Promenade Autour du Monde pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820, sur les corvettes du Roi l'Uranie et la Physicienne, commandés par M. Freycinet. FREYCINET, Jacques Etienne Victor ARAGO.
Promenade Autour du Monde pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820, sur les corvettes du Roi l'Uranie et la Physicienne, commandés par M. Freycinet.
Promenade Autour du Monde pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820, sur les corvettes du Roi l'Uranie et la Physicienne, commandés par M. Freycinet.
Promenade Autour du Monde pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820, sur les corvettes du Roi l'Uranie et la Physicienne, commandés par M. Freycinet.

Promenade Autour du Monde…
Promenade Autour du Monde pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820, sur les corvettes du Roi l'Uranie et la Physicienne, commandés par M. Freycinet.

Paris: Leblanc, no date, but after 1822.

Two volumes, octavo, and small folio atlas; the atlas with separate title, map and 25 lithographic plates; text in mid-nineteenth century quarter green roan trade binding with gilt ornament, atlas in more recent quarter green roan to match.

The artist's account: the first published narrative of the Freycinet voyage

First edition: variant issue. A very good set of this significant narrative of the Freycinet expedition, one of the most important of all voyages to the Pacific. This wonderful, informal account of the voyage is written in the form of letters to a friend by the voyage's official artist Jacques Arago, and has a fine series of lithographs by him. The images, which would reappear in different forms in the many subsequent versions of Arago's narrative, are well known for their vivid even eccentric character, lively and arresting images of the people Arago encountered, with a distinct preference for the unusual or the grotesque. This set is a variant issue of the first edition, with undated cancel title pages for the two text volumes; its reissue may well indicate a failure of the first edition to sell out, quite at odds with the apparently endless popularity of Arago's subsequent versions of his voyage memoir. The text and plates of the atlas are identical to the first edition with the title-page dated 1822.

First edition: variant issue. A very good set of this significant narrative of the Freycinet expedition, one of the most important of all voyages to the Pacific. This wonderful, informal account of the voyage is written in the form of letters to a friend by the voyage's official artist Jacques Arago, and has a fine series of lithographs by him. The images, which would reappear in different forms in the many subsequent versions of Arago's narrative, are well known for their vivid even eccentric character, lively and arresting images of the people Arago encountered, with a distinct preference for the unusual or the grotesque. This set is a variant issue of the first edition, with undated cancel title pages for the two text volumes; its reissue may well indicate a failure of the first edition to sell out, quite at odds with the apparently endless popularity of Arago's subsequent versions of his voyage memoir. The text and plates of the atlas are identical to the first edition with the title-page dated 1822.
Although a lavish publication in its own right, Arago's "unofficial" account appeared years before the much grander official account of Freycinet himself even began publication, and was so popular that it would have been the source of much of what was known about the voyage. Arago, by all accounts a mercurial and innovative fellow, broke away from the well-established 'canon' of voyage literature in preparing this narrative. As he boasts, much of the cumbersome detail such as wind, tides and navigational information has been omitted, resulting in a lighter, and more readable book. 'These entertaining letters, written in a lively and witty literary style, provide vivid descriptions of the topography and the inhabitants of the Pacific islands' (Hill).
The Uranie, with a crew of 125 under the command of Captain Louis de Freycinet, entered the Pacific from the west to make scientific observations on geography, magnetism, and meteorology. Arago was the artist of the expedition, which visited Western Australia, Timor, Hawaii, and New South Wales. The text is peppered with Arago's personal and insightful comments on the places they visited, with long sections devoted to Western Australia and especially to New South Wales, where Arago gives an interesting account of colonial society at the close of the Macquarie era. There are good descriptions of Sydney, and the explorers' visits to Camden and the Blue Mountains. The French were entertained handsomely by the governor and other members of the local aristocracy, with expeditions to the country estates of the Macarthurs, the Oxleys and the Kings the order of the day.
Forbes notes two variants of this issue (see 538), without establishing any precedence.

Forbes, 'Hawaiian National Bibliography', 538; for the first edition see Ferguson, 850; Hawaii One Hundred, 26; Hill, 28; Sabin, 1867.

Price (AUD): $6,850.00  other currencies     Ref: #4504062

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