Our online shop is open! National and international shipping are operational.
For more information please click here

MARTIN, John.

An Account of the Natives of the Tonga Islands, in the South Pacific Ocean.

With an Original Grammar and Vocabulary of their Language. Compiled and arranged from the Extensive Communications of Mr. William Mariner.

Printed for Constable and Co. and Hurst, Chance and Co. London, Edinburgh , 1827 Stock Code: 81779
£200.00
Reserve Ask us a question

Notes

Originally published ten years previously, this is the "Third Edition, considerably Improved", published in Constable's Miscellany Series. "Considered the best report of Tongan life and culture before the arrival of Christianity the customs of the inhabitants and their inter-island wars, and also examples of Tongan songs and music" (Hill). Mariner had sailed on the privateer Port-au-Prince in 1805, aged 13. "After an adventurous voyage the ship arrived at the Tonga Islands in poor condition, hoping to carry out repairs. The crew met with a hostile reception and many of them were massacred. Mariner, however, was taken under the protection of the principal chief, Finau Ulukalala, who bestowed on him the name of one of his deceased sons, Toki Ukamea, and appointed one of his wives to be Mariner's adopted mother. Mariner's residence in Tonga lasted for four years. During this time he became thoroughly conversant with the language and customs of this Polynesian people Using the guns from the Port-au-Prince, and helped by his surviving companions, he took a full and often decisive part in his protector's warlike campaigns against other islands. Eventually times became more peaceful and Toki attained the status of a chief, living on his own cultivated plantations" (ODNB). In 1810 Mariner worked his passage back to England, and became a stockbroker, some time later becoming embroiled in a forgery scandal, the exchequer bill affair of 1836-41. He died in 1853. The book was extensively reviewed by Southey in the Quarterly Review (April, 1817), describing it as "one of the most interesting narratives which we have ever perused", and noting telling affinities between the Finau the Tongan tyrant and the recently deposed French emperor, for example in the "utter disregard for human life by which such men as Finow sic and Buonaparte are distinguished."

Confused? Read our glossary

Description

2 volumes duodecimo (151 x 93 mm) Original green cloth with paper labels to the spines.

Illustrations

Engraved vignettes to the half-titles, folding map as preface to volume I.

Condition

Somewhat rubbed, spine of volume I repaired, endpapers browned, light toning and a scatter of foxing to the contents, but overall a decent better-than-working set in the publisher's binding.

DELIVERY

With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details

 

ABOUT US

Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220


ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK TO SELL?
OR
CAN’T FIND THE BOOK YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?

Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book