VOYAGE DE LA PÉROUSE, AUTOUR DE MONDE. De l'Imprimerie de la Republique,
VOYAGE DE LA
PÉROUSE, AUTOUR DE MONDE.
De l'Imprimerie de la Republique,
La Pérouse, J.F. Paris: de l'Imprimerie de la Republique, 1797.
Four large quarto text volumes plus folio atlas. Text volumes: ,xxii,346,; ,398,; ,422,; ,309pp. plus engraved portrait frontispiece in first volume, and all half-titles. Text bound in contemporary French mottled leather, rolled gilt spine decorations, minor invisible repairs to weakened parts of outer joints, with blue marbled endpapers, spines and edges lightly aged and worn; pale bluish French text pages in excellent condition.
Atlas: Engraved title page plus sixty-nine maps and plates (many folding). Bound in contemporary marbled blue boards, corners and spine expertly repaired with original 18th century paste paper contents completely untrimmed, all original tissue guards, plates brilliant and un-foxed. Quite an extraordinary copy retaining all of its beauty and patina of its original bindings and strikingly clean and perfectly preserved content.
"The voyage around the world under the command of La Pérouse was intended as the French equivalent of Captain Cook's third voyage and was enthusiastically endorsed by the Academy of Sciences and particularly by Louis XVI . The most significant results of the voyage are the charts of the then imperfectly known Asiatic coast of the Pacific." - Forbes. La Pérouse was the first explorer to navigate and chart the Japan sea and the strait between the island of Sakhalin and the northernmost island of Japan, which bears his name. At Kamchatka he received instructions to proceed to Australia to assess the extent of British plans. He arrived at Botany Bay in January 1788, just hours after Governor Phillip had arrived with the First Fleet. La Pérouse's habit of forwarding copies of journals and drawings when opportunity offered ensured their survival, for as is well known, the accomplishments of the voyage have been overshadowed by the disappearance of the entire expedition. The folio atlas contains magnificent maps of Russian Asia, Japan, the Pacific North-West Coast, Hawaii, San Francisco, and Monterey; the views include a fine series of botanical and ornithological plates, including the California quail. Of particular interest to Hawaii is the plate that depicts French ships off Makena, Maui. It is the first fully developed view of that island.