A Voyage round the World, in His Majesty's Ship the Dolphin, commanded by the Honourable Commodore Byron. In which is contained, a faithful account of the several places, people, plants, animals, &c. seen on the voyage: and, among other particulars, a minute and exact description of the Streights of Magellan, and of the gigantic people called Patagonians. Together with an accurate account of seven islands lately discovered in the South Seas. By an officer on board the said ship…. BYRON, Charles CLERKE, attributed.
A Voyage round the World, in His Majesty's Ship the Dolphin, commanded by the Honourable Commodore Byron. In which is contained, a faithful account of the several places, people, plants, animals, &c. seen on the voyage: and, among other particulars, a minute and exact description of the Streights of Magellan, and of the gigantic people called Patagonians. Together with an accurate account of seven islands lately discovered in the South Seas. By an officer on board the said ship…

A Voyage round the World, in His Majesty's Ship the Dolphin…
A Voyage round the World, in His Majesty's Ship the Dolphin, commanded by the Honourable Commodore Byron. In which is contained, a faithful account of the several places, people, plants, animals, &c. seen on the voyage: and, among other particulars, a minute and exact description of the Streights of Magellan, and of the gigantic people called Patagonians. Together with an accurate account of seven islands lately discovered in the South Seas. By an officer on board the said ship…

London: Printed for J. Newbery… and F. Newbery, 1767.

Octavo, with three engraved plates; contemporary marbled calf.

Patagonian giants and claiming the Falklands

A very fine copy of one of the major accounts of a pre-Cook voyage in search of Terra Australis. This is the second edition of the first published account of the voyage of the Dolphin, which set out in 1764 under the command of "Foul-Weather Jack" Byron to make discoveries in the South Seas: she was specially fitted for the voyage and was the first vessel in the English Navy to be sheathed in copper. It was a swift circumnavigation and probably helped to persuade the Admiralty to commission Cook's first voyage. It also established British territorial claims to the Falklands, in successful competition with the competing interests of France (as the Iles Malouines) and Argentina (Islas Malvinas).

A very fine copy of one of the major accounts of a pre-Cook voyage in search of Terra Australis. This is the second edition of the first published account of the voyage of the Dolphin, which set out in 1764 under the command of "Foul-Weather Jack" Byron to make discoveries in the South Seas: she was specially fitted for the voyage and was the first vessel in the English Navy to be sheathed in copper. It was a swift circumnavigation and probably helped to persuade the Admiralty to commission Cook's first voyage. It also established British territorial claims to the Falklands, in successful competition with the competing interests of France (as the Iles Malouines) and Argentina (Islas Malvinas).

The official account of the Dolphin voyage is contained in the first volume of the Hawkesworth collection, published six years later than this, and better known for its official account of Cook's first voyage; like the surreptitious accounts of the three Cook voyages, this narrative by Clerke easily won the race to publication but remained anonymous to circumvent Admiralty rulings about the commercial use of shipboard journals. Clerke was to sail on all three of Cook's voyages, eventually taking command of the third voyage after Cook's death; he died in Kamchatka during the later part of the voyage.

Byron's expedition was an important precursor of the voyages of Wallis, Carteret and Cook, but its immediate contemporary impact was the sensation created by rumours of Patagonian giants encountered by the expedition. These tall stories gained currency from a report sent in jest by Clerke to the Royal Society (and printed in the Philosophical Transactions for 1767), and from a similar account published in this book.

Extraordinarily, the stories seem to have been encouraged by the British government to divert attention from Byron's taking possession of the Falklands, politically the most sensitive and controversial aspect of his voyage. The amusing affair of the Patagonian giants embroiled many great figures of the Enlightenment including Voltaire (see discussion by Helen Wallis in Byron's Journal, ed. Gallagher, appendix III, and by P.G. Adams, Travelers and Travel Liars, ch. II).

Borba de Moraes, p. 138; Hill, 311; Kroepelien, 152; O'Reilly-Reitman, 241.

Price (AUD): $4,850.00

US$3,466.51   Other currencies

Ref: #5000300