Notice historique sur M. Péron. BAUDIN VOYAGE, Joseph Philippe François DELEUZE, PERON.

Notice historique sur M. Péron.

Paris: N.P., N.D. [1810].

Quarto, [ii], 28 pp. and a final blank leaf; uncut; a fine copy in modern boards, leather label.

Obituary for François Péron, Baudin voyager and chronicler

Rare first version, separately published, of the naturalist Deleuze's long obituary of François Péron which appeared soon after Péron's death. A later version which appeared the following year was published as an extract from the Annales of the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle and showed publication details in more conventional form

Rare first version, separately published, of the naturalist Deleuze's long obituary of François Péron which appeared soon after Péron's death. A later version which appeared the following year was published as an extract from the Annales of the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle and showed publication details in more conventional form

Editor of the first portion of the official account of Baudin's voyage (which was completed after his death by the explorer Freycinet), Péron had travelled as zoologist-anthropologist on the voyage, and was effectively the leader of those who took issue with the commander's negative attitude to the aims of the scientists on the voyage. Péron certainly took his revenge after Baudin's death: nowhere in the text of the account of the voyage is Baudin's name mentioned; and while no Australian placename commemorates the commander's name, Peron Peninsula is a sizeable memorial to the scientist.

Péron (1775-1810) was born in Cérilly, and originally intended to join the priesthood, but reluctantly joined the army in 1792 to defend Landau. Wounded and imprisoned, he spent the following two years locked up in the Fortress of Magdeburg, during which time he lost sight in one eye: when he finally returned to France in 1794 this injury meant that he was invalided out of the army. He won a scholarship to study medicine in Paris but in 1800, crossed in love, he sought refuge on the Baudin voyage, where he was appointed as a trainee zoologist. Péron and Baudin clashed continually, but when the two senior zoologists died, the young man was promoted, and proved himself an able scientist.

On his return from the voyage, Péron was given the task of preparing the narrative account for publication, but his health - never good - was deteriorating, and despite time spent on the Mediterranean coast trying to recuperate, he died at home in Cérilly in December 1810 from tuberculosis, his boon companion and the expedition's fine artist Lesueur by his side. Lesueur was devastated, and as an homage to his friend commissioned this as well as an elegy by Alard published in 1811.

Not in Ferguson, though the later edition is recorded in Addenda as 510cc; not in the catalogue of the Hill collection.

Price (AUD): $4,200.00

US$3,155.23   Other currencies

Ref: #5000457