Narrative of a Voyage Round the World, in the Uranie and Physicienne Corvettes, Commanded by Captain Freycinet, During the Years 1817, 1818, 1819 and 1820;
on a Scientific Expedition Undertaken By Order of the French Government, in a Series of Letters to a Friend
By Arago, Jacques
London: Treuttel and Wurtz, Treuttel, Jun. and Richter. 1823, First English Edition. Quarto â€“ 27.5 cm. 2 parts in 1, fold-out frontispiece map and 25 lithograph plates â€” complete; later full-tan calf with gilt decorative ruled border on front and rear boards, spine with five raised bands, bright gilt decorative compartments and fuchsia morocco title label. Despite the clear evidence of the ‘Directions for placing the Plates’ present here, there has been some unnecessary confusion about the collation of this book. Ferguson omitted the map from his plate count, while Hill erroneously called for a map and 26 plates. This very clean copy, with the map and 25 plates is complete and in Near Fine+ condition.
The first edition in English of this private narrative of the 1817-1820 Freycinet expedition to Australia and the Pacific – in fact the first appearance in English of any account of the voyage. Originally published in French, Arago’s book in its many subsequent editions became one of the voyage best-sellers of the nineteenth century. The English edition is much rarer than the French edition. The very large multi-volume French account of the voyage was far more serious and scientific in tone. Arago was the official draftsman on the voyage, and the excellent lithograph plates here are all after Aragoâ€™s drawings.
WITH: A 3-page letter written and signed by Arago dated 8 April 1842 to Minister M. Piobert discussing the voyages of Dumont Durville and La Place.
â€śThe â€śUranieâ€ť with a crew of 125 men under the command of Captain Louis de Freycinet, entered the Pacific from the West to make scientific observations on geography, magnetism and meteorology. Arago was the artist of the expedition which visited Western Australia, Timor, Hawaii and New South Wales. The original ship wrecked off the Falkland Islands. Two months later, the expedition continued aboard the â€śPhysicenneâ€ť which stopped for a time in Rio de Janeiro. Captain Freycinetâ€™s wife, Rose Pinon, was smuggled on board at the advent of the voyage and made the complete journey, causing some discord among the crew. Freycinet named an island he discovered after her â€“ Rose Island among the Samoa Islands. These entertaining letters, written in a lively and witty literary style, provide vivid descriptions of the topography and the inhabitants of the Pacific Islands. The book achieved great successâ€ť. Hill 28-29.