A Voyage Round the World, in the Years MDCCXL, I, II, III, IV. By George Anson, Esq; Commander in Chief of a Squadron of His Majesty's Ships, sent upon an Expedition to the South-Seas…. ANSON, Richard WALTER, compiler, Benjamin ROBINS.
A Voyage Round the World, in the Years MDCCXL, I, II, III, IV. By George Anson, Esq; Commander in Chief of a Squadron of His Majesty's Ships, sent upon an Expedition to the South-Seas…
A Voyage Round the World, in the Years MDCCXL, I, II, III, IV. By George Anson, Esq; Commander in Chief of a Squadron of His Majesty's Ships, sent upon an Expedition to the South-Seas…
A Voyage Round the World, in the Years MDCCXL, I, II, III, IV. By George Anson, Esq; Commander in Chief of a Squadron of His Majesty's Ships, sent upon an Expedition to the South-Seas…

A Voyage round the World…
A Voyage Round the World, in the Years MDCCXL, I, II, III, IV. By George Anson, Esq; Commander in Chief of a Squadron of His Majesty's Ships, sent upon an Expedition to the South-Seas…

London: Printed for the Author; by John and Paul Knapton, 1748.

Thick quarto, with 42 folding engraved plates and maps, very good, strong impressions of the plates; in contemporary heavily mottled calf, joints of the binding strengthened and the original lighter coloured calf spine laid over, gilt in compartments between raised bands with ship ornaments, crimson label; a fine, clean and large copy.

A fine subscriber's copy of the first edition, on large paper

A beautiful copy of the genuine first edition of this voyage classic, and an example of the rare first, de luxe and much preferred issue, with the text on large and thick paper and the superb engravings specially printed on a thicker paper than in the regular issue. It is one of the 350 large or 'Royal Paper' copies, available only to original subscribers, and confirmed as such by the asterisk next to the name of "Sir James Dashwood, Bart." on the List of Subscribers. (It was his racier Dashwood cousin and contemporary, Francis, whom we remember as the founder of the notorious Hellfire Club). This can be identified as the first of two issues by a misprinted page number (219 instead of 319) and the fact that the engraved plates are all in an early state before the addition of their identifying numbers.

A beautiful copy of the genuine first edition of this voyage classic, and an example of the rare first, de luxe and much preferred issue, with the text on large and thick paper and the superb engravings specially printed on a thicker paper than in the regular issue. It is one of the 350 large or 'Royal Paper' copies, available only to original subscribers, and confirmed as such by the asterisk next to the name of "Sir James Dashwood, Bart." on the List of Subscribers. (It was his racier Dashwood cousin and contemporary, Francis, whom we remember as the founder of the notorious Hellfire Club). This can be identified as the first of two issues by a misprinted page number (219 instead of 319) and the fact that the engraved plates are all in an early state before the addition of their identifying numbers.

This special issue is distinctly superior to the less well-proportioned ordinary paper version and generally, as here, has stronger impressions of the splendid engravings.

Anson's Voyage, 'a masterpiece of descriptive travel' (Hill), was one of the great publishing successes of the eighteenth century. The narrative, based on Anson's own journal, had great popular success: for the mid-eighteenth-century reader, it was the epitome of adventure, and it was translated into several European languages and stayed in print through numerous editions for many years.

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'Anson's voyage of 1740-44 holds a unique and terrible place in British maritime history. [When] Anson reached the coast of China in November 1742 he was left with one ship and a handful of men, some of whom had "turned mad and idiots". The most extraordinary part of the voyage was still to come, for despite his losses Anson was determined to seize the treasure galleon that made the annual voyage from Acapulco to Manila. Laden with Peruvian silver, she was the "Prize of all the Oceans". In June 1743 Anson intercepted the Nuestra Señora de Covadonga, and in a 90-minute action forced her surrender. After refitting at Canton he returned home the next year to find himself compared with Drake, and his exploits with the long-remembered feats of arms against the Spain of Philip II. The casualties were forgotten as the public celebrated a rare triumph in a drab and interminable war…, and in 1748 the long-awaited authorised account appeared under the name of Richard Walter, chaplain on the Centurion, and became a best-seller. Walter's volume has formed the basis of all accounts of Anson's voyage from the mid-eighteenth century to the present. The book, more fully illustrated than any similar work up to that time, was both a stirring story of adventure at sea and an exhortation to further Pacific enterprise' (Glyn Williams, The prize of all the oceans. The triumph and tragedy of Anson's voyage round the world, 1999)

For the long-standing dispute over authorship see Williams op cit, appendix I: he concludes that Walter may have commenced the work and saw it through the press, but Benjamin Robins, a talented and versatile mathematician and an experienced writer, was primarily responsible for its literary quality. There is, however, no doubt that Anson closely scrutinised the text and in everything except stylistic terms the narrative is Anson's own interpretation of events.

Provenance: Sir James Dashwood, 2nd Baronet, English politician and an original subscriber to the Royal Paper issue (1715–1779, with armorial bookplate); F.G. Coles (Australian book collector, with bookplate); Frederick E. Ellis (American collector, with bookplate).

Borba de Moraes, I, 32; Hill, 1817; Kroepelien, 1086; Sabin, 1625.

Price (AUD): $12,500.00

US$9,150.00   Other currencies

Ref: #5000309