Voyage in Search of La Pérouse …
Performed in the Years 1791, 1792, and 1793... under the Command of Rear-Admiral Bruni d'Entrecasteaux.London: For John Stockdale, 1800 Stock Code: 79886
First edition in English, same year as the French, this in the favoured, and less common, single-volume quarto edition. Labillardière was the botanist and doctor on the d'Entrecasteaux Pérouse search expedition, and was entrusted with the task of writing the official account following the death of the commander from scurvy. "Although unsuccessful in the search for La Pérouse, the voyage was of considerable importance because of the scientific observations that were made and the surveys of the coasts of Tasmania, New Caledonia, the north coast of New Guinea, and the southwest coast of Australia. Labillardière's account of the Tongans is an excellent contribution to the ethnology of that people" (Hill) When the expedition reached Java, Labillardière's scientific collections were seized by the British, war having been declared on the Revolutionary French government, but after lobbying by Sir Joseph Banks were returned to him, enabling him to publish the original of the present work, and also to begin publication of Novae Hollandiae Plantarum Specimen (1804-07), the first general description of the flora of Australia.
Quarto (272 x 211 mm) Contemporary green half calf on marbled boards, black morocco label, flat bands with small floral tools gilt.
Frontispiece and 44 other plates, large folding map.
A little rubbed at the extremities, neat repair to split at head of upper joint, marbled paper skilfully renewed, some off-set from the frontispiece, light toning and the occasional spot of foxing, but overall a very good copy.
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