Hunter, Capt. John
- An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island Including the Journals of Governors Phillip and King, Since the Publication of Phillip's Voyage. With an Abridged Account of the New Discoveries in the South Seas. By John Hunter Esqr. Post Captain in His Majesty's Navy. To Which is prefixed A Life of the Author, And Illustrated with a Map of the Country by Lieut. Dawes And Other Embellishments.
John Stockdale, London, 1793.
Octavo; hardcover, half-bound in calf with marbled boards, with gilt spine titles on red morocco labels between five raised bands decorated in gilt; 538pp. [2 Blank + xxivpp. + 17-525pp. + 1p. (advert) + 2 Blank], on laid paper with marbled edges, with a monochrome engraved portrait frontispiece, an illustrated title page ("Captain Hunter offering fish to an Aboriginal Woman"), a folding chart of New South Wales and a folding plate likewise. Moderate wear; boards and edges rubbed; joints scraped; crackling to the spine leather; spine head lightly pulled; light scattered foxing and mild offset throughout; some toning to the map edges; previous owner's ink inscription to the front pastedown. Very good. Originally published in a quarto format in 1793, a decision was made to release a smaller version of the Journal later in the same year, which was intended "sufficiently [to] gratify the curiosity of those who may not have leisure to peruse, or are not desirous of purchasing, the quarto edition". The second issue required some re-thinking of the original format and the engraved title page was printed slightly too large for the new layout and had to be trimmed before insertion, as is the case here. This condensed version of the original release is far scarcer than the quarto issue and, like the original, contains a plate depicting a group of aborigines - "A Family of New South Wales" - which was engraved by William Blake after a sketch by Governor King. Blake has idealised the features of the figures giving them a dignity absent from King's plain sketch, which is in the collection of the Sydney's Mitchell Library. (Ferguson 153; Wantrup 14a). This copy of the work was previously owned by Sir Joseph Palmer Abbott, the distinguished Australian politician and solicitor.
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