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 pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820…
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, Imprimeur-Libraire, 1822.

Two volumes text, octavo, modern half calf; with Atlas, small folio, with separate title, table and 23 lithograph plates; the text volumes uncut, in half calf bindings, the atlas in old papered boards.

The artist's account of the Freycinet expedition: first edition with separate atlas

First edition (the earlier of two issues identified by Forbes in the Hawaiian National Bibliography) of this personal and sometimes eccentric narrative of the Freycinet expedition: an informal account by the voyage's official artist, written in the form of letters to a friend, it deliberately omits the "eternal repetition of winds, currents, longitude and latitude". Extensive portions relate to Australia, with descriptions of Sydney, the Blue Mountains, and of meetings with Governor Macquarie and John Oxley. "The text volumes are scarce and the atlas rare" (Davidson). It offers a significant alternative narrative of the Freycinet expedition, one of the most important of all voyages to the Pacific.

First edition (the earlier of two issues identified by Forbes in the Hawaiian National Bibliography) of this personal and sometimes eccentric narrative of the Freycinet expedition: an informal account by the voyage's official artist, written in the form of letters to a friend, it deliberately omits the "eternal repetition of winds, currents, longitude and latitude". Extensive portions relate to Australia, with descriptions of Sydney, the Blue Mountains, and of meetings with Governor Macquarie and John Oxley. "The text volumes are scarce and the atlas rare" (Davidson). It offers a significant alternative narrative of the Freycinet expedition, one of the most important of all voyages to the Pacific.

Written and illustrated by the voyage's official artist Jacques Arago, whose liothogrpahs here are quite different to his prolific illustrations in the official account of the voyage. These are notably free by comparison and show his great interest in the native peoples encountered. 'Several of the plates record somewhat gruesome aspects of Hawaiian culture' (Forbes). He writes too in an entertaining style with his text reflecting his keen powers of observation, whereas the official account of the voyage was far more serious and scientific in tone. The eccentricity of both illustrations and narrative in Arago's account made it popular, and it was of course within the budget of the normal reader, whereas the official narrative in its long series of volumes cost about one hundred times more.

The narrative is particularly informative about the expedition's visits to Hawaii and Australia: in each case they happened to visit at crucial points in the local history. They arrived in Hawaii in August 1819, and visited Maui, Hawaii and Oahu, making the last careful examination of the native culture before it was dismantled by western influences.

There were two visits to Australia: extensive portions describe the visit to Western Australia, and then the later visit 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.

Numerous later editions and versions of Arago's book followed this first edition: its popularity was quite remarkable. None of the later editions, however, match the charms of this first edition with its quite idiosyncratic series of lithograph plates.

Provenance: Carl Wendell Carlsmith (Hawaiian collector, with book-ticket).

Borba de Moraes, I/44; Ferguson, 850; Forbes, Hawaiian National Bibliography, 537; Hill, 28; Sabin, 1867.

Condition Report: The atlas with foxing and some damp stains throughout; text volumes with a little light occasional spotting mainly to blank leaves.

Price (AUD): $13,500.00

US$9,483.34   Other currencies

Ref: #5000296

Condition Report