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BROWNE, John Ross.

Etchings of a Whaling Cruise.

With Notes of a Sojourn on the Island of Zanzibar. To Which is Appended a Brief History of the Whale Fishery, Its Past and Present Condition. Illustrated by Numerous Engravings on Steel and Wood.

Published: New York: Harper & Brothers, 1846

Stock code: 99442

Price: £750

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First edition, first printing. This, the author’s first book, was “written in large part to show what life was like on a whale ship, in order to better the lot of seamen. The narrative provides one of the few accounts we have of life in the whaling fleet of the 1840s, written by an intelligent and sensitive observer. Browne was influenced by Richard Henry Dana and, in turn, was imitated by Herman Melville” (Hill 197). A passage from this book, which includes the famous line “Thar she blows”, appears in the extracts that make up the prefatory matter to Moby Dick.

Octavo. Modern brown morocco, red morocco labels, double fillet panel in blind to the boards. Engraved frontispiece and 12 plates, numerous engravings in the text. Browning and some foxing throughout, particularly strong front and back, remains very good.

Bibliography: Hill 197; Howes B-877; Howgego B66; Sabin 8658.

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