A voyage round the world in the years 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788…. Jean François de Galaup de LA PEROUSE.
A voyage round the world in the years 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788…
A voyage round the world in the years 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788…
A voyage round the world in the years 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788…
A voyage round the world in the years 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788…

A Voyage Round the World…
A voyage round the world in the years 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788…

London: J. Johnson, 1798.

Three volumes, octavo, with 42 engraved plates and maps; contemporary marbled calf, rebacked, double labels; bookplates.

The first English edition

First English edition (as has now been demonstrated by Forbes) of the official account of the tragic French voyage. The disappearance of the entire La Pérouse expedition overshadows what was in reality a great Pacific voyage; the French navigator arrived at Botany Bay in January 1788, just hours after Governor Phillip had arrived with the First Fleet.

First English edition (as has now been demonstrated by Forbes) of the official account of the tragic French voyage. The disappearance of the entire La Pérouse expedition overshadows what was in reality a great Pacific voyage; the French navigator arrived at Botany Bay in January 1788, just hours after Governor Phillip had arrived with the First Fleet.

La Pérouse's habit of forwarding records whenever opportunity offered ensured their survival. The first portion was forwarded by sea from Macao; the second (Macao to Kamchatka) went overland with De Lesseps, and the final despatches by courtesy of Governor Phillip from Botany Bay. After they left Botany Bay, the expedition disappeared - and no trace of them was found for forty years.

Various versions and abridgments of the narrative came out in London in 1798 as English publishers scrambled to be the first into print. Forbes has demonstrated that the traditional idea that Stockdale's edition in two volumes was the earliest English version is probably wrong and that this Johnson edition was most likely the first of several to appear (see note to Hawaiian National Bibliography, 287).

Provenance: Early booklabel of William Younger; bookplates of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, with their faint stamps on title-pages; Rodney Davidson (sale 7 March 2005, lot 97), with bookplates.

Ferguson, 270; Forbes, 'Hawaiian National Bibliography', 287; Hill, 974; McLaren, 'Lapérouse in the Pacific', 4.

Price (AUD): $7,250.00  other currencies     Ref: #4504312

Condition Report