Bligh's Account of the Mutiny, 1792 first edition

PBA Galleries

2015-11-02 12:15:16


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Lot 26: Author: Bligh, William. Title: Voyage to the South Sea, Undertaken by Command of His Majesty, for the Purpose of Conveying the Bread-fruit Tree to the West Indies, in His Majesty's Ship The Bounty Commanded by Lieutenant William Bligh. Including an Account of the Mutiny on Board the Said Ship, and the Subsequent Voyage of Part of the Crew, in the Ship's Boat, from Tofoa, One of the Friendly Islands, to Timor, a Dutch Settlement in the East Indies. Place Published: London. Publisher: Printed for George Nicol, Bookseller to His Majesty. Date Published: 1792. Description: (x) , 264 pp. Illustrated with stipple-engraved frontispiece portrait and 7 other plates (5 folding) of charts, plans, etc. (4to) 28.5x22 cm (11 1/4x83/4"), modern period style full mottled calf, spine gilt, red and green morocco labels, endpapers renewed, all edges speckled. First Edition. The first edition of the official account of the Bounty expedition, based upon Bligh's journal but written, edited, and seen through the press by James Burney, under the supervision of Sir Joseph Banks, during Bligh's absence from London while on his second breadfruit voyage. Hill calls it "an extremely important book," and notes that "one bit of irony is that Bligh returned to Tahiti again to get more breadfruit, and, after delivering them to the West Indies, it was discovered that the natives did not care for the taste, much preferring their own bananas." Most famously, on 28 April, 1789 Bligh fell victim to a mutiny aboard his ship instigated by Fletcher Christian. Bligh and 18 loyal crewmen were set adrift in the Bounty's small launch. Suffering severely from exposure and hunger, Bligh and his companions landed at Timor three months later after a journey of some 3600 miles. This feat of endurance and navigational skill is without parallel. The mutineers settled on Pitcairn Island, although some were later recaptured and three were executed. The plates include plans of the deck of the Bounty, of the ship's launch in which Bligh's momentous journey took place, a sectional view of the breadfruit, three charts, and a plan of Toahroah harbour. Hill, Pacific Voyages p.27; Hill (2nd ed.) 135; Sabin 5910. Condition: Early owner's name partially erased from title page; light foxing, heavier to plates; very good. PBA Galleries' Rare Books & Manuscripts Sunday, 1st November 2015 Estimate: $10000-$15000
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