‘A masterpiece of descriptive travel’

 ‘A masterpiece of descriptive travel’

Tuesday, Oct 05, 2021

Anson’s Voyage was one of the great publishing successes of the eighteenth century. The narrative, based on Anson’s own journal, was the epitome of adventure for the mid-eighteenth-century reader, and it was translated into several European languages and stayed in print through numerous editions for many years.

The voyage of 1740-1744 did not begin well: Anson arrived in Canton in 1742 with a handful of men some of whom had "turned mad and idiots", but his capture less than a year later of the treasure galleon Nuestra Señora de Covadonga had him compared to Drake on his return home. The casualties were forgotten as the public celebrated a rare triumph in ''a drab and interminable war'.

This is 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.” and his bookplate.  View more here.

A highlight from a catalogue just published,  the third selection of books from a private collection which offers a group of English voyage books before Cook, view here.