"A MASTERPIECE OF DESCRIPTIVE TRAVEL": FIRST EDITION OF ANSON'S VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD, 1748
ANSON, George. A Voyage Round the World, in the Years MDCCXL, I, II, III, IV. London: John and Paul Knapton, 1748. Thick quarto, modern full dark brown calf, raised bands. $9500.
First edition of the first official account of Commodore Anson's hard-pressed but ultimately successful challenge to superior Spanish seapower, illustrated with 42 folding engraved plates, maps, plans and charts, several over 35 inches wide. An engaging narrative of wide-ranging travel and military adventure—"a model of what such literature should be."
"This famous and unfortunate expedition, consisting at the start of eight ships, was sent under the command of George Anson at the beginning of the war with Spain, to harass the Spaniards on the western coast of South America. Seven ships were lost around Cape Horn and on the coast of Chile and out of 900 men, 600 perished. The primary object of the expedition was not attained, but by the capture of the Manila Galleon near China, Anson and the surviving members of his crew reached England much the richer. This account is the official one… It is a model of what such literature should be" (Cox). Illustrations include splendid folding views of Brazilian harbors and cities, Acapulco, Tenian, Port St. Julian, Magellan's Straits, the Bay of Manila and others, and large folding maps of South America, the Philippines, and the Pacific Ocean. With list of subscribers at front and directions to the binder leaf at rear. Hill 1817. Sabin 101175. Cox I:49. Early owner ink signature to title page.
Text and plates unusually clean with only occasional very light off-setting. A splendid copy, handsomely bound.