London. 1823. iv,,xxvii,,285,,297,pp. plus folding map and twenty-five lithographic plates. Quarto. Contemporary calf, ruled in gilt and blind, spine elaborately gilt, a.e.g. Expertly rebacked with original backstrip laid down. Minor shelf wear, modern bookplate on front pastedown. Light foxing on map and plates, with some offsetting to facing pages, but text otherwise clean. Very good. Lacking half-title in first part. Item #WRCAM54763
First edition in English of this important narrative of an expedition supported by the French government, written by the expedition's artist. The purpose of the expedition, which was commanded by Freycinet, was to make chronometric and magnetic observations in various latitudes. The voyage included a one-month visit to the Sandwich Islands, with time spent in Hawaii, Maui, and Oahu, as well as visits to Rio de Janeiro, Cape of Good Hope, Montevideo, Mauritius, New South Wales, and the Caroline Islands. The many handsome lithographic plates add greatly to the ethnographic aspect of the work. Six of the plates feature Hawaiian subjects.
"The URANIE, with a crew of 125 men, entered the Pacific from the West to make scientific observations on geography, magnetism, and meteorology. Arago was the artist of the expedition which visited most notably Australia, the Hawaiian Islands, Tonga, and Tierra del Fuego. The original ship, wrecked off the Falkland Islands, was replaced by the PHYSICIENNE which visited Rio de Janeiro....These entertaining letters, written in a lively and witty literary style, provide vivid descriptions of the topography and the inhabitants of the Pacific Islands" - Hill.
A scarce and informative account of a far- ranging Pacific voyage. HILL (1st ed), p.295. HILL (2nd ed) 29. SABIN 1865. FERGUSON 885. FORBES 562. JUDD 4.