A VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD BY WAY OF THE GREAT SOUTH SEA, PERFORM'D IN THE YEARS 1719, 20, 21, 22...
by Shelvocke, George
London, 1726. ,xxxii,,468pp. plus four engraved plates (two folding) and folding engraved double-hemisphere world map. Contemporary dark brown calf, gilt, expertly rebacked with original label preserved. Very good and clean. First edition of "the fullest account of California, the natives and other features, of any of the old voyages" (Cowan). Shelvocke was engaged in a privateering expedition against Spanish shipping on the Pacific Coast of America. He sailed as far north as Baja California, and two of the plates depict Indians of Baja. He also reported gold in the region. The folding map depicts the world in two hemispheres with the route of the voyage traced. An important English Pacific voyage. "Captains Shelvocke and Clipperton led a privately financed privateering expedition to attack 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, the Speedwell, 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, where he was accused of piracy and embezzlement, and then acquitted. He soon left for the Continent a wealthy man. Shelvocke wrote this account, in part, as a vindication of his conduct. In it he mentions the gold of California and the guano of Peru, more than a hundred years before their rediscovery in the 19th century. An incident in the narrative describing the passage around Cape Horn, in which a sailor kills an albatross, is said to have inspired Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner" - Hill. HILL 1557. HOWES S383. SABIN 80158. COWAN II, pp.581-82.
(Inventory #: WRCAM48795)
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