2 vols., in 4to., contemporary full leather binding with gilt foliage ornamentation and gilt-lettered leather labeling to spine, bright red painted edges, endbands, pp. xiv, 463, 4; 514, 2. Lacking all plates, shelfwear to binding, otherwise a very bright copy of the first edition of Charles De Brosses’ influential 2-volume digest on travel and exploration in the pacific, particularly the southern seas of Polynesia and the islands surrounding Austral continent. One of the leading figures of the French Enlightenment and president of the parliament of Dijon, De Brosses (1709-1777) was a shareholder in the French India Company and a great advocate for exploration, commerce and knowledge rather than conquest. This book is known to have been of great use to James Cook, who would discover the island of Australia in 1770. Text in French.
DE BROSSES, Charles, Historie des Navigations aux Terres Australes. Contenant ce que l’on scait des moeurs & des productions des Contrees decouvertes jusqu’a ce jour; & ou il est traite de l’utilite d’y faire de plus amples decouvertes, & des moyens d’y former un esablissement [2 vols.]., Chez Durand, 1756
Biographies & Letters
MACLEAN, Charles., An Excursion in France, and Other Parts of the Continent of Europe; from the Cessation of Hostilities in 1801, to the 13th of December 1803. Including a narrative of the unprecedented detention of the English travellers in that country, as prisoners of war., [A. Strahan] for T. N. Longman and O. Rees, 1804
MARSHALL, Joseph., Travels through Holland, Flanders, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Lapland, Russia, The Ukraine, and Poland, in the Years 1768, 1769, and 1770. In which is particularly Minuted. The Present State of Those Countries, Respecting their Agriculture, Population, Manufactures, Commerce, The Arts, and Useful Undertakings [3 vols.]., Printed for J. Almon, 1772