Paris: Librairie de L. Hachette et Cie, 1866. Two volumes. ,352,8; ,376pp. Half title in each volume. Original printed yellow wrappers. Minor wear and dust-soiling to wrappers, minor creasing to spines, second volume binding cracked. Contemporary ownership signature on front wrapper and titlepage of both volumes. Minor marginal dampstain to first several leaves of both volumes, light occasional foxing. Overall, a very good set, untrimmed. Each volume in a separate chemise with gilt morocco spine labels, housed together in a paper-covered slipcase. Item #WRCAM55167
A rare and far-ranging whaling narrative of particular interest for its accounts of Hawaii and the French interests in New Zealand. Louis Thiercelin served as the doctor on two voyages to the South Seas, one between 1837 and 1841 and the next over twenty years later from 1863-65. The duration of time between Thiercelin's expeditions allows him the opportunity to make interesting observations on the development of places like Akarao from one visit to the next. Similarly, he devotes two chapters to the Hawaiian islands, one from 1839 and the other from 1864. Other islands and locations covered by the narrative include Madeira, Liberia, Tahiti, Tasmania, Chatham Islands, Saint Paul Islands, New Amsterdam, the Chesterfield and Bampton Coral Islands, New Caledonia, and more.
Thiercelin's account offers new details on whaling vessels and their crews, including thorough descriptions of the different types of whales, particulars on the actual whale hunts, and explanations of some of the newer and more deadly whaling techniques such as poisoned harpoons, and harpoons with explosive charges propelled by gun-like mechanisms. Besides the important information on whaling, the work is significant for recording Thiercelin's observations on the colonial activities of the English and Spanish crowns, most notably the mistreatment of the Bubi people in present-day Equatorial Guinea and the Maori in New Zealand. FORBES 2730. HUNNEWELL, p.69. HILL 1690. JUDD 171. BAGNALL 5522. FERGUSON 16990. O'REILLY & REITMAN 1246. NEBENZAHL 35:94.