“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, contemporary full brown mottled calf rebacked and recornered, raised bands, original red morocco spine label, marbled endpapers. $7500.
First edition of the first official account of Commodore Anson’s hard-pressed but ultimately successful challenge to superior Spanish seapower, illustrated with more than 40 folding engraved plates, maps, plans and charts. 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 I, 49). 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. Hill 1817. Sabin 101175.
Light soiling to fore-edge margins, expert paper repairs to several plates, folding plates uncut, some with a bit of edge-wear. A near-fine copy.