Voyages autour du monde, et vers les deux Pôles par terre et par mer, pendant les années 1767… 1776…. KERGUELEN, Pierre-Marie François de PAGES.
Voyages autour du monde, et vers les deux Pôles par terre et par mer, pendant les années 1767… 1776…
Voyages autour du monde, et vers les deux Pôles par terre et par mer, pendant les années 1767… 1776…
Voyages autour du monde, et vers les deux Pôles par terre et par mer, pendant les années 1767… 1776…

Voyages autour du monde…
Voyages autour du monde, et vers les deux Pôles par terre et par mer, pendant les années 1767… 1776…

Paris: Moutard, 1782.

Two volumes, octavo, with ten folding engraved maps and plates; contemporary French marbled calf gilt; an excellent copy.

Pages' narrative of the search for a continent towards the South Pole

First edition: the rare original account of Pagès's extensive narrative of travel and exploration, of most interest for the second volume which recounts his voyage towards the South Pole in search of a Southern Continent under Kerguelen in 1773-74. The ten fine engravings all relate to this part of the work.

First edition: the rare original account of Pagès's extensive narrative of travel and exploration, of most interest for the second volume which recounts his voyage towards the South Pole in search of a Southern Continent under Kerguelen in 1773-74. The ten fine engravings all relate to this part of the work.
This was Kerguelen's second voyage, and a disastrous one: Pagès was to be an important witness in the subsequent court-martial of the commander for the events surrounding the dismasting of the Rolland during a storm. Kerguelen was dismissed from the service, and his printed account of the voyage, which was officially suppressed, is today very rare. This second volume also describes Pagès's experiences on a whaling voyage north of Spitzbergen in 1776, which includes much information on whaling and the natural history of the whale.
Kerguelen's voyages finally proved to the French what Cook had already generally demonstrated - that the southern continent was a fiction - but more importantly, their disastrous result ensured that promotion in the French navy was henceforth based on merit rather than breeding. "La Pérouse may not have been a well-connected courtier, but he was honest and capable: that he was given the opportunity to lead the most comprehensive French expedition of the eighteenth century was a direct result of the Kerguelen episode…" (J. Dunmore, French Explorers in the Pacific, p. 249; pp. 196-249 give a full history of Kerguelen and his significance in the history of French exploration).

Provenance: Private collection (Australia).

Hill, 1285 (English edition only); Spence, 887.

Price (AUD): $8,000.00  other currencies     Ref: #4504307

Condition Report