Madrid: En la Imprenta Real de la Gazeta, 1769. ,176; ,55pp., plus folding map colored in outline. Frontis. Small quarto. Contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt, raised bands. Upper hinge expertly repaired. Remarkably clean internally. A fine copy. Item #WRCAM37376
The second Spanish edition, produced the same year as the first, and following the London edition of 1767. The Spanish editions were the first to contain the much sought-after map of the Straits of Magellan, making them far more desirable than other editions. Also new to this second Spanish edition is the account of Magellan's circumnavigation of 1519-22, completed by Capt. Juan Sebastian del Cano. Del Cano took command of the Vittoria after Magellan's death in the Philippines, thereby becoming the first sea captain to complete a circumnavigation.
One of the most celebrated of all voyages, Byron's adventure in the Dolphin began as a voyage of discovery and ended as a record- setting twenty-two-month circumnavigation. The entire crew was led to believe their destination was the East Indies, and it was not until the ship had left Rio (where it was refitted) that the true mission was revealed: a voyage of discovery to the South Seas. To avoid mutiny, Byron granted his men double pay, and with renewed enthusiasm they set course for the Pacific. During the voyage Byron claimed the Falkland Islands for Great Britain. His account of the Straits of Magellan is one of the best to that time, further illuminated by the map that accompanies this edition.
"Byron passed through the Straits without incident. Having reached the Pacific he succeeded in discovering islands and coral reefs, and returned to England without losing one member of his crew, a rare event in those days. This account of the voyage became famous because of its description of Patagonian giants [pictured in the frontispiece]. These giants were first observed by the crew of Magellan's fleet, and other authors refer to them, but as the travellers of the nineteenth century were unable to encounter them, their existence came to be considered a fable or optical illusion. What impresses the reader of Byron's book [sic], however, is the tone of veracity in the description of these very tall men whom the crew observed at close range, and with whom they had some contact" - Borba de Moraes.
Extremely rare. BORBA DE MORAES, p.138. SABIN 9733, 57672. HILL 232, 233 (ref). PALAU 38230. HOWGEGO B200.