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
Sorbière, Samuel de; Sprat, Dr. Thomas, A Voyage to England: Containing Many Things relating to the State of Learning, Religion, and Other Curiosities of the Kingdom; As also, Observations on the Fame Voyage, by Dr. Thomas Sprat, Fellow of the Royal Society, and now Lord Bishop of Rochester; With, A Letter of Monsieur Sorbiere’s Concerning the War between England and Holland in 1652, Printed and Sold by J. Woodward, 1709