Paris. 1756. Two volumes. ,xiv,463pp. (and pp.437-50, pagination repeated); ,513,pp., plus seven folding maps. This set lacks the 6pp. of errata sometimes found. Quarto. Contemporary calf, rebacked, gilt leather labels. Corners slightly worn. Older institutional stamps removed from titlepages, contemporary authorship note on each titlepage. Minor foxing and age toning, some light scattered soiling. About very good. Item #WRCAM48437
A fundamentally important work on early exploration and discovery in the Pacific. Charles de Brosses was president of the Burgundian Parlement, and a shareholder in the French India Company. His work is the first collection of voyages to deal exclusively with the Pacific, and was intended to spur French commercial activity and colonization in the region. Brosses includes a long essay on the advantages to be gained from discoveries and an actual plan for a voyage and settlement. His ideas influenced Bougainville on the French navigator's Pacific explorations and colonization of the Falklands. Captain Cook took a copy of Brosses' work with him on his first voyage, which is ironic because part of the author's aim was to preempt and challenge British exploration in the Pacific. John Callendar largely copied Brosses' work for his TERRA AUSTRALIS COGNITA (1768). Brosses coined several important terms in this work, including "Australasia" and "Polynesia," though the idea of calling the southeastern Pacific "Magellanica" has not survived. "This is an extremely important and thorough collection of voyages, and one of the outstanding works relating to the early history of Australasia. It contains an account of all voyages, beginning with the second expedition of Vespucci in 1502 and ending in 1747, in which navigators touched upon the supposed southern continent of Magellanica, which is now represented by Australia and some scattered islands in the Antarctic regions. It also contains the voyages of Magellan, Drake, Hawkins, Nodal, Schouten, Tasman, and others. The work...is of special importance because in it Brosses proposes that France should settle Australia with her foundlings, beggars, and criminals" - Hill. The collection contains several significant maps, including Vaugondy's "Carte reduite de l'Australie pour servir a la lecture de l'Histoire des Terres Australes." There are also maps of the Caroline Islands, New Guinea, and the Straits of Magellan, among others. A rare and important work. SABIN 8388. HILL 190. KROEPELIEN 132. TOOLEY, MAPPING OF AUSTRALIA AND ANTARCTICA, pp.215, 294. AUSTRALASIAN BIBLIOGRAPHY PART I, p.59. O'REILLY & REITMAN 93. COX I, pp.17-18. SPENCE 154. NMM I:39. DUNMORE, FRENCH EXPLORERS IN THE PACIFIC I, pp.45-50.