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Voyage au Cap de Bonne-Esperance, et autour du Monde avec le Capitaine Cook, et principalement dans les pays des Hottentots et des Caffres.

Paris: Chez Buisson, 1787 Stock Code: 147082
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First edition in French of Sparrman's account of his travels in South Africa and with Captain Cook.

Sparrman (1748-1820) was a Swedish naturalist and student of Carl Linnaeus. Sparrman sailed to the Cape of Good Hope in 1772 and it was here that he met Captain Cook, who was undertaking his second voyage and who hired Sparrman as an assistant naturalist to Johann and Georg Forster. The present work was first published in Swedish in 1787 and was considered by prominent historian of colonial Southern Africa George McCall Theal as "the most interesting and most trustworthy account of the Cape Colony and the various races then residing in it that was published before the beginning of the 19th century" (Theal, p. 402). While the work alludes to the "cruelty of the treatment of the slaves", Sparrman attributing it solely to "the lower classes of the colonists", the work is written very much in the colonial tradition, and Sparrman later returned to Africa as part of an expedition to the West Coast searching for suitable locations for Swedish settlement (Mendelssohn). On his return to Sweden from his voyage with Cook Sparrman was elected to the Academy of Sciences and appointed as conservator of their museum.

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3 volumes, octavo (195 x 118 mm). Late 19th-century dark green buckram-backed green marbled paper covered boards, titles to red calf spine labels in gilt, marbled endpapers, edges red, green silk page markers.


Folding frontispiece to vol. I, folding map of Cape Town, and 15 engraved plates.


Contemporary bookseller's ticket to foot of half-title of vols. II & III. Rubbing to boards and extremities, occasional foxing to contents, front inner hinge of vol. I just starting; an attractive copy in very good condition.


Beddie 1277; Mendelssohn II, p.414-5; Spence 1147; George McCall Theal, Chronicles of Cape Commanders, 1882.


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