(ROBINSON, William.) HERAUD, John A.
Voyages up the Mediterranean and in the Indian Seas;
with Memoirs, compiled from the Logs and Letters of a Midshipman. Embellished with Engravings from Original Drawings.
First edition, an uncommon – five copies on COPAC, OCLC adds just four more, Singapore National Library, Duke, NYPL, and the Providence Athenaeum – and highly attractive work. A contemporary review from the The Literary Gazette and Journal of the Belles Lettres, Arts, Sciences, &c tells of the genesis of the work, and gives a flavour of it; “This is a volume of peculiar interest; the original matter possessing the charm of ingenuousness and genuineness rarely met with in observation on foreign parts … ‘This volume,’ says the advertisement prefixed, ‘is faithfully compiled from the logs and letters of the midshipman whose memoirs it professes to preserve. Mr. William Robinson was an enthusiast in his profession, and, at an early age, fell a martyr to his zeal … His career, though brief, was honourable; and he yet lives in the influence which his memory continues to exercise, over those who shared with him the adventures of a naval life. The present work was projected to perpetuate the benefit of his example; and the editor has aimed at no meaner end than to make it, so far as he had ability, a manual for the conduct of a sailor who would rise in the noble profession of his choice.'” Robinson had been intended for the law, but ill health forced a change of plan, and he was placed as a middie on board the Adventure with Capt. W. H. Smyth, a friend of his father’s, taking part in Smyth’s surveys in the Mediterranean. Following Robinson’s death from dysentery in Singapore, his papers were edited with Smyth’s assistance “recording for the benefit of naval aspirants, his private virtues and professional merits.” The plates, finely engraved by W. Faithorn after Robinson’s own drawings include views of the Naval Yard at Trincomalee and the bridge at Singapore.
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Octavo (194 116 mm). Original black morocco by Fraser of Regent Street, title gilt to the spine, blind panels to the boards, all edges gilt, pale cream surface-paper endpapers. Engraved frontispiece on India paper, mounted, and 6 other similar plates, including a portrait of the author. A little rubbed at the extremities, neatly recased, head and tail of the spine repaired, ink ownership stamp of the Deacon Grant Farm to the front free endpaper, light toning, a very good copy.