Item #5000654 The History of New Holland, from its First Discovery in 1616 to the Present Time. With a Particular Account of its Produce and Inhabitants, and a Description of Botany Bay; also, A list of the Naval, Marine, Military and Civil Establishment. To which is prefixed, An Introductory Discourse on Banishment, by the Right Honourable William Eden. EDEN: ANONYMOUS.
The History of New Holland, from its First Discovery in 1616 to the Present Time. With a Particular Account of its Produce and Inhabitants, and a Description of Botany Bay; also, A list of the Naval, Marine, Military and Civil Establishment. To which is prefixed, An Introductory Discourse on Banishment, by the Right Honourable William Eden.

The History of New Holland, from its first discovery in 1616…
The History of New Holland, from its First Discovery in 1616 to the Present Time. With a Particular Account of its Produce and Inhabitants, and a Description of Botany Bay; also, A list of the Naval, Marine, Military and Civil Establishment. To which is prefixed, An Introductory Discourse on Banishment, by the Right Honourable William Eden.

London: John Stockdale, 1787.

Octavo, with two folding maps coloured in outline; a good copy in contemporary half green calf.

Telling the first fleeters all that is known

First edition: "the greater part of the book is devoted to Cook's discoveries" (Holmes); Cook's discoveries on the east coast of Australia are put into context in a form anticipating the actual settlement of the new coastline. This was the most widely read and one of the earliest descriptions of Australia, published to coincide with the departure from England of the First Fleet. Stockdale, the prominent London bookseller and publisher, aimed "to present at one view a connected description of the whole country of New Holland" to a public anxious for information on Botany Bay and the proposed thief colony there. The compiler discusses the Fleet's imminent departure and lists the numbers, equipment and principal officers. There is also an "Introductory Discourse" on transportation by William Eden, which has led to the traditional misattribution of the whole book.

First edition: "the greater part of the book is devoted to Cook's discoveries" (Holmes); Cook's discoveries on the east coast of Australia are put into context in a form anticipating the actual settlement of the new coastline. This was the most widely read and one of the earliest descriptions of Australia, published to coincide with the departure from England of the First Fleet. Stockdale, the prominent London bookseller and publisher, aimed "to present at one view a connected description of the whole country of New Holland" to a public anxious for information on Botany Bay and the proposed thief colony there. The compiler discusses the Fleet's imminent departure and lists the numbers, equipment and principal officers. There is also an "Introductory Discourse" on transportation by William Eden, which has led to the traditional misattribution of the whole book.

"It is an extremely interesting work and an essential inclusion in all comprehensive collections" (Davidson). The volume was aimed at a public eager for information on the new adventure and for details of Botany Bay itself, which is here described at length. This is the form in which many of the participants in the First Fleet must have absorbed what little information existed about conditions in Australia. The maps show the continent, Botany Bay and, most interestingly, the "Passage from England to Botany Bay in New Holland 1787", showing the route that the Fleet must take.

"Stockdale was exceptionally well-connected in official circles and this and other works that he published in 1786-7 relating to the proposed Botany Bay experiment were almost certainly prepared with official approval. These livres de circonstance, as Eris O'Brien called them, were essentially part of a publicity campaign by the pro-Botany-Bay lobby within Whitehall circles" (Australian Book Auctions).

Beddie, 27; Crittenden, 'A Bibliography of the First Fleet', 275 (as "Eden"); Davidson, 'A Book Collector's Notes', pp. 79-81; Ferguson, 24; Holmes, 66. Not in the catalogue of the Hill collection.

Condition Report: Very slightly rubbed at joints but good.

Price (AUD): $9,850.00

US$6,812.86   Other currencies

Ref: #5000654

Condition Report