Philadelphia: Printed by Thomas Dobson, 1796. xi,,150,pp. Half title. 12mo. Contemporary calf, neatly rebacked in matching style. Bumping and wear to tips of boards. 19th-century bookplate of Lawrence D. Knowles on front pastedown, with his ownership signatures on front free endpaper. Text uniformly age-toned. Very good. Item #WRCAM46697
The first American printing of Barrington's "narrative" and an early American voyage imprint. Barrington was a famous British thief who was transported to Australia with the Third Fleet in 1791. He had no part in writing books which are attributed to him, which are amalgams of information from the more official reports, but he was famous in England and a profitable choice to whom the chapbook publishers attributed authorship. Although fabricated, it was through such chapbooks that most readers, who could not afford the expensive official accounts, learned of Australia. The popularity of the Barrington account is evident from the numerous editions in which it was published, including this first American edition, which followed the year after the first English edition of 1795. A second American edition was published in 1800. All of the early editions are quite scarce, and this Dobson edition is fine evidence of the American hunger for information regarding voyages to new found lands. FERGUSON 235. WANTRUP, p.87. EVANS 30032. ESTC W29695.