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales with sixty-five plates of nondescript animals, birds, lizards, serpents…
Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales with sixty-five plates of nondescript animals, birds, lizards, serpents…
Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales with sixty-five plates of nondescript animals, birds, lizards, serpents…
Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales with sixty-five plates of nondescript animals, birds, lizards, serpents…
Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales with sixty-five plates of nondescript animals, birds, lizards, serpents…

Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales…
Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales with sixty-five plates of nondescript animals, birds, lizards, serpents…

London: J. Debrett, 1790.

Quarto, with an engraved title page and 65 engraved plates; old full speckled calf.

The most substantial early work of Australian natural history

First edition: the foundation of natural history of the new colony, John White's Journal is a travel and ornithological classic by a medical voyager. The handsome volume is "graced by sixty-five engraved plates, all but one of which illustrate the natural history of New South Wales" (Australian Rare Books).

First edition: the foundation of natural history of the new colony, John White's Journal is a travel and ornithological classic by a medical voyager. The handsome volume is "graced by sixty-five engraved plates, all but one of which illustrate the natural history of New South Wales" (Australian Rare Books).

John White was chief surgeon of the First Fleet, and was particularly successful in managing both the difficult conditions on the voyage out and the early years of the settlement. He was also a keen amateur naturalist and after arriving at Port Jackson found time to accompany Phillip on two journeys of exploration.

The natural history content of the published account makes White's particularly noteworthy amongst the First Fleet journals. Many of the plates were drawn in England by leading natural history artists of the day, such as Sarah Stone, from original sketches done in the colony. White's journal also contains an interesting and valuable account of the voyage from London, with long, detailed accounts of the stops at Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town and of the colonial voyages to Norfolk Island. The book was an immediate success, with subscribers alone accounting for seven hundred copies.

There has been much discussion over the years regarding variations in the printing of the first edition of this work, but this copy is a typical example of the standard configuration most often seen, with the earlier errors of the list of subscribers corrected, and the text describing the female wattled Wattled Bee-eater (for a full discussion see Ferguson, 97; Matthews, Birds of Australia, Supplement; and Wantrup, Australian Rare Books, pp. 75-7).

An interesting note about this copy is that the front endpaper includes the ownership inscription of a surgeon named Richard Wright dated November 29th 1804; it is perhaps not surprising to see a surgeon's account of the First Fleet owned by another member of the profession.

Provenance: With the manuscript inscription on endpaper "Richard Wright. Surgeon November 29th. 1804".

Casey Wood, 626; Crittenden, 'A Bibliography of the First Fleet', 248; Davidson, 'A Book Collector's Notes', pp. 81-6; Ferguson, 97; Ford, 2495; Hill, 1858; Nissen ZBI, 4390; Wantrup, 17; Zimmer, 672.

Condition Report: A good copy, expertly rebacked; some occasional spotting and joints reinforced.

Price (AUD): $7,850.00

US$5,897.27   Other currencies

Ref: #4403136

Condition Report