18th Century Voyages
From the Age of Discovery to the Enlightenment: this list celebrates the explosion of eighteenth century voyages with many of the key figures represented. The earliest include accounts by Dampier and Torquemada (important in the literature of Pacific exploration because of Torquemada's account of Quiros's voyage of 1605); through to Anson's famous mid-century voyage into the Pacific and the great voyage accounts of Bougainville, Cook and La Pérouse. Early European descriptions of China are represented in Sir George Staunton's Embassy; descriptions seized upon by the thinkers of the Enlightenment for their revelations of distant cultures, evolved without European influence. It is sometimes easy to overlook the scale of these accounts, and to take for granted their achievement in what has been termed the "double deed that consists of sailing round the world then writing an account of it" (Mary Louise Pratt).
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Dublin: Chamberlaine and Rice, P. Wogan and others, 1790.
Rare poetic epitaph for Captain CookTwo volumes, with both half-titles; contemporary mottled calf, flat spines gilt and with double red and green morocco labels. A fine and attractively bound set of voyages collected and edited for the enlightenment of younger...
London: Thomas Pingo, 1747.
Anson's circumnavigation and defeat of the FrenchCopper medal, 43.3 mm., with Anson crowned by Victory at right, on the reverse Victory on hippocamp, the names of Anson's officers around; corrected CAMPBEL variety, remnants of 'H' faintly visible, about uncirculated, some mint color remaining, slight abrasions...
Birmingham: T. Aris, 1743.
Eight Million Pieces of EightBifolium; franked. Original newspaper containing exciting news of Anson's buccaneering windfall: 'that Commodore Anson has taken eight rich Prizes, and after ravaging the Coast, departed about the middle of April for the East Indies; that he has two Ships with him...
Upsala & Leipzig: Magnus Swederus, 1779.
Banks and Solander in icelandOctavo, large map and chart and eleven plates (most folding), 13 plates in total; contemporary quarter roan and marbled boards. First German edition, preceded only by the very rare Swedish edition of 1777, and followed by London and Paris...
Philadelphia: Printed by Thomas Dobson, 1796.
The rare American BarringtonDuodecimo, with 2-pp. publisher's advertisements;, with the half-title, in original American mottled sheep, unlettered spine ruled in gilt; front hinge starting, head of spine restored. Only the second work on Australia to be published in America. This first American edition...
Philadelphia: Printed by Thomas Dobson, 1796.
The rare American BarringtonDuodecimo, with 2-pp. publisher's advertisements, contemporary owner's inscription for "Will. Bowman"; in old sheep boards, recently rebacked. Only the second work on Australia to be published in America. This first American edition of Barrington's Voyage, in appealing and characteristic contemporary...
Lisbon: Regia Officina Typographica, 1788.
Portuguese discoveries in a crisp uniform edition24 volumes, duodecimo, with four portraits and five folding maps; contemporary blonde speckled calf. This extensive set is a fundamental travel book, and the basis for any history of Portuguese exploration. This is the first collected edition of...
Londres: Jean Nourse, 1758.
Educational use of an imaginary voyage settingTwo volumes, small octavo; a neat set in contemporary calf, flat spines gilt in compartments. Second edition, following a 1754 version by the same publisher. Both works are of some rarity, NUC listing a single copy of the first...
La Haye and Paris: Pierre Aillaud, 1786.
Science in the wake of Pacific explorationOctavo, [ii], 236 pp., uncut copy in original buntpapier wrappers. Curious and eclectic collection of essays on geography, astronomy, and recent voyage discoveries. The geographical sections are informed by the discoveries of Cook, la Pérouse and...
Paris: F. Buisson, 1791.
First French editionTwo volumes, octavo, half-title not present in the first volume; old French sprinkled calf, spine gilt with double labels. First edition in French of this scarce narrative of a voyage in the north Pacific, particularly interesting for Alaska, Kamchatka and the Northwest. Often...
Nyköping: Joh. Pet. Hammarin, 1795.
First Swedish editionSmall octavo, woodcut headpiece; in understated contemporary half calf. First Swedish edition of Bligh's Voyage to the South Seas. Rolf du Rietz's excellent note in the catalogue of the Kroepelien catalogue explains that this very rare version was anonymously translated by Carl.....
London: T. Spilsbury and Son, 1794. Octavo, xviii, 400 pp., with three aquatint plates; early nineteenth-century half calf. Important contemporary printed notice of the success of Captain William Bligh's successful second expedition for bread-fruit in the Providence. Any printed material relating to the second breadfruit voyage is scarce, as Bligh...
Neuchatel: de l'Imprimerie de la Société Typographique, 1772-1773.
The two earliest works on TahitiThree volumes, octavo; contemporary French tortoiseshell calf, flat spines gilt in compartments with floral decoration, double labels. The two earliest works on Tahiti brought together to form a complete work: the first French account of Cook's.....
Neuchâtel: Société Thypographique [sic], 1773.
Bougainville's Tahiti: the South Sea paradiseTwo volumes in one, small octavo; a fine copy in a very attractive contemporary binding of marbled calf, sides bordered in gilt, the flat spine ornately gilt with a repeating drawer-handle design. An attractive copy of the Neuchâtel version.....
Dublin: J. Exshaw, et al, 1772.
First Dublin editionOctavo, with a folding map and folding plate of native canoe; bookplate and old ownership inscriptions of the Le Power (later De la Poer, later still Lord Power) families; contemporary calf. The first Dublin edition, very scarce: a smaller format issue...
London: J. Nourse and T. Davies, 1772.
First English edition of BougainvilleQuarto, with five folding maps and a folding plate of canoes, the maps neatly refolded; a very good copy in recent polished tan calf, Greek key border to both boards, spine richly gilt, red morocco label. First English...
Paris: chez Durand, 1756.
The great French study of the South SeasTwo volumes, quarto, with seven folding maps, complete with errata leaves, and with the additional series of asterisked leaves (volume I, pp. 437*-450*); contemporary French mottled calf, spines gilt in compartments between raised bands, double red & green...
London: S. Baker, 1768.
Wrecked in forlorn PatagoniaOctavo, with a frontispiece; contemporary dark calf, various owners' signatures including a presentation to 'Arthur Cadogan from Genl. Fox'. First edition. 'Admiral Byron's narrative of the loss of the Wager is one of the most thrilling accounts in the language, and supplied...
Firenze: Giuseppe Allegrini, 1768.
The towering PatagoniansSquare octavo, engraved frontispiece, 4, 152 pp., untrimmed, in plain modern boards. Uncommon contemporary Italian edition of the famous account of Byron's circumnavigation by Charles Clerke. As would be expected, the edition includes an excellent new version of the famous frontispiece of an...
London: A. Manson, P. Denham, W. Robertson, and F. Nicholson n.d., circa 1784.
"By a midshipman on board"Small octavo, 93 pp., early owner's names on endpapers; an excellent copy in contemporary sprinkled calf, An uncommon edition of the Byron voyage in excellent original condition. The earliest accounts of the...
London: T. Osborne [etc], 1761.
"he has not been in the inside of a church for many years"Four volumes, octavo, with a number of oval portraits of naval figures, and six folding engraved maps, contemporary calf binding, spines gilt in compartments between raised bands, red edges. Third edition: a....
London: J. Stockdale, 1797.
The Macartney embassy to ChinaOctavo, folding map; contemporary sprinkled calf. An attractive copy of the reduced octavo version of the official narrative of the important Macartney embassy to China, by which the British sought to establish formal diplomatic and commercial relations. Staunton served as a....
London: John Walthoe, 1732.
Churchill's great voyage collection, completeEight volumes, folio, comprising two works in matching bindings, containing some 213 engraved plates including work by Herman Moll, Johannes Kip, and others (many double-page or folding), engraved and woodcut illustrations throughout; late eighteenth-century Russia, marbled edges. A splendid set of...
Paris: Desaint & Saillant, Durand, 1756. Octavo, engraved frontispiece portrait by Tardieu le fils, and 10 engraved plates by Chedel, engraved titlepage vignette, headpiece to dedication leaf and tailpieces at end of each canto; a very attractive copy in contemporary French mottled calf, spine gilt, crimson morocco label. First edition...