Voyage Round the World

Capt. George SHELVOCKE

Item#: 109686 We're sorry, this item has been sold

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SHELVOCKE'S VOYAGE, WITH AN EARLY MENTION OF GOLD IN CALIFORNIA AND AN INCIDENT "SAID TO HAVE INSPIRED COLERIDGE'S RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER"—THE DUKE OF PORTLAND'S COPY

SHELVOCKE, George. A Voyage Round the World by Way of the Great South Sea, 1719-1722… London: Printed for J. Senex, et al., 1726. Octavo, contemporary full paneled speckled brown calf, red and black morocco spine labels, raised bands. Housed in a custom clamshell box.

First edition, with folding world map marking Shelvocke's route and showing California as an island, and with four engraved plates, two folding and two depicting California Indians. The copy of the Duke of Portland, in contemporary calf with his armorial bookplate and gilt cipher on front cover.

"Captain Shelvocke and Clipperton led a privately financed expedition for attacking Spanish shipping. Shelvocke gave his superior officer the slip in a storm and proceeded to Brazil and thence to the west coast of South America, where in two months he sacked Payta, Peru, and captured several small prizes. His vessel was wrecked at Juan Fernandez Island, but a ship was built out of the wreckage and he sailed up the coast to Baja California. After crossing the Pacific via Guam and Macao, Shelvocke returned to England and was acquitted of piracy charges. He soon left for the Continent a wealthy man. Shelvocke mentioned the gold of California and the guano of Peru, one hundred and thirty years before their modern discovery. An incident in the narrative, describing the passage around Cape Horn, is said to have inspired Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (Hill). Hill 1557. Cox I, 47. Cowan, 581-82. Howes S383. Sabin 80158. Engraved armorial bookplate of William Cavendish-Bentinck (1857-1943), Sixth Duke of Portland, half-brother of Lady Ottoline Morrell; also with Portland's gilt cipher (the initial "P" surmounted by a crown) on the front cover and black morocco shelf labels on spine. The Dukes of Portland include William Cavendish-Bentinck, Third Duke of Portland (1738-1809), Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1783 and then again in 1807-09. The Sixth Duke inherited his title and the extensive Cavendish-Bentinck estates, based around Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, from his eccentric and reclusive cousin William Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck, Fifth Duke of Portland, in 1879. A landowner, courtier, and Conservative politician, the Sixth Duke served as Master of the Horse from 1886-92 and again from 1895-1905.

Plates fine, text generally clean. Joints split, cords holding. An exceptionally good copy in contemporary calf with a nice provenance.

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