A Narrative of the Mutiny on Board His Majesty's Ship Bounty.
William Bligh. London: George Nicol, 1790.
First edition of Captain Bligh’s account of the uprising led against him by Fletcher Christian on board the HMS Bounty. The mutineers set the captain and eighteen loyalists adrift on the ship’s open launch on 28 April 1789. They sailed 4,000 miles in the South Pacific before reaching safety several weeks later.
A fold-out rendering of the launch that carried Bligh and his men is inserted facing the title-page.
Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver.
Jonathan Swift. 2 vols. London: Benjamin Motte, 1726. 3rd 8vo edition.
Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World by Capt. Lemuel Gulliver.
London: Printed in the year, 1727.
Memoirs of the Court of Lilliput. Written by Captain Gulliver.
London: J. Roberts, 1727. 2nd edition.
Gulliver’s Travels is a light-hearted satire of the travel narratives that were popular at the time, as well as a biting commentary on eighteenth-century society. It met with immediate success, spawning many subsequent editions, sequels, and follow-ups.
This mixed four-volume set includes the third octavo edition of Travels (Teerink’s ‘B’ edition), published two months after the first; the spurious ‘third’ volume, purporting to extend the story; and the second edition of the anonymous Memoirs.
The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner.
Daniel Defoe. London: W. Taylor, 1719. 2nd edition.
The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
London: W. Taylor, 1719. 1st edition, 2nd issue.
Serious Reflections During the Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe: With His Vision of the Angelick World.
London: William Taylor, 1720. 1st edition.
A mixed-edition set of Defoe’s iconic novel and its two sequels. The first edition of The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, published on 25 April 1719, was so popular that the second edition (this set), followed less than three weeks later.
The character of Crusoe was likely inspired in part by the Scottish castaway, Alexander Selkirk, who was rescued from an uninhabited island in the South Pacific by Captain Woodes Rogers in 1709.
A Voyage to the South Sea, and Round the World.
Edward Cooke. London: H.M. for B. Lintot, 1712.
First edition of Cooke’s account of his voyage around the world under the command of Captain Woodes Rogers between 1708 and 1711. The narrative includes a firsthand account of the rescue of Alexander Selkirk, the Scottish castaway marooned on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific for over four years, who likely provided the inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719).
An Authentic Narrative of a Voyage Performed by Captain Cook and Captain Clerke, in His Majesty's Ships Resolution and Discovery.
William Ellis. 2 vols. London: G. Robinson, 1782.
First edition of the account of William Ellis, surgeon’s mate on Captain Cook’s third and final voyage (1776-1779). Published two years before the official account appeared, Ellis describes the first European encounter with the Hawaiian Islands, the expedition’s failed search for the Northwest Passage, and Cook’s death at the hands of the Hawaiian people at Kealakekua Bay.
A Cruising Voyage Round the World.
Woodes Rogers. London: Andrew Bell, 1718.
Second edition of Captain Woodes Rogers’s own account of his privateering voyage around the world between 1708 and 1711 (1st ed: 1712). In 1709, Rogers famously rescued Alexander Selkirk, the Scottish castaway marooned on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific for over four years, who likely provided the inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719).
Incidents of a Whaling Voyage. To Which are Added Observations on the Scenery, Manners and Customs, and Missionary Stations, of the Sandwich and Society Islands.
Francis Allyn Olmsted. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1841. With 12 lithographic plates. Bound in original green publishers’ cloth.
Olmsted’s account of his travels aboard a whaling ship in the Pacific Ocean was extremely popular in its time. He described the many islands and inhabitants he encountered in the course of the voyage as well as the history and methods of the whaling industry. Melville drew heavily upon this work for Moby-Dick (1851).
Typee: A Romance of the South Seas.
Herman Melville. New York: Limited Editions Club, 1935. Illustrated by Miguel Covarrubias.
Typee (1846) was Melville’s first novel and his most popular book during his lifetime. It is partly based on the author’s experiences on the island of Nuku Hiva in the South Pacific Marquesas Islands in 1842.
The Limited Editions Club edition is illustrated by Mexican artist and ethnographer, Miguel Covarrubias (1904-1957), best known for his celebrity caricatures featured on the covers of The New Yorker and Vanity Fair.
The Life and Exploits of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Translated by Charles Jarvis [i.e. Jervas]. 2 vols. London: J. & R. Tonson and R. Dodsley, 1742.
First edition of the highly praised “Jarvis translation” of Don Quixote. (The translator’s last name is misspelled on the title-page.) Charles Jervas (1675-1739) was an Irish portrait painter active in the literary circles surrounding Pope and Swift. His translation of Cervantes’s most famous work is lavishly illustrated with 68 engravings by John Vanderbank (1694-1739) and a frontispiece portrait of the author by George Vertue (1684-1756).
An Account of the Voyages Undertaken by the Order of His Present Majesty for Making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere, and Successively Performed by Commodore Byron, Captain Wallis, Captain Carteret, and Captain Cook, in the Dolphin, the Swallow, and the Endeavour.
(Captain James Cook). John Hawkesworth. 3 vols. London: W. Strahan, 1773.
First edition of the account of Captain Cook’s first voyage on the HMS Endeavor (1768-1771), drawn from Cook’s own journals. The expedition, co-sponsored by the Royal Navy and Royal Society, was charged with observing the transit of Venus across the Sun to gather data for astronomical measurement. The great naturalist, Sir Joseph Banks, served as the ship’s official botanist.
Part of a uniformly bound set including the second editions of Cook’s second and third voyages.
Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah.
Richard F. Burton. 3 vols. London: Longman, Brown [et al.], 1855-1856.
First edition of this classic work of travel literature. Burton’s account of his journey to the Muslim Holy cities of Mecca and Medina on a Royal Geographical Society expedition surpassed all other western accounts of these sites in its accuracy and detail. The narrative is richly illustrated with tinted lithographs, wood-engravings, and engraved maps and plans.
The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques & Discoveries of the English Nation, made … by Richard Hakluyt.
Richard Hakluyt; intro. John Masefield. 10 vols. London: J.M. Dent, 1927-1928.
Richard Hakluyt (1553-1616) was an Elizabethan writer known for promoting the English colonization of North America. The Hakluyt Society, founded in 1846, was named in his honor.
This edition of Hakluyt’s principal work is richly illustrated with reproductions of contemporary maps and engravings. The original dust jackets have been preserved on all but three volumes.
Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection. Illustrated after Drawings from Egyptian Papyri and Monuments.
E.A. Wallis Budge. 2 vols. London: Medici Society, 1911.
E.A. Wallis Budge was Keeper of Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum from 1894 to 1924. He acquired numerous antiquities for the museum on his frequent trips to the Middle East.
In Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection (1911), Budge argued that the religion of Osiris emerged from an indigenous African people, contradicting the then-prevailing view that Dynastic Egypt was formed from an invading Mesopotamian civilization.
Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
T.E. Lawrence. London: Jonathan Cape, 1935.
First trade edition of the autobiographical account of British soldier, T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935), whose military mission to Jordan in 1916-1918 was immortalized in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia.