London. 1757. ,iii,,476pp. plus folding map and four engraved plates (two folding). Contemporary speckled calf, gilt. Some scuffing and wear to boards and hinge, corners lightly worn. Contemporary ownership inscription on titlepage. Minor scattered soiling and foxing. A nice copy in unsophisticated condition. Very good. Item #WRCAM47054
The third and best edition (styled "second edition, with additions" on the title), after the first of 1726. Shelvocke was engaged in a privateering expedition against Spanish shipping on the Pacific coast of America. He sailed as far north as Baja California, and two of the plates depict men and women of that peninsula. He also reported gold in the region. A storm had separated Shelvocke's ship from the accompanying vessel on the expedition, and Shelvocke did not wait for the captain of that ship at the agreed locations in the Canaries and Juan Fernandez islands; instead, he sailed for Brazil and then to the west coast of South America, including stops at Payta, Peru, and Lower California. Two of the plates are notable for their depictions of California natives. Shelvocke returned home via Guam and Macao. Upon his return to England he was accused of piracy and taken prisoner. Betagh, in the preface to his book about the same expedition, describes Shelvocke's book as "entirely a deception, and his whole conduct a disgrace to his country." Hill notes that "this second [actually third] edition is superior to that of the first edition of 1726. It was edited by Shelvocke's son, who corrected the text extensively in a further effort to vindicate his father from charges of piracy and embezzlement." The folding map depicts Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia, with the route of the voyage traced. "The whole history of this expedition is a curious commentary upon the morals of the times. The English had passed out of the freebooting stage, strictly speaking, and were now eager to cover their privateering exploits with a little more clothing than in the preceding century" - Wagner. An important English Pacific voyage. HILL 1558. HOWES S383, "aa." COWAN, pp.581-82. WAGNER SPANISH SOUTHWEST 88. BORBA DE MORAES, p.796. SABIN 80159. BARRETT 2261 (note).