TRUSLER, John (1735-1820)
A Descriptive Account of the Islands Lately Discovered in the South-Seas
London: R. Baldwin, 1778. 8vo. (8 3/4 x 5 1/2 inches). ,vii,303,pp. Half-title, publisher's ad on verso of final leaf. Uncut.
Original blue boards with drab paper spine, contemporary manuscript titling on spine and front board. Light wear and soiling to binding. Contemporary ownership inscription on front flyleaf. Very minor foxing, primarily to outer leaves. Very good and in unsophisticated original condition. In a paper slipcase.
An important early compilation of South Seas voyages, put together by John Trusler, who drew primarily on Cook's explorations.
This would have been the first introduction of many readers to the English advances in exploring the Pacific. "John Trusler is described in the DNB as an eccentric divine, a literary compiler, and a medical empiric. Throughout his diverse career Trusler published many works, on subjects ranging from philosophy to farming. The [present] work contains descriptions and history of Tahiti and the Society Islands, the Friendly Islands, New Hebrides, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Australia, the Solomon Islands, New Holland, and Kamchatka. It offers lively and entertaining discussions of the customs of the inhabitants of these various Pacific islands" (Hill). A very few copies were apparently issued with a folding map which is not present in this copy, nor was it present in the Hill copy (ESTC does not call for a map). Scarce, with only a handful of copies in ESTC.
Hill 1719; ESTC T107078.